Lawmaker proposes abolishing state income tax - CBS46 News

Lawmaker proposes abolishing state income tax

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

One lawmaker wants to get rid of the state income tax and replace it with an increased sales tax to fund the state budget.

Voters' opinions, however, are divided.

Some think abolishing the income tax would be a fair way to tax everybody.

Others say basing the state budget on the ups and downs of sales is risky.

Aaron Darrisaw said getting rid of the state income tax and using the sales tax to fund state government could lead Georgia down a dangerous path.

"I think it's a bad idea," Darrisaw said. "That's going to be unstable ultimately. I think it's unsustainable for a healthy economy."

Jeff Benedict said a sales tax instead of an income tax would be a reasonable way to make sure people pay their fair share.

"I've always thought it was a great idea," Benedict said. "People who maybe don't pay taxes who should and there's no way to get around it. If you go to a retail place, you buy your goods, you pay the tax."

Right now, state income tax largely funds the Georgia government.

State Rep. Tom Kirby on Wednesday introduced a bill that would abolish the state income tax and replace it with an increased 7 percent sales tax.

"It's going to be a huge economic driver," Kirby said.

When asked if it would be dangerous to base state revenues on taxes from sales, which can fluctuate depending on how much people buy, Kirby responded, "no."

Kirby said that no matter how bad the economy gets, consumers still buy goods and services, but when they lose their jobs they have no income to tax.

Kirby added that a sales tax-funded state government actually would be more stable than the one funded by income taxes and would attract more business.

"As the economy grows and we bring in more business, we're going to see a revenue increase. But the spikes are not quite as strong as we see with the income tax where people have lost their jobs," Kirby said.

It is unlikely the bill will be passed this year since only one day remains in the first portion of the legislative session.

The bill likely will have to wait for next year for any action.

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