Thursday morning, the Georgia Senate approved a $140 million tax cut which would raise the minimum amount of money that someone could earn before starting to pay state income taxes.
House Bill 593 would raise the individual deduction from $4,600 to $5,400, while the standard deduction for a married couple filing jointly would rise from $6,000 to $7,100. The tax cut would save individual tax filers up to $43 a year, and married couples filing jointly up to $63. Senate Republicans argued that the measure, House Bill 593, would do Georgians a favor for being financially responsible during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“House Bill 593 is a tax cut for hard-working Georgians,” said State Sen. Larry Walker, R-Perry. “The larger government gets and the more tax we pay, the less liberty and individual freedom we have.”
Democrats opposed the bill, saying the $60 difference for married couples would be inconsequential.
“We currently have 7,000 people on our waiting list, disabled people, on our waiting list for community services to live in their communities,” said State Sen. Sally Harrell, D-Atlanta.
Democrats also argued that it would be better to create a state-earned income tax credit that would be better targeted at the working poor and provide them a significant cash boost, instead of spreading out a small amount of cash to richer people.
“Oh great, I get 60 bucks,” said State Sen. Elena Parent, D-Atlanta. “A lot of people aren’t going to notice that at all.”
The measure passed unanimously in the House.
If Governor Brian Kemp signs the bill into law, the tax cut will take effect on January 1, 2022.