Toe To Toe with the Tar Heel State - By Joel Aaron
North Carolina is barking at our heels! Actually, it seems some of the bravest legislative souls in the Country are in the Tar Heel State and they’re on their way to eclipsing Georgia if we don’t make a move toward pro growth tax reform.
Just last month, the NC State Legislature passed sweeping tax legislation to eliminate the death tax, lower the corporate income tax rate and lower their state’s personal income tax rate, among a list of other notables. South Carolina is hot on their heels with discussions underway to eliminate state income taxes there while our neighbors in Florida and Tennessee did long ago. North Carolina is already trying to outdo themselves with talk of eliminating the state income tax during next year’s session!
In order for Georgia to stay competitive relative to our bullish neighbors, we need to realize that we must lower income taxes for everyone and free up the free market to turn Georgia into a jobs machine! AFP Foundation, our sister organization, held its second regional Georgia Freedom Conference in Augusta over the weekend where I was joined by American Legislative Exchange Council tax policy research analyst William Freeland for a lively discussion about tax reform.
The basics of good pro growth tax policy are pretty simple; everyone wins when you lower tax rates for everyone and you refuse to practice the social engineering that invariably follows government’s handing out of tax exemptions and tax credits. Is it any wonder when government drives into the free enterprise neighborhood like the proverbial ice cream truck, everyone comes out to the street corner with an aching sweet tooth?
AFPF’s Keeping Georgia Competitive Road Map underscores the need for tax reform in Georgia. In 2013, according to the Tax Foundation, Georgia was ranked 34th nationwide among the states for its business tax climate due to our convoluted and sometimes duplicitous income tax code. That affects our job climate because it negatively affects business decisions to move to or expand operations in Georgia, especially when you factor in our regionally high personal income tax rate. It’s no surprise that Georgia experienced -3.7% private sector job growth between 2001-2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
AFPF’s Keeping Georgia Competitive Road Trip is swinging around the Peach State, leaving copies of our Keeping Georgia Competitive Road Map at stops along the route! The time is now for tax reform in Georgia and we need you to join us for the ride!