Georgia Budget and Policy Institute: Targeted Fix to Income Tax Package Can Deliver Georgians a Win

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Georgia lawmakers are considering a large income tax proposal with three sound tax policy reforms alongside one serious shortcoming. On the plus side, the current bill proposes to boost families with a new Georgia Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), close an outdated loophole and index several broadly available exemptions to ensure they keep pace with economic growth. The downside is it replaces Georgia’s graduated income tax structure that tops out at 6 percent with a regressive flat tax of 5.4 percent. Flat-rate income taxes typically lead to higher tax bills for workers in low-wage jobs, especially people without children who don’t gain as much from various credits and exemptions. A rate cut that large also could pose headaches for budget writers over the long term.

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