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Archive By Section - Opinion

Revenues negative for month -- what gives?

Just when we had grown accustomed to accelerated revenue growth (6.2 percent) for the year and the state was riding a wave of positive developments, and having passed budgets of over $26 billion, March revenues dropped in at minus 0.5 percent for the month. Individual Income Taxes were negative at -3.2 percent, Corporate Taxes at -16 percent, and other categories like Alcoholic Beverages, -2.4 percent, Title Ad Valorem Taxes at -17.9 percent and highway impact fees at -21.1 percent.

April 18, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion

Will the blue wave wash over Georgia?

The pundits say that a blue wave is coming in this year's elections.

April 18, 2018 | Tom Crawford | Opinion

Rural Georgia gets legislative attention, funding

The plight of Rural Georgia has been the subject of discussion from time to time over the years, but when preliminary population figures began to show how little many rural counties had grown in the past decade, attention again was focused on the problems facing the rural parts of the state. Last year the House of Representatives formed a Rural Development Council that traveled the state, listening to rural leaders outline their problems and the ideas they had for growth. At the same time, a Senate Study Committee was formed and had a number of meetings around the state highlighting ...

April 11, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion

Beware of political rhetoric on the campaign trail

Now that the legislative session has ended, the candidates are fanning out across the state as they run for statewide office or for another term in the General Assembly.

April 11, 2018 | Tom Crawford | Opinion

The end is in sight

As the 2018 Session of the General Assembly wound down, the Senate finished work on the FY 2019 General Budget and a conference committee was named by the House and Senate. Next week's Column will cover major elements of the completed FY 2019 General Budget.

March 30, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion

Miller left his mark on Georgia

Zell Bryan Miller, the late governor and senator from Georgia, was known throughout his political career by the nickname "Zig-Zag Zell." It was a moniker that was honestly acquired.

March 30, 2018 | Tom Crawford | Opinion

Gubernatorial candidates are mostly wealthy

Do you have to be wealthy to run for governor?

March 21, 2018 | Tom Crawford | Opinion

February revenues continue positive trend

The state's revenues grew 4.8% in February, continuing a positive trend as the state enters the tax refund season. Individual Income Taxes grew 5.4% as Corporate tax revenues were negative at -23.8%. Net Sales Taxes grew 9.2% while Title Ad Valorem Taxes were up 1.7%. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco tax receipts both grew at a 3.7% rate. Fuel tax revenues grew 1.03% for the month.

March 21, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion

Tax cut plan insures taxpayers keep all federal refunds

There has been a lot written about the federal tax cut and how some states might experience a windfall and wind up keeping part of taxpayers refunds as state taxes. Gov. Deal, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and Speaker David Ralston presented a tax cut plan this week that will pretty much insure any tax refund a taxpayer gets from the federal government will all go to the taxpayer.

February 28, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion

Did Deal just hand the governor's race to Cagle?

As Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, and House Speaker David Ralston faced the crowd at a capitol news conference last week, they were all grinning like Cheshire cats.

February 28, 2018 | Tom Crawford | Opinion

Legislators attack a sheriff -- how strange!

It was a sight you very seldom see at the General Assembly – legislators, including Speaker David Ralston, openly attacking a Georgia sheriff.

February 21, 2018 | Tom Crawford | Opinion

Stage legislature kicks into high gear

With both versions of the Amended FY 18 Budget passed and disagreements being worked out, both bodies began work in earnest on evaluating the Governor's FY 19 budget proposal. Legislative action kicked into high gear and substantive legislation began to work its way out of committees on both sides.

February 21, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion

Money isn't everything but it sure helps

Money isn't everything in politics. The candidate who raises the most cash isn't always going to be the candidate who gets the most votes.

February 14, 2018 | Tom Crawford | Opinion

First half of legislative session nearly over

sion approaches, committees began to consider some of the major legislation in both Houses and some important legislation reached each floor. The Amended Budget is nearing completion as the Senate version will be considered and differences will be worked out with the House. The House is hard at work considering the FY 2019 Budget.

February 14, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion

Washington curse strikes again

Washington, D.C. has put a curse on prominent Georgians who go there to work for Donald Trump.

February 09, 2018 | Tom Crawford | Opinion

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Articles by Section - Opinion

2018 a pivotal year for transportation in Georgia

Transportation events don't seem to happen every year, but when they do, their impact is huge. After a lot of conversation about transportation needs ...

June 20, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion

Revenues ending fiscal year with just a whimper

May's revenues report completes 11 months of the fiscal year and while the level of refunds going out of the treasury can affect the ...

June 13, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion

Land stewardship bill tops natural resources laws

There has always been an effort by private land conservation groups and the state to purchase land that all agree should be protected. Some examples ...

June 06, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion

Children's issues, funding take center stage

The Legislature sometimes is criticized for issues either not addressed or coming up with the wrong answers for those problems. I would beg to differ ...

May 30, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion

Georgia April state revenues edge upward

This week we take a look at State Revenues for April, a month usually marked by large amounts of refunds as taxpayers file returns.

May 23, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion

Let's worry about our own behavior

Most of us think of ourselves as relatively tough people, that we can take it as well as give it out. While I like to ...

May 16, 2018 | John Bressler | Opinion

Governor vetoes 21 pieces of legislation

Governor Deal released his list of 21 pieces of legislation he vetoed on the very last day he could do so. Here's a brief ...

May 16, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion

Do we take agriculture for granted in Georgia?

The arrival in grocery stores of delicious sweet Vidalia Onions in the last week or so only serves to remind us of our wonderful ability ...

May 10, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion

Education a winner in 2018

Whether you are interested in more funding for public education, a better deal for charter schools, scholarship funds for private schools or the future of ...

May 02, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion

Candidates run to the right in GOP primary

We've talked about the difficulty facing Democratic primary voters who must choose between two candidates for governor holding similar positions on basic issues important ...

May 02, 2018 | Tom Crawford | Opinion

Number of seniors growing faster than state population

Even though Georgia is a fast growing state, now the country's 8th most populated, the rate of senior citizens is growing even faster. According ...

April 25, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion

How do you choose between these two candidates?

When it comes to the issues that really move Democratic voters, it's hard to see any daylight between the two candidates fighting for the ...

April 25, 2018 | Tom Crawford | Opinion


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