FairTaxers in Georgia’s 9th district will have an interesting choice to make in the November elections. FairTax support in Georgia is overwhelmingly Republican with few Democrats supportive of the cause. There’s an exception in the 9th State Senate district.
Democrat Timothy Swiney makes a strong case for enacting the FairTax at the state level for Georgia on the issues page of his website. He states that by “eliminating the income tax, the tax liability will be based on the individual’s consumption rather than on productivity.”
Swiney is unequivocal in his support for the FairTax at the state level. He states: “I support the elimination of the state income tax and the implementation of a sales tax revenue base. Seven states, including our neighbors Tennessee and Florida, have eliminated the income tax and are performing well” in comparison to Georgia. Swiney explains the idea of the FairTax with the following: “Under a sales tax, all residents, whether documented or undocumented, will carry a fair share of the tax burden. Tax is paid based on what an individual consumes rather than what they (sic) produce. Under the sales tax system, hard work will not be penalized and overtime would not be taxed at a higher rate.”
Republican P. K. Martin promotes tax reform on his issues page. He states: “I believe taxes should be lower and fair. We can do a whole lot better with our hard earned dollars than feeding the waste that career bureaucrats generate year to year. I have a proven conservative record of cutting taxes in Lawrenceville, and I will continue that record in the State Senate. I will support comprehensive tax reform that will cut taxes on our citizens, make the system fairer, and ensure that our state government lives within its means.”
In a letter to one of our GFFT supporters, Martin stated that on a national level, he supports the FairTax bill, but we haven’t seen nor heard public advocacy of that position. On a state level, Martin stated that we need tax reform, with a tax structure that is fair and simple. He also stated the following: “I would support a fair tax in Georgia that is similar to the proposal on the national level which would replace the state income tax and replace it with a sales tax. However, I want to be clear that we must first be sure that the state would still be able to fund the programs that the state is Constitutionally (sic) obligated to provide.” Martin added that he hoped the legislature “would come up with a reform package that would reduce the state income tax on individuals and businesses.”
No tax structure can guarantee that it will deliver all the revenue that politicians may have promised the voters to deliver, whether it’s constitutionally mandated or not. If people don’t have the money, they won’t pay. There is ample evidence that sales taxes are, in fact, less volatile and at least as predictable as income taxes. This means that the risk Martin fears is no greater than what’s inherent in the current tax code.
In the 9th district of Georgia the both candidates express commitment to the right kind of tax reform. This reflects the growing momentum of your movement. Vote for whomever you choose, but don’t stop there. Follow the candidate who wins and be sure he continues to be an advocate when the new legislature convenes in January. Be sure that your representatives and senators are speaking out for complete replacement of the personal and corporate income tax with a broad-based consumption tax set at the lowest possible rate to adequately fund the state government. Follow them closely and communicate your support of this approach frequently.
Georgia has the chance to lead the way on the FairTax. GFFT has been working to get the state to adopt a FairTax-type of consumption tax for the state. If we can adopt the FairTax for our state, other states are likely to follow our example. As people see the FairTax work in our state, they will be able to see how it could work nationally. Let’s lead by example and elect state leaders who will promote the FairTax for Georgia!