The Georgia Legislature is considering sweeping changes on how the state taxes its citizens and its businesses.
The tax impacting everyone would be the first sales tax on food since the state eliminated it 16 years ago. That new 4-percent sales tax on food would, some say, be off-set by the proposed decrease in the personal state income tax from the current 6 percent to 3 percent.
While all the numbers being tossed around sounds like a big shell game — well, it might just be. Georgians would also see taxes at almost every turn — on haircuts, oil changes and a doubling of the state tax on cigarettes … as well as imposing new taxes on the purchase of items off the internet. Businesses would get several tax breaks to encourage hiring and to fuel a healthier state economy.
We think that prudent managing of the tax code is smart, but only if it doesn’t hit the millions of low- and middle-income taxpayers at a time when they just don’t need it. If it shifts a lot of the burden from business and industry to individual taxpayers, we think that’s just unfair.
The overall plan is currently being reviewed for changes and it’ll go before the full General Assembly for a vote. Call your state legislators and tell them what you think.
Finally: Vietnam Veterans Day
It’s taken 38 years, but this month the men and women who fought and also died in the Vietnam War are being honored.
The U.S. Senate passed a resolution that designates March 30 as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.”
58,000 Americans lost their lives in the war and the hundreds of thousands of soldiers did not receive the proper recognition when they returned home from the Vietnam War.
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, cosponsored the resolution designating the day honoring Vietnam veterans. March 30 marks the anniversary of the day that combat and combat support units withdrew completely from South Vietnam.
“The brave Americans who served our country in Vietnam deserve recognition and gratitude for their sacrifices,” said Isakson. “I honor our veterans every day, and I am pleased to cosponsor legislation that designates a special day to remember Vietnam veterans. I hope that citizens across the country will join me in commemorating ‘Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.’”
Georgians always have a high regard for our military members. But we can, and probably should, do more for our nation’s heroes. It is never too late to let these war heroes know that our community cares about them. On March 30, you can do just that.
Written by Jim Wilcox, general manager of WALB.