ATHENS – (December 15, 2008) Sen. Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur) has recently been elected to serve as the 2009 chairman of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus (GLBC). Sen. Jones was elected during the caucus’ meeting last week at the Biennial Institute for Georgia Legislators held at the University of Georgia in Athens. He was elected by the caucus’ 50 plus members to serve a two-year term as chairman, beginning in January.
By State Sen. Greg Goggans
The Governor and the Department of Revenue recently released the revenue figures for November. On the positive side, the month-to-month comparisons between November of this year and November of last year (FY08) show that revenues were 1.4% higher.
In addition, the state has been making up ground over the last three months in terms of its annual revenues. In September, year-to-date (YTD) revenues were -2.61% below FY08 actual revenues, in October YTD revenues were -1.98% below FY08, and in November YTD revenues were -1.3% below FY08 revenues. In the summer budget writers were operating under the assumption that the state would be .9% below FY08 (a $1.6 billion deficit in FY09), so actually November revenues suggest that the state is approaching this target.
WOODSTOCK (December 15, 2008) – Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) today announced his annual 21st Senate District “Town Hall” meeting schedule for the upcoming 2009 General Assembly. He will be holding fourteen local meetings throughout the legislative session for constituents to receive updates and address issues and concerns.
By Sen. Chip Pearson
ATLANTA (December 15, 2008) – The housing market slump is a multifaceted issue and declines in this industry are affecting jobs, state and local taxes, property values as well as peripheral industries such as banking, local jobs, automotives and retail. Therefore, this week I convened a joint Economic Development Committee meeting at the Capitol to discuss the condition of Georgia’s housing industry.
Georgia is home to some of the largest building and construction companies in the country, including Home Depot, John Wieland Homes, Beazer Homes and Georgia Pacific. When the housing market declines, these companies are drastically affected this then hurts the local job market and family incomes of those employed in these industries. If family incomes decrease, then they aren’t spending as much on items such as clothing, cars, and food. This ripple effect is felt throughout local, state and national economies.
ATLANTA (December 11, 2008) – The Senate Local Sales Tax Collection Study Committee met with several city and county officials today at the Capitol to discuss outsourcing sales tax collections. Collecting local tax income in a more efficient manner could have a potentially enormous impact on local and state-wide revenue. State Sen. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) chairs the committee and supports the idea of local governments having the ability to choose their preferred method of tax collection and plans for legislation to be introduced next January based on committee findings.
“These meetings have given the committee a clear picture that the current tax collection system has serious flaws,” said Sen. Rogers. “The potential solution – giving city and county officials the option to choose the most effective way to collect sales taxes for themselves- will make for increased competition between the public and private sector for collection services and ultimately provide the accountability and efficiency that citizens and local businesses deserve for their tax dollars.”