Economic recovery is coming slowly for rural South Georgia. Many local governments there have made deep cuts in staff and services. And those communities say they're taking another hit...from tax cuts passed by state lawmakers two years ago.
Nearly $9 million has been collected in taxes from three regions that voted to approve a 10-year, one percent transportation sales tax last year. Georgia Department of Transportation Spokeswoman Karlene Barron said Thursday that more than $8.7 million was collected from the Central Savannah River, River Valley and Heart of Georgia-Altamaha regional commission districts. The regions span 46 of the state's 159 counties.
Delta Air Lines says Superstorm Sandy cut its revenue by $45 million last month as it was forced to cancel more than 3,500 flights. The Atlanta company, the world's second-largest airline after United, said its October profit was reduced by about $20 million.
A number of counties statewide have made, or are considering, significant hikes in property taxes to make up budget deficits. It’s become a last ditch option for local governments that have already cut spending to the bone. Tuesday night, local commissioners in the metro Atlanta counties of Clayton and Cobb narrowly approved property tax hikes. Other counties are considering raising property taxes, including Crisp and Stewart counties in southwest Georgia.
Tax collection are up. Governor Sonny Perdue announced Wednesday that net revenue collections for the month of October 2010 (FY11) totaled $1,233,073,000 compared to $1,140,090,000 for September 2009 (FY10), an increase of $92,983,000 or 8.2 percent.
Georgia's revenue collections were up a third straight month in August. The jump of 12.7 percent in collections is a bigger rise than even the two previous months: Georgia's revenue was up 4.7 percent in July and rose 3.8 percent in June -- over one year's time.