Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Reinstate 4% State Sales Tax on Groceries!

UPDATE: AJC reports: "House Speaker Pro Tem Mark Burkhalter (R-Johns Creek) confirmed Tuesday that legislation to put the state’s 4 percent sales tax back on food is dead."

I want to blog about more than Georgia politics; however, the members of the Georgia Senate and House of Representatives are keeping my attention.

Representative Chuck Sims (pictured to the left) has sponsored HB 67, which would reinstate the 4% state sales tax on groceries. Too many Georgians are already hurting because of the economic crisis. Apparently, Representative Sims has no regard for them. Apparently, Representative Sims is not aware that many Georgian have to decide between paying bills, buying medications, and eating. Why make this worse? As my brother would say, I guess he's the kind of guy who would kick you in the balls when you're already down.

Besides being disappointed in Representative Sims, I am disappointed in the House Ways and Means Committee for giving HB 67 a favorable vote. Does the committee even have the best interest of Georgians in mind?

Yes, HB 67 does allow for Georgia income-tax filers to apply for a credit, every year, for the amount of state sales taxes they paid for groceries. I am sure Georgians will be excited and love to track a year's worth of grocery expenditures. I know I'd love nothing more than to become the receipt version of the cat lady. I should send Representative Sims a thank you card for looking out for us with this lovely part of the bill.

Alcohol sales do not tend to falter during hard economic times. In fact, alcohol sales often increase during hard economic times. Google it if you don't believe me. Why not propose an increase on alcohol sales? I am like the famed Gladys of The Ellen DeGeneres Show; I love Jesus, but I like to drink a little, and I would not mind an increase on the alcohol sales tax. Another idea with alcohol---our legislators could allow each county to decide whether or not there should be Sunday alcohol sales.

Another option to increase funds for the state is House Bill 39, which would increase the state tax on cigarettes. I think it seems logical to increase state taxes on alcohol and cigarettes before reinstating the sales tax on groceries. Don't you agree?

To Representative Sims: I guess you have never lived from pay check to pay check. You probably have never had to worry that you might not be able to feed your family. Four percent might not seem like a lot to you, but you need to realize the damage potential of 4%. Senator Sims, look out for all Georgians. Withdraw HB 67!

What can you do?
(1) Call Representative Chuck Sims at 404-656-3947 to demand he withdraw HB 67.

(2) Contact your House Representative to let him/her know you oppose HB 67.

(3) Contact the members of the House Ways and Means Committee via committee aid Lindsey Napier to express your frustration and disappointment of their favorable vote of HB 67. Email Lindsey Napier at lindsey.napier@house.ga.gov, or you can reach the committee via phone at 404-656-5103.

(4) Contact the House Ways and Means Committee to request support for HB 39. (Use the same way of communication as listed in #3.)

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