by Bill Fogarty, Georgians for FairTaxation Board Member
Georgia boosters are fond of saying that Georgia is a great place to do business. Apparently the folks at the Tax Foundation don’t rate Georgia quite so highly.
Taxes are an important, if not the most important, factor contributing to the business climate of any locale. Each year, The Tax Foundation publishes its State Tax Climate Index. Its 2016 results must cause the home team cheerleaders to reach for their Zantac®. Out of all 50 states, they ranked Georgia 39th, just two slots above the bottom 10. That’s a three-notch drop from 36th place in 2015. In fact, Georgia ranks the lowest among all its Southeast neighbors.
Which states made the top as the most tax friendly? All of the top five were states that don’t have an income tax! Here are the top five in order: Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Florida, and Nevada. The rest of the top 10 included New Hampshire and Texas. Texas has no income tax and New Hampshire doesn’t tax wage income.
From time to time, the state, or the Governor, as in the recent Kaiser Permanente plan to open a national member services contact center in Gwinnett County, makes a big announcement of some corporation it has enticed to relocate to Georgia through special tax benefits targeted specifically to their needs. Clearly, the state engages in picking winners and losers, something many state elected officials will say they’re totally against. Georgians for Fair Taxation (gafairtax.org) thinks it’s time for everyone to get a break and have the state eliminate its income tax altogether, and we have proposed legislation to do just that: The Georgia FairTax Act of 2016. A true FairTax® for Georgia would be a huge step towards creating a much friendlier business climate, which would create more jobs. Maybe it just might also boost our rating from The Tax Foundation in 2017, and businesses everywhere would sit up and take notice.
If we don’t do something innovative, little will change. Our economy will continue its anemic so-called recovery and our anxiety about what the future holds will grow. Georgians for Fair Taxation doesn’t want to continue down this path.
Please join our tax reform movement for real change – make a contribution at www.gafairtax.org . We’ll put that money to work so that you, your children, and your grandchildren can have a brighter future right here in Georgia.
Georgians for FairTaxation is a grassroots, all volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit, 501 (c)(4) corporation. There is no paid staff and no office. Volunteers spend their own money to work at events, meet with legislators, and manage other activities to keep the organization going. Donations are not tax deductible.