Spending & Taxes

Trammell believes that the role of government should always be limited to; first providing for public services, security, education, defense and after, providing for the most in need and underserved populations. 

She would  support abolishing the State Income Tax to compete with neighboring States, however, if we want smaller government and less Federal influence .  We need to ensure Georgia is sustainable and can always meet its own budget needs, independently.

Florida and Tennessee make up for their lack of State income tax with multiple other taxations, including increased property taxes that we are currently paying Fulton County at just as high, if not higher rates.  FAIR TAX is an option as a replacement.   As a thoughtful legislator, she would want to see strategic plans before making any promises.  As a Georgia resident, she would be very happy if we could do this! Now is a good time to consider eliminating the State Tax, here’s why….

In 2022, Georgia reports record savings in reserves and even with increased spending in education and public healthcare initiatives  pushed by the Feds.  there is plenty left for capitol expenditures and other improvements.  For those wishing to eliminate the State Income Tax, one should consider now a good time to do that, however, take into consideration the following reports and recommendations.

“With Georgia’s state saving’s account, also known as the Revenue Shortfall Reserve (RSR), at a record maximum level of $4.3 billion and over $4.7 billion in flexible funding granted to the state under the federal American Rescue Plan, the FY 2023 budget could present a springboard to make up much of the ground lost to the COVID-19 pandemic and position the state with sufficient resources to achieve long sought-after improvements to its education and health care systems.” (Governor’s Budget Report Amended FY 2022 and FY 2023)

Georgia’s Revenue Shortfall Reserve Reaches Record Maximum “The RSR was created in 1976 to help manage instability in revenue collections and hedge against the possibility of a recession.  FY 2021 marks the state’s first time reaching the fund’s maximum since the reserve was expanded to hold 15 percent of the prior year’s revenue collections in 2011.  In AFY 2022, Gov. Kemp’s budget elects to use a $1.6 billion portion of the $3.8 billion surplus generated during FY 2021 to distribute one-time, flat refunds of $250 to single filers and $500 to married filers.”  

Jill believes that the long term security of our State is based on budget stability.   She currently supports the EITC model if the State is distributing returns.  This provides larger sums to Georgia’s taxpayers over a longer period of time while strategically funding core programs that have been cut back,  like mental health services for adolescents.  However, if the budget can afford to issue returns, then we should also be considering abolishing State income taxes altogether.  This is popular for campaigning, but the reality is that she would only support that  IF the State budget could somehow provide all essential improvements and capitol expenditures on infrastructure, improving pay for educators, law enforcement, mental health care, addictive diseases, developmental disabilities and essential senior care initiatives, while also ignoring the $4.7 in flexible spending offered from the Feds, as explained below.

There is much to be done to improve the quality of services currently offered in Georgia, as well as improving the pay and security for those who work in tax funded systems.  If we are going to push back Medicaid expansion, then we MUST improve our State supported social services and healthcare systems.  Jill will support bi-partisan efforts on bills that address these issues, as she has witnessed or been laid off herself, as part of failed policies which we must repair.  Recommendations from independent auditing groups are clear.

“In FY 2021, Georgia maintained a workforce of 76,000 full-time state employees—down over 9 percent from FY 2019 and 25 percent since the start of the Great Recession—who were paid a median annual salary of $39,000.  Of these state employees, 65 percent are women, 46 percent are Black and 3 percent are Hispanic, demonstrating the clear gender and racial inequities of persistently underpaying and overburdening a shrinking workforce.  Part of what has contributed to the state’s diminishing workforce in recent years is a pattern of eliminating vacant positions as a cost cutting measure rather than appropriating sufficient resources for state agencies to attract and retain qualified applicants. Going forward, in addition to continuing to increase salaries, state leaders must also reevaluate staffing needs across government to ensure
agencies can adequately serve Georgians.” (GBPI.org)