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Georgia House passes three tax relief measures

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(The Center Square) — The state House passed three bills Thursday that they say will provide “major tax relief.”

House Bill 1015 would accelerate the state’s income tax cut from 5.75% to 5.39%. HB 1019 would double the homestead exemption, raising it to $4,000, and HB 1021 would increase the child tax deduction to $4,000 from $3,000.

Lawmakers passed all three bills unanimously.

“Cutting taxes and returning more money to taxpayers continues to be a priority for the Georgia House of Representatives, and today’s passage of HB 1015, HB 1019, and HB 1021 will help return over a billion dollars to Georgia families, homeowners, and taxpayers alike,” Speaker of the House Jon Burns, R-Newington, said in a statement. “These priorities will deliver significant relief to taxpayers across the state, put more money back into their pockets, and continue to boost our economy as the best state in the country to live, work and raise a family — and I look forward to quick passage by the Senate and signature by Governor [Brian] Kemp.”

Lawmakers are poised to consider additional tax relief bills, including measures to add sunset provisions to exemptions and credits under $1 million, state Rep. Shaw Blackmon, R-Bonaire, said during a press conference. Another proposal would suspend tax exemptions for high-tech data centers, which Burns said “use a disproportionate amount of our state’s energy.”

“Georgians deserve to have transparency and a clear picture of how their taxpayer dollars are being spent, while knowing which industries receive tax breaks and in what amounts,” Lt. Governor Burt Jones, a Republican, said in a statement.

Another measure, HB 1180, would cap Georgia’s film tax credit at 2.5% of the governor’s revenue estimate for the fiscal year. It also mandates that productions meet four of nine measures to qualify for a 10% tax credit in addition to the 20% base credit.

The measures include incurring at least $30 million in production expenditures in the state, using crews with at least half of its members being Georgia residents or spending at least half of a production’s “photography days” in a rural county.

Additionally, the state Senate recently passed Senate Bill 366, the Tax Expenditures Transparency Act of 2024. Proponents said the measure would give more insight into the state’s budgeting process.

“These common-sense safeguards would keep hundreds of millions of Georgians’ tax dollars in-state, rather than flowing to enrich out-of-state corporations, while placing important guardrails to better manage the state’s largest tax credit program,” Georgia Budget and Policy Institute Senior Fiscal Analyst, Danny Kanso said in a statement.

“Along with the transparency and accountability measures proposed in SB 366, this announcement marks a strong step in making Georgia’s tax code more fair and accountable to its residents,” Kanso added. “GBPI commends the deliberative work of the Joint Tax Credit Review Panel and encourages the full General Assembly to support these reforms.”