Seabaugh pitches sales tax plan

Tue, 12/11/2007 - 6:01pm
By: John Munford

State Sen. Mitch Seabaugh, R-Sharpsburg, who formerly represented part of Peachtree City, wants local governments to be able to choose if they want to use sales taxes to replace property taxes.

The catch is that property taxes would have to be reduced by the amount the sales tax would bring in, Seabaugh said.

“Property taxes will have to be reduced by the amount the consumption tax will bring in,” Seabaugh said in a news release. “The local government cannot exceed that millage rate unless approved by voters in a subsequent referendum.”

If the bill passes the legislature this year with a two-thirds vote of both the Georgia House and Senate chambers, Georgia voters will have the final say on the matter in a November referendum.

Seabaugh said the bill is not intended to create additional revenue for local governments, but to allow them a choice in how taxes are collected.

“This proposal will ensure that local governments can collect the money necessary to function, while taking a clear step to bring more control to the local governments,” Seabaugh said.

Seabaugh’s bill may have a better chance of passing than a proposal from House Speaker Glenn Richardson, who wants to take away the property taxing power of local school boards.

Under Richardson’s proposal, the property tax revenue would be replaced with sales tax revenues, including an elimination of sales tax exemptions, like those for groceries.

Under Richardson’s proposal, the state would collect all the sales taxes and then distribute it to schools, effectively taking all funding control away from local school boards.

Richardson initially wanted his plan to get rid of all property taxes in Georgia, including those levied by cities and counties, but after immense political pressure the proposal was changed to focus on school boards.

Critics of the plan say it takes away the power of local school boards to raise additional money for additional teachers and other needs of the school system that are unfunded by the state. Some critics have also alleged that the state would use the system to redistribute funds from Fayette County, for example, to other school districts in the state.

login to post comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Submitted by 30YearResident on Tue, 12/11/2007 - 7:43pm.

The problem is, politicians can always find ways to SPEND "our" money, they can always find ways to COLLECT "our" money, but they just can't seem to find ways to SAVE "our" money.

This is my problem with this plan and the proposed "Fair Tax" proposal. Let's say that the Fair Tax is accepted. The 16th Ammendment is repealed. All goods sold have a 23% federal tax included in the sales price (assuming that all the embedded tax previously added is no longer there).

Then here comes the State.... they decide that 3% isn't enough, so they add another penny, now it's 4%. Then the county gets into the act.... and they add another 1 or 2%. Then the city says, WOW, what a concept, lets add 1% as well so we can get OUR money. If you're keeping count, that coming close to 30% SALES TAX on goods.

But let's take it another step as Mr. Seabaugh proposes and eliminate property tax in lieu of an increased sales tax of, say 10% on top of everything else. Now we're at a 40% SALES TAX on goods. Okay, so we don't pay Federal Income Tax, we don't pay Property Tax, but a new car just went from $25,000 (assuming the embedded tax is removed) to $40,000, with $15,000 going to sales taxes.

This could really get messy in the hands of greedy politicians who LOVE to spend "our" money to buy votes.


Submitted by Bonkers on Wed, 12/12/2007 - 8:12am.

But, they (fair tax people who earn over $150,000) that you will save nearly all of it on what you purchase!

RIGHT! Cosby: What is a cubit, Lord?

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Tue, 12/11/2007 - 8:13pm.

I am aware that Georgia is a "red" state, but I have never, ever been taxed more than I am here. For my birthday, I was given the honor of paying over $800 in taxes on cars that I paid taxes on to buy. Property tax was just before that, and now I'm just waiting to have my breath taxed at a rate set by one's average breaths per minute. Heck, we may have a "bath" tax for water wasters by the time the drought is over!

Kevin "Hack" King

Paul Perkins's picture
Submitted by Paul Perkins on Wed, 12/12/2007 - 10:20am.

to New York if you deem GA to be high in taxes Smiling

In addition to having a much higher rates (and a Yonkers/Work in NYC w/h tax) one of my financial planning clients got a notice that he was considered subject to New York state income tax.

Here's the punch line. He works from his computer in Ga (for a New York company) but has never set foot in New York!

This is the way to blog!

Submitted by Bonkers on Wed, 12/12/2007 - 8:20am.

The new "fair Tax" will eliminate all of those taxes you just paid!
Did you get a predator loan to pay them?

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Wed, 12/12/2007 - 9:37am.

No predatory loans, but does my birthday have to be the month before XMAS????? No where else that I've ever lived has had such a birthday present. What a strange system we have here in the new taxachusetts.

Kevin "Hack" King

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Wed, 12/12/2007 - 8:27am.

I hope you're being facetious.
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.