The elections are over and almost forgotten. But before we cast them completely aside, there are two more items that we should note.
FairTax critic Barrow defeated
John Barrow, FairTax critic and 10-year incumbent Congressman from Georgia’s 12th District, was defeated by political upstart and businessman, Rick Allen. Many considered Allen’s win to be a surprise upset. Through October 15, Barrow had raised about $1 million more than Allen for his campaign war chest. According to opensecrets.org, Barrow’s major contributors were lawyers and law firms who kicked in $385,000, more than double the amount contributed by the next largest contributor group, Health Professionals.
Earlier in 2014, FairTax leaders met with Barrow, and he reaffirmed his opposition to the FairTax, a position consistent with most of his Democrat colleagues. While Barrow was definitely against the FairTax, Allen’s position is not totally clear. We’d like to see more clarity on exactly what type of tax reform Allen would support. We congratulate him on his win and look forward to familiarizing him with the details and tremendous benefits of the FairTax so that he becomes a vocal advocate.
Pennington: Georgia needs tax reform
David Pennington, former candidate for Governor, hasn’t lost any enthusiasm for state tax reform, despite his May primary loss to Gov. Deal. He notes that Georgia ranks only 36th overall in the Tax Foundation’s 2015 ranking of states’ competitiveness. Pennington points out a contrast between Georgia’s 8th best ranking for corporate taxes and its 8th worst in the country for the individual income tax. Because far more Georgia businesses pay income taxes at the personal rate rather than the corporate rate, our economy suffers.
Pennington also notes that our neighboring states are re-structuring their tax codes to be more business friendly. Florida and Tennessee rank 5th and 15th overall. Additionally North Carolina leapt from 44th to 16th after enacting comprehensive tax reform that lowered state income tax rates. He’s critical of Georgia’s grab bag of tax breaks provided to selected businesses and industries.
Pennington stresses the urgency of real reform as well. Nearby states grow more competitive and Georgia’s unemployment hangs at 7.9%, the highest in the country.
Replacing the state income tax with a broad-based, low-rate consumption tax would go a long way towards making Georgia far more attractive to all types of businesses. Plus, it wouldn’t pick winners and losers with special loopholes. For Georgia’s legislators to act, they must hear from you, their constituents. Georgians for Fair Taxation urges you to speak out and demand that your elected officials enact this reform.
Support for the FairTax continues to grow among elected officials, but we need to keep building that momentum. Your continued support is critical. Now that the elections have been decided, how can you help? Be sure to communicate your support for the FairTax to your elected officials at every opportunity. Also, please help us with a contribution towards our efforts.
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