Friday, March 6, 2009

Georgia GOP: Cut Critical Services, Fund Huge Corporate Tax Cuts

Georgia Republicans would rather spend millions giving big tax breaks to corporations than pay for immunizations for babies. And, they're willing to spend that money without presenting a scrap of research supporting their "feeling" that such tax breaks will spur economic development and therefore increase other revenue streams. Who knew the GOP would end up being the touchy-feelly party? Well, except for that.

Yes, the GOP, with a few Democrats in tow, have led a remarkable legislative session. Remarkably ironic. In the face of an historic 3.1 billion dollar deficit, they hope to create new tax breaks for big corporations-tax breaks that stand to cost Georgia tens of millions, if not billions of dollars, and necessitating cuts to many critical services and jeopardizing future revenue. According to a must-read commentary by Sarah Beth Gehl with the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute,

In the coming days, the Georgia House of Representatives will debate and vote on whether to phase-out the state corporate income tax and create several temporary tax breaks for businesses. They will simultaneously work on passing a budget that provides fewer immunizations for infants and makes cuts to QuickStart, Georgia’s customized training program for economic development. These are just a few of the many cuts to vital services prompted by the precariously steep decline in state tax dollars.


The short story? Georgia Republicans favor cuts to children's health care, public schools and grassroots economic development programs (QuickStart) in order to fund tens of millions in tax breaks for big corporations.

Georgians who can't find jobs or afford to pay their mortgages, together with locally elected officials who can't keep police on the streets and teachers in the classrooms recognize this proposal for what it is: an irresponsible dereliction of duty.

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