clearn.png
Tuesday January 18th, 2022 5:23AM

Kemp seeks $1.6B in Georgia tax rebates worth $250 or $500

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp wants to use $1.6 billion of the state's $2.2 billion in spare cash to give rebates in April on state income taxes.

The Republican told the Georgia Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday that he wants to give a $250 rebate to every single person filing state income taxes, and $500 to every household filing jointly. Kemp also wants to cut fees at universities, bolster HOPE scholarships and end state income taxes on military retirement income.

The tax rebates would be paid from the huge budget surplus Georgia accumulated in the budget year ended June 30, when tax revenues propped up by federal stimulus far exceeded the low expectations that led lawmakers to adopt a constrained spending plan. Even after filling Georgia's rainy day fund to its legal limit of $4.3 billion, the state had $2.2 billion in cash left over.

The rebates are the centerpiece of Kemp's emerging strategy to put cash in the hands of as many voters as possible, as quickly as possible, as he tries to get reelected this year. Kemp faces a tough GOP primary ahead of a challenging general election campaign against likely Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams.

“We're simply giving the money back to the people that pay the taxes,” Kemp told reporters after his speech. “We’re trying to help people that are in the workforce combat rising inflation and other things.”

Kemp also proposed $5,000 pay raises for employees of state agencies, a move endorsed Wednesday by Republican House Speaker David Ralston of Blue Ridge. And he wants to push his proposed $2,000 pay raise for teachers into the current budget year by paying a onetime $2,000 bonus now, according to advance remarks from Thursday's state of the state, obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

Both the tax rebate and the teacher bonus could reach voters before the May 24 Republican primary, when Kemp faces former U.S. Sen. David Perdue, former state lawmaker Vernon Jones and others for his party’s nomination.

There have been other ideas for how to spend the surplus, including using the money to pay for construction projects that Georgia would normally borrow to finance, or using it to shore up the state’s pension and retiree health funds.

Some people with lower incomes pay little to no state income tax. The liberal-leaning Georgia Budget and Policy Institute has proposed using the money for direct payments to the 3.5 million lowest-income Georgians, and said that “strategically targeted relief for those who need it the most” would be preferable to “modest one-time payments.”

“The state should pursue lasting opportunities to invest in our people rather than forgoing our surplus,” Senior Policy Analyst Danny Kanso said in a statement.

Kemp also said that the University System of Georgia will cut special fees added in 2009 during the recession if lawmakers agree to restore funding cut from university budgets. A state Senate report last year found that the fees collect $230 million a year across all 26 state universities and colleges, which range from $200 to $500 a semester, depending on the school. In November, acting Chancellor Teresa MacCartney told a Senate study committee on fees that the system wanted to retain the institutional fee because of how much revenue it brings it.

The committee, though, recommended abolishing the fee, even if universities had to raise tuition to make up for it, because tuition is eligible for the HOPE scholarship, while that source of aid doesn't cover fees.

“In reality, the special institutional fee is nothing but tuition by another name,” the committee concluded.

Kemp also said he wants the lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship program to increase spending by $25 million to cover at least 90% of tuition costs for all recipients at all public technical colleges, colleges and universities.

Finally, Kemp said he wants to exempt military retirement income for veterans from state income taxation, a proposal he has made previously.

___

Follow Jeff Amy at http://twitter.com/jeffamy.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News, Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Business, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News, AP Business - Personal Finance
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Kemp seeks $1.6B in Georgia tax rebates worth $250 or $500
Gov. Brian Kemp wants to use $1.6 billion of Georgia's $2.2 billion in spare cash to give rebates in April on state income taxes
11:15AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Former Senate leader Harry Reid lies in state at Capitol
The casket of former Sen. Harry Reid is lying in state at the U.S. Capitol as colleagues and friends gather to pay tribute to a hardscrabble Democrat who served five terms in the Senate and rose to be majority leader
11:04AM ( 20 minutes ago )
No Ukraine breakthrough, but NATO, Russia eye more talks
The U.S. and NATO have rejected key Russian security demands for easing tensions over Ukraine
10:57AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Stocks rise as inflation report keeps Fed on track for hikes
Stocks are opening higher after the latest report of surging prices appeared to keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates later this year
9:48AM ( 1 hour ago )
NATO, Russia eye more high-level talks despite tensions
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the military organization and Russia have agreed to try to schedule more meetings despite tensions over Moscow’s military buildup near Ukraine
9:43AM ( 1 hour ago )
Biogen tumbles after Medicare lays out Aduhelm coverage plan
Shares of Biogen tumbled Wednesday, a day after regulators slapped strict limitations on coverage the drugmaker’s new Alzheimer’s disease treatment
9:37AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Hall of Famer Grant Hill's memoir 'Game' coming out in June
Grant Hill’s path to the NBA Hall of Fame had plenty of pain along with all the highlights
8:33AM ( 2 hours ago )
Biden challenges Senate on voting: 'Tired of being quiet!'
President Joe Biden is challenging senators to “stand against voter suppression,” urging them to change Senate rules in order to pass voting rights legislation that Republicans are blocking from debate and votes
10:22PM ( 13 hours ago )
Falcons GM Fontenot not ready to give up on Ridley for 2022
Atlanta Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot says he’s not ready to make plans for next season to be without Calvin Ridley, the team’s top wide receiver
7:47PM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Online - Georgia News
Bank of America slashes fees for account overdrafts
Bank of America is slashing the amount it charges customers when they spend more than they have in their accounts and plans to eliminate entirely its fees for bounced checks
6:52PM ( 16 hours ago )
California governor proposes tax cuts, expanded health care
Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to make California the first state to cover all low-income state residents under its Medicaid plan regardless of their immigration status
8:46PM ( 1 day ago )
California's Newsom wants health coverage for all immigrants
Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to make California the first state to cover all low-income state residents under its Medicaid plan regardless of their immigration status
4:58PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Personal Finance
Former Senate leader Harry Reid lies in state at Capitol
The casket of former Sen. Harry Reid is lying in state at the U.S. Capitol as colleagues and friends gather to pay tribute to a hardscrabble Democrat who served five terms in the Senate and rose to be majority leader
11:04AM ( 20 minutes ago )
No Ukraine breakthrough, but NATO, Russia eye more talks
The U.S. and NATO have rejected key Russian security demands for easing tensions over Ukraine
10:57AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Giuffre's Prince Andrew suit goes ahead despite Epstein deal
A judge has given the green light to a lawsuit by an American woman who says Prince Andrew sexually abused her when she was 17
10:39AM ( 45 minutes ago )
Liberals in EU parliament seek inquiry on abuse of spyware
The third-largest group in the European Parliament has called for the establishment of a committee to investigate abuses by European Union governments with powerful spyware produced by Israel’s NSO Group
10:35AM ( 49 minutes ago )
Will Smith, Lady Gaga, Ben Affleck score SAG nominations
Will Smith, Lady Gaga and Ben Affleck landed individual nominations for the 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards on Wednesday, while the casts of “Belfast” and “CODA” were among those nominated for the guild’s top award, best ensemble
10:27AM ( 57 minutes ago )