Fludd proposes tax hike for state's highest earners

Mon, 02/22/2010 - 1:55pm
By: John Munford

State Representative Virgil Fludd, D-Tyrone, wants to add a “temporary” 1 percent income tax surcharge on Georgia’s highest earners as a way to raise more than $200 million for the state’s beleaguered budget.

Fludd last week filed House Bill 1066 which would apply the temporary one percent surcharge for married couples who have a total income of more than $400,000 and single individuals with an income of $200,000.

The additional income tax surcharge affects less than one percent of Georgia taxpayers, according to a news release issued by Fludd.

The increase would be in effect for this year and 2011, expiring on Jan. 1, 2012, according to the bill submitted by Fludd.

“As we all know, the state of Georgia is facing tough times so we have to do everything we can to maintain a balanced budget without laying off teachers or eliminating important programs,” Fludd said. “No one likes tax increases but these are very unusual times. We need strong leadership because spending cuts alone will not solve our problems. HB 1066 will help prevent these devastating cuts, while only affecting less than one percent of Georgia taxpayers.”

Fludd said the state of Georgia has not adjusted income tax rates in more than 70 years and currently has a top income tax rate of six percent beginning at $10,000.

Other states have recently issued similar surcharges, including North Carolina and Wisconsin.
According to Fludd’s office:

• When North Carolina faced a $4 billion deficit in 2009, the state chose to enact more than $1 billion worth of tax increases. These increases included a temporary two percent surcharge on income between $60,000 and $150,000 for single filers and between $100,000 and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly. Income above those amounts was taxed an additional three percent. The three percent surtax was also placed on corporate income.

• Wisconsin enacted a 7.75 percent income tax bracket on all income above $300,000 for married couples and $225,000 for individuals and heads of households. The state also lowered the exclusion for capital gains income to 30 percent from 60 percent. These changes are expected to generate approximately $280 million for Wisconsin in the state’s 2010 fiscal year.

“Other states across the country are facing similar challenges as a result of this recession,” Fludd said. “31 states had tax increases in 2009 and six more are looking at increases in 2010.”

Fludd represents the citizens of District 66, which includes portions of Fayette and Fulton Counties. He was elected into the House of Representatives in 2002, and currently serves on the Banks & Banking, Regulated Industries, and Ways & Means Committees.

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Submitted by FayetteFlyer on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 9:51am.

a temporary income tax. If this passes just call it what it is, a rise in the income tax.

Submitted by kevin king on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 7:48am.

This is an awfully vocal one percent. And when should we start cutting back state, county, and municipal services? Which services should be cut? What are some solutions for balancing city, county, and state budgets? Tax cuts gonna do it? I sure know something has to change, but no one wants to lose services and everyone wants a tax cut while balancing a budget. I don't think that is mathematically possible. Most folks feel that State's Rights should prevail over Federal mandates. Well, what can a bankrupt state government actually do? Give the National Guardsmen IOUs?


Submitted by Spyglass on Wed, 02/24/2010 - 11:19am.

if they wanted to pass a law to have all red heads be forced to live north of the Mason Dixon Line.

You're line of thinking is flat out brilliant.

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 8:51am.

How many are affected? If you are not affected, then quit complaining. Targeted taxation to me is an injustice. I see it as a failure of equal protection under the law.
The US was not affected by apartheid, but enough people worldwide fought to force change.
Kitty Genovese's murder was because unaffected people did nothing.

It is a slippery slope argument, but so is your censure

Submitted by kevin king on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 10:21am.

Sum up my complaint. I did not know I had one. Thought I asked what solutions to budget problems are available. Guess you don't have one to offer either.


The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 10:46am.

"all these people complaining about this, they have no answers, most are unaffected, therefore ST#U" Do you really want to know of my solutions? Let me sum it up in a way that a liberal can truly understand. Prioritize and cut services. We do not have a federal, or state constitutional mandate to take care of everybody and their problems. Take money and the spreading of it around from governments and you will kill the lobby industry. Treat everyone equally and fairly by law. Do not have an expectation that people will have equal outcomes. Even in one's own family, children born of the same parents do not have the same intelligence, motivation, or personality. Retool our education system to expect people to work hard and have hard jobs. Revitalize our trade schools. Stop funding of things such as community outreach, science for the sake of science without a commerical use or private funding, Foreign aid, and the like. Eliminate the unionization of governmental jobs. As DM states, the government is made up of the US people. Why does a government bureacrat or administrator need a union to represent them? They will never become efficient if their number one priority is to maintain their employment rolls.
I can go on and on. My point is that I have solutions that you do not care for. You would prefer to enforce equal outcomes, and not recognize that it forces down achievement and prosperity everywhere.

Submitted by kevin king on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 4:30pm.

Thanks. By the way, would you now write them in a way a conservative will understand, or do they need it scribbled on your palm Eye-wink ?


ps: You've never heard me say I prefer equal outcomes for everyone, so I guess I don't need u to speak for me on this one.

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 4:38pm.

Ha Ha. thanks for that one. I like a well thought dig and that was good and well received.
I must have your previous posts aligned with someone else- I will stick to your thoughts expressed on your posts-i sincerely regret ascribing a belief that you don't have. You can chalk me up to constitutionalist/conservative and I will try to figure where you all out. Spell it out if you will. What role do you expect the government to play in your life?

Submitted by kevin king on Wed, 02/24/2010 - 2:46am.

Lost wallet, no ID, law enforcement, flat tire, and more unmentionable strife.

I'm beginning to think one of my republican adversaries is a voodoo priest.

Roll of government. This might seem cheesy, but here is the Preamble of the Constitution from my memory, so there may be minor discrepancies:

We the people, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, support the general welfare, secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish The Constitution of The United States of America.

1. Prevent secession. Maintain the Union of States.
2. Protect and maintain our justice system complete with habeus corpus and free from torture of accused.
3. Provide officers of the peace for that domestic tranquility thing.
4. Recruit, equip, train, and deploy the most kick buttest military on planet Earth.
5. Support the general welfare of legal citizens and visitors (tourists, visa holders) with basic healthcare, clean air, clean water, safe roads, etc.
6. keep us free from enemies foreign and domestic (blessings of liberty).

That sums it up. No wasteful spending. No letting people languish in the street injured or hungry if reasonably preventable.

All of these take efforts of able bodied citizens. We all have a part in the play.


time to find a tire guy.


Submitted by AtHomeGym on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 8:51am.

voted for the "Go Fish GA" program last year, where the Legislature appropriated $19 Million to build new ramps and a central office/building--all in the face of an impending budget shortfall. Ridiculous in my view.

Mike King's picture
Submitted by Mike King on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 8:11am.

Cannot speak for you, but my household is not among the 'one percenters.' Could it be that they (one percenters) have taken this tax hike to heart and hired a few extra bloggers to rant and rave for them?

Why not take a hard look at creating an environment conducive to business growth by listening to those in the corporate world? It's clear that a combination of personal tax increases (income, property, sales, etc), a fiscally responsible three tiered (local, state and federal) government, and a productivity oriented national business climate will be required to turn this economy around. If state or federal mandates are the problem, ignore them. That way we can see for ourselves where the loyalties of National Guardsmen lie. Perhaps then these elitists will understand that there is a serious problem outside the capital walls.

Besides, if they're paid with IOU's, they likely will just go fishing.

Submitted by kevin king on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 8:29am.


You and I have to be accountable to the IRS and Georgia for our share of the giving, while it seems the Fed and The State are woefully inadequate at accounting for the money we are forced to pay in. It does make you mad; not one takeoff/ no landing mad, but mad. We need a political super hero to clean up government waste, but the federal and state halls of legislature are laced with kryptonite it seems. Have a good one!


Submitted by BillyD on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 6:53am.

Typical idea from someone who does not have a clue of the real world. Business if tuff out there. Many businesses are just barely hanging on. One more straw and the back is broken. And what are the chances that it would really be a temporary tax. Once they get that hand in your pocket it is hard to get it out.

Submitted by justacitizen on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 5:55am.

Stop spending and punishing those who succeed. You lost my vote

Submitted by sevets2000 on Mon, 02/22/2010 - 6:21pm.

Generally, those with incomes at the levels referenced in this article are small business owners whose business income is reported on their individual tax return; these are precisely the taxpayers who need a lesser tax burden right now, not more. These small businesses provide the majority of jobs in Georgia and in the country; lower taxes incentivize hiring and expansion - more taxes result in less employment and a prolonging of any economic downturn. In short, this new tax idea is a real dud!

Submitted by Howard Beale on Mon, 02/22/2010 - 10:12pm.

So, what you're saying is that people generally earning under Fludd's generous $200,000 cap each year are small business owners filing their businesses under personal tax codes... If that's true, it means that many of Georgia's small business owners are complete morons in that they fail to incorporate and have no clue when it comes to filing taxes... It also means they're filing illegally, unless the small business has just one employee...

Georgia has some of the most generous (i.e. low tax) small business laws in the nation. As long as your own (i.e., the business owner) income does not exceed $200,000 (and that's if you're single), you will not be affected by this proposal.

Take a moment to enter the real world before spouting this kind of misinformation...

As for your second point (which comes after your false cause and false conclusion), the middle and lower classes already had their taxes raised by Georgia last year. My homeowner's exemption vanished, thanks to the state's Republican leadership. My property tax bill in Fayette nearly doubled even though my local commissioners actually lowered their rate (the school board raised theirs, but with the commissioners' break, it still would have been lower than 2008 -- had the state's ruling party not intervened).

Rep. Fludd's proposal is long overdue, even if it has no chance of passing in today's grossly corrupt general assembly.

Before running your mouth, consider learning the facts.

And for the record, I voted for Romney in the primary, McCain in the general and I've been a conservative since Goldwater.

Submitted by skyspy on Mon, 02/22/2010 - 5:37pm.

Hey fludd how about you cut off all money given to the illegals and the welfare queens first.

Cut the budget first then talk to me about how you want more of my money.

Submitted by renault314 on Mon, 02/22/2010 - 3:29pm.

Oh, another Dem who wants to raise taxes instead of reining in wasteful pork spending. Who could have seen this coming. What a sad cliched parody of the entire Democratic party. Mr. Fludd obviously has no concept of what it takes to create buisinesses and grow jobs in this state, or anywhere else. Notice the red herring he throws in there too, infering that unless this tax increase is passed the only alternative will be "laying off teachers or eliminating important programs." As if there were no other choices, like cutting taxes accross the board, watching people spend more money and having people go back to work.

Submitted by Lifes Snot Fare on Mon, 02/22/2010 - 2:58pm.

Wow, Fludd is jumping right on the Washington bandwagon of punishing the evil rich. He's making sure to put the "temporary" tax far enough out of the range of most people's current income that it will seem insignificant and harmless. It is neither. In the first place, there has never been a truly temporary tax, just look at the toll booths on Ga 400. Second, the success of this tax will bring more taxes just like it. Finally, this tax is going to hurt everyone who works for a living. That money has to come from somewhere and that is going to be through cost savings at the expense of current jobs. They have yet to realize that every tax dollar is created by someone's efforts. Fludd points out that Georgia hasn't adjusted income tax rates in 70 years, but it did not become necessary until Washington's out of control spending and vapid need for increased spending on give-away projects to push through their weak and unwanted programs. Beware the next election, Mr. Fludd, we voters have long memories.

Submitted by Spyglass on Mon, 02/22/2010 - 2:50pm.

Why not just raise it by 50%, Mr. Fludd?

It took the entire state of Georgia to get into this mess, and everyone should have a part in our getting out. Your wealth envy needs to be checked at the door.

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Mon, 02/22/2010 - 3:02pm.

How transparent Elmer.

In reality, spyglass, the people still making over $200,000 (or $400,000 per couple) probably had less to do with the mess we are in than the middle class Fludd is pandering to. At least those that still make that kind of money are producing something and are achievers. Achievers in small business hire people and create jobs.

Got an idea Mr. Fludd. Why don't you call up your pal in Washington that seems to have such a handle on this "jobs created" and "jobs saved" thing and see if he can give you some guidance on "jobs to be lost" if your stupid and childish wealth-envy idea were actually passed. And those "jobs lost" won't be paying $200,000 - instead the "jobs lost" will be your middle class voting people earning $30-40k. Try to think things through before you propose things. You need replacing.

S. Lindsey's picture
Submitted by S. Lindsey on Mon, 02/22/2010 - 4:36pm.

Tax and spend, Class Warfare, wealth ENVY and entitlement mentality.

You can read some of the same ideas right here in these blogs..

The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them. ~~Patrick Henry
"Illegitimus non Corborundum"

Submitted by Howard Beale on Mon, 02/22/2010 - 9:50pm.

Just to make sure, it is still the same bunch of talk-radio-loving wahoos on this website who gave Georgia's Republicans a free pass last year after they rolled back our homestead exemption, resulting in a massive property tax hike all across Georgia, who are jumping all over Rep. Fludd for proposing a short term solution to our state's enormous budget quagmire, right?

(you remember, our property tax doubled... because Sonny and company did away with a tax break King Roy and the Dems gave us in 1999)

If there's anything the Tea Party movement has taught us, it is this: the ruling party must be humbled. On the national level, vote out the ruling party. On the state level, sing the same refrain: vote out the ruling party. Rep. Fludd's extremely gutsy proposal (which will never pass in this General Assembly) shows us that what we've seen on the national level rings true here in the Peach state: namely, only the minority party is willing to step up to the table and propose to make the tough decisions.

Virgil's bill stands a snowball's chance in Atlanta, but I for one salute my representative for having the guts to put his name on the line to at least start the search for an answer to our problems.

Those of you who approve of more education cuts better get your bags packed for Pike County. As more and more state education funding dries up, Fayette ceases to be the "special" neighbor and starts to look more and more like the neighboring areas (South Fulton, Spalding and Clayton.

Turn Gallagher/Boortz/Limbaugh/Beck/Cain off for a second and wake up!

Fayette is what it is because of excellent local government, which needs funding from the state to survive.

It's an absolute travesty that the Republicans rolled back our homeowners exemption before taking up this precise fight Rep. Fludd is championing now.

Submitted by Davids mom on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 1:12pm.

Not those who earn over $200,000. Just those who are stuck on 'NO NEW TAXES'! It's the same on the national level. Sad.

Submitted by renault314 on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 8:10am.

Since when has anybody EVER associated a politician proposing to tax and spend other peoples money as having guts? 'Till now I mean. Guts would be admitting that they have been wasteful with taxpayer money for decades and are so addicted to pork and pet projects that when it comes time to stop, like any other addict, they dont know where to begin. So instead of admitiing they have a problem and hitting a 12 step at the local church, they 1) claim that its not their fault 2) get defensive (they dont have a problem YOU do) 3) insist that they can stop any time 4) go through your wallet to get another fix
And you contradict yourself mightily here, bub. If rolling back low property taxes and therefore increasing those taxes is a mistake, then how can increasing income tax be a good idea. You have to choose, either you want high taxes or you dont. Either you want a government that thinks it knows better than you how to spend your money or you dont. Unless your one of "those" types whio likes low taxes on himself but high taxes on anybody making more than you.

maximus's picture
Submitted by maximus on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 7:42am.

I for one salute my representative for having the guts to put his name on the line to at least start the search for an answer to our problems. Howard.

It takes a lot of "guts" for these people to propose raising taxes instead of actually doing some work and cutting a little bit of their wasteful spending and give away programs.

Turn Olberman off and think for yourself, Howard.

Submitted by kevin king on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 7:54am.

And after reading your contribution to the board of post-it note ideas, I still don't see a solution to budget shortfalls?

What are the programs that you would eliminate? What state and city employees would you give pink slips? Will you provide unemployment for them, or is that another give away? And who ends up doing the jobs that those we trim from the budget did? I just don't see an easy answer, but far be it from me to suggest a millionaire contribute another copper penny. Tough times ahead for all, mate.

Cheers, and you still win the coolest and most enduring avatar award!


Submitted by Spyglass on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 11:54am.

I have had to do it in my business....the State could do the same. Frankly, I don't know if that is enough. Raising taxes on the very folks that provide jobs is certainly not the way to handle this situation.

S. Lindsey's picture
Submitted by S. Lindsey on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 9:03am.

Nope the Wealthy obviously do not pay their fair share.. I say make it a 100% Tax.. That surely will FIX everything.

The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them. ~~Patrick Henry
"Illegitimus non Corborundum"

Submitted by kevin king on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 10:35am.

"There is a reason why they call rich people rich. It's because they are rich."

Mr. Buffett compiled a data sheet of the men and women who work in his office. He had each of them make a fraction; the numerator was how much they paid in federal income tax and in payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare, and the denominator was their taxable income. The people in his office were mostly secretaries and clerks, though not all.

It turned out that Mr. Buffett, with immense income from dividends and capital gains, paid far, far less as a fraction of his income than the secretaries or the clerks or anyone else in his office. Further, in conversation it came up that Mr. Buffett doesn’t use any tax planning at all. He just pays as the Internal Revenue Code requires. “How can this be fair?” he asked of how little he pays relative to his employees. “How can this be right?”

"It makes since to tax the rich. That's where the money is."

Just a different perspective.

I'm always amazed to watch middle class folks like myself argue on behalf of the mega wealthy, as if that group is powerless and without representation.


Submitted by Spyglass on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 1:17pm.

are mainly the group that start companies, small business's etc., and get this, actually HIRE people. Without them, we have no middle class.

In my humble opinion, they need all the defending they can get.

maximus's picture
Submitted by maximus on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 12:48pm.

...for the fair/flat tax.

maximus's picture
Submitted by maximus on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 8:57am.

I know it has zero to do with Olberman. That was just in response to Howard's tired, idiotic comment that anyone opposed to more taxes needs to "Turn Gallagher/Boortz/Limbaugh/Beck/Cain off for a second and wake up!".

And I usually prefer "post-it note" responses here since Milton Friedman himself could give a lecture on economics and government that would just get the same response..."Turn Gallagher/Boortz/Limbaugh/Beck/Cain off for a second and wake up!".

But since you asked...One thing that should have been cut before teacher pay is the obscene number, and pay, of school system administrators at the state and county level. That won't happen though because they're politically connected which is how they get the job in the first place (or why the job is created for them in the first place).

"...but far be it from me to suggest a millionaire contribute another copper penny"

You really don't believe that only millionaires would be affected, do you? It wouldn't be temporary and it wouldn't be limited to millionaires. It would directly or indirectly affect everyone - the direct tax being on Delta's best customers and the job creators of the state.


Submitted by kevin king on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 10:26am.

Ideas, intellect, and without the profanity!

D*mn you're a good guy!


maximus's picture
Submitted by maximus on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 12:43pm.

You've seen enough of my posts to know I can get a little testy.

Submitted by Gort on Wed, 02/24/2010 - 7:11am.

The state could open its own bank. Borrow money from the Federal Reserve at the prevailing rate. Lend money to individuals and businesses within Georgia to earn profits. Whenever the state is faced with a budget shortfall, the Governor can tell the bank to declare a dividend and send the proceeds to the state treasury to make up the shortfall.

This is not my idea. I read about some bank in North or South Dakota doing this. I don’t know how our state is going to resolve the current budget gap but I sure hope they don’t cut the days in the school year on children.

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