Governor Kemp Wants to Accelerate State Income Tax Cuts

Tuesday, December 5th, 2023

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Gov. Brian Kemp said Monday he will ask Georgia lawmakers to provide additional tax relief during the upcoming legislative session by accelerating a state income tax cut lawmakers adopted last year.

House Bill 1437 set in place a reduction in the state’s income tax rate from 5.75% to 4.99%, to be phased in over several years.

Kemp said he will propose amending the 2022 legislation by moving up the timetable for the reductions, which would set the tax rate in tax year 2024 at 5.39% rather the 5.49% set by the current version of the bill. The Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget estimates accelerating the tax cuts would save taxpayers $1.1 billion during the tax year starting Jan. 1.

The governor touted his proposal as the latest in a series of tax cuts in Georgia, including $2 billion in income tax rebates during the last two years, more than $1 billion in property tax relief, and two temporary suspensions of the state sales tax on gasoline that saved motorists more than $2.2 billion.

“While big government and big spenders in Washington and states like California and New York further their tax-and-spending policies … we’re choosing a different path in the Peach State,” Kemp said.

“We believe in the principle that tax dollars belong to those who earned them in the first place,” added Georgia House Speaker Jon Burns, R-Newington.

Lt. Gov. Burt Jones welcomed the new proposal as moving Georgia toward his eventual goal of eliminating the state income tax altogether. Jones, who presides over the state Senate, praised the gradual approach the governor is taking.

“We need to do it in a fiscally responsible manner,” he said.

Georgia can easily afford the tax cuts. The state has built up a surplus of $16 billion during the last few years, including $11 billion in undesignated funds.