Overhauling the tax codes

Published 1:51 pm Friday, February 4, 2011

As retired senior citizen living in Decatur County on a fixed income, with no Social Security increase in the last two years, the story in The Post-Searchlight is frightening.

The proposals covered in the article will only make the gap between the “Have’s” and the “Have Not’s” grow even wider and may be the final straw to push many Senior Citizens into poverty.

The article said the council was charged with examining the tax structure and to look at how the tax laws could be revised so potential businesses and industry would be more attracted to locate in Georgia. I noticed that the council was composed of business leaders and politicians, but said nothing about the ordinary citizen or senior citizens.

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I know many senior citizens who have retired to South Georgia because of the cost of living and the tax structure. They brought their assets and incomes to Georgia with them, which in itself is an industry. The most disturbing parts of the proposal are, a single flat tax not to exceed 4 percent, eliminate all Georgia itemized deductions, standard deductions and personal exemptions, maintain parity of tax rates for corporations and individuals by taxing both at a rate no greater than 5 percent, and future reduction in corporate tax rate should match the personal income tax rate.

And all this on top of a recent enormous increase in property taxes while exempting large landowners. It appears from the proposal that the main thrust is to make the corporations and the rich, richer and the poor, poorer! Surely this can’t be serious.

There are many senior citizens who do not have enough income to pay Georgia income tax and if this bill goes through not only will they have to pay Georgia income tax, but their sales taxes will also go up. One of the fairest exemptions is the exemption of sales tax on food for home consumption and this bill even wants to eliminate that.

The report said that Georgia’s tax policy should foster strong economic growth, job creation, and a rising standard of living for all Georgians. This bill will do the opposite and place too much of an economic burden on those who can least afford it. I urge you to vote against this windfall for the most fortunate among us and the added burden to be placed on the least fortunate among us.

Passage of this bill and the economic chaos it will create among the senior citizens is unconscionable.

R.K. Pearce
Decatur County, Ga.