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Friday, April 30, 2010 - 11:52am

Lawmakers Eliminate Tax Credit For Poor

This year's General Assembly is a wrap. State lawmakers closed the session last night by passing a bill that could sweep away a 20-year-old state tax credit for the poor.

The credit is for peole earning less than $20,000 a year.

The bill's supporters say, the poor don't pay state income taxes anyway and so, shouldn't get the credit.

House Speaker David Ralston, a Republican, defended the measure.

“I think it’s a very fair piece of legislation. As we move forward with what we’re having to do with the budget in state. We’ve had to look at all kinds ways of things we’ve just had to say no to," says Ralston

Opponents, though, assailed the bill as a threat to seniors. Minority leader DuBose Porter says, Georgia's poorest might not pay income taxes, but still pay sales taxes.

"This was established in 1988 when we passed the forth penny of sales tax," says Porter,"because the poorest still had to buy diapers and shoes and what this bill does is put this additional burden on working poor and poorest of Georgians."

The bill passed 40 to 9 in the Senate; 97-62 in the house.

The bill now goes to the Governor. Sonny Perdue hasn't yet said whether he'll sign the measure.


Susanna Capelouto

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