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Kemp signs measure to speed up Georgia’s income tax cut

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(The Center Square) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a series of tax bills Thursday, including a measure to speed up a decrease in the state’s personal income tax rate.

House Bill 1015 lowers the individual income tax rate from 5.49% to 5.39% for the tax years starting Jan. 1, 2024. It decreases the rate by 0.1% annually starting Jan. 1, 2025, until it reaches 4.99%.

“Georgians work hard to earn a living, and they should keep more of what they earn,” Tony West, state director of Americans for Prosperity-Georgia, told The Center Square via email. “Gov. Kemp should be applauded for spearheading this effort to accelerate the rate reductions that will provide much-needed tax relief.”

According to Georgia’s Office of Planning and Budget, Georgia taxpayers will pay roughly $1.1 billion less in taxes this year following the signing of HB 1015 and the 26 basis-points reduction via the earlier HB 1437. Georgia taxpayers will pay roughly $3 billion less in income taxes over the next decade.

“Accelerating the state income tax cuts will have a big impact on Main Street businesses. Inflation continues to drive up the cost of doing business in Georgia and throughout the country,” National Federation of Independent Business State Director Hunter Loggins said in a statement. “HB 1015 will allow small businesses to keep more of the money they bring in, enabling them to hold prices in check, grow their businesses, and hire more workers.”

Kemp also signed HB 581, which limits annual property tax increases; HB 1021, which increases the child tax deduction from $3,000 to $4,000; and HB 1023, which changes the business tax rate from 5.75% to match the individual income tax rate. The governor also signed Senate Bill 496, which expands the criteria for historic homes to qualify for historic rehabilitation tax credits and extends the sunset date for the credits from 2028 to 2030.

“As a result of conservative budgeting and our pro-growth, business friendly environment, billions of more dollars will now be kept in the pockets of hardworking Georgians rather than being devoted to creating more government bureaucracy and red tape,” Kemp said in a statement.

However, state Democrats seized on the bill signing to reinforce their call for a probe into a $1.1 billion contract to distribute debit cards to direct benefits recipients.

“We agree Georgians know how to spend their money better than Gov. Kemp, and because Georgians need to know what’s being spent and why, we continue to believe the governor’s $1.1 billion dollar cash-card scheme warrants further investigation,” Democratic Party of Georgia Communications Director Dave Hoffman told The Center Square via email.

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