Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Glenn Richardson's Great Big Sales Tax Break for Doctors

As you may know, Speaker of the Georgia House Glenn Richardson has been traveling the state touting his new tax plan that would replace property and ad valorem taxes with a sales tax on everything, including all services. To this point, Glenn's plan has been long on promises and short on crucial details including how it would actually work. Glenn is still working on that one.

Since the sales tax would apply to all services, including doctor's visits which were previously exempt, I was wondering how Glenn was going to sell that burden, both monetary and administrative, to physicians, a group that generally supports Republicans. Well, I don't have to wonder any further.

According to the Associated Press, Richardson, in addressing the Association of County Commissioners yesterday, was reported as saying that "health care is likely to face a very low tax, if any at all, under the plan".

Well, there's the carrot. Since doctors are generally going to be property owners, I can see them liking not having to pay property taxes. Now, Glenn is telling them that their practices will be saddled with no tax. Come on, we don't really think Glenn would consider taxing them a dime.

What has been unveiled of Glenn's plan has already been criticized since a sales tax on services would not make up the shortfall left by the loss of property tax revenues. Now, Glenn is playing partisan politics with who pays and who doesn't. This development should not be surprising since Glenn's fund paid for the development of this plan in the first place.

Reforming Georgia's tax system is an important undertaking that should be done by experts and as far away from the taint of partisan politics as possible. Glenn is finally showing his spots. His plan is a great big tax break for you if you are in the right profession and support him.


Tina said...

Maybe that will make it up to the doctors for the fact that "tort reform" did not lower their insurance rates.

Jim Baker said...

This article leaves a misrepresentation of the Great Tax and its effects of Doctors and Medical Professionals.

The Doctors will not pay the sales tax on the services they provide. The patients will pay the sales tax on those services.
So, if the services are expemted from the sales tax portion of the Great Tax it will be an expemption for the the patient receiving the services.

The Doctor will still have to pay the Income tax portion the the Great tax. That income tax rate at 5.75%, a 1/4% less than the current 6%, will be less the Deduction allowed for property tax as allowed on the Federal Tax Return. This will simply be because there is no property tax.
So, the Doctor will proably pay more in state and federal income tax as they lose this deduction on their properties. The doctors, who make and spend a lot of money will be subject to the 5.75% sales tax.

The larger communities in our state will be against this program as it will allow the money spent by citizens of smaller surrounding communities in the retail centers located in the larger communities to be returned to the community of the spender/taxpayer.

This is a good plan. It may need some fine tuning, but it will provide fairness in taxation.

Amy Morton said...

You mean that the Georgia General Assembly-not locally elected officials in these "small communities"-would decide who gets how much $$. I'm sure that we can trust the same General Assembly that has raided One Georgia to feed development in metro areas will be quick to be "fair" to rural communities. Right.

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