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Monday, March 18, 2013 - 2:00am

Senator Proposes Tax Shift

The Georgia legislature is considering a move to lower income taxes while increasing the sales tax.

Duluth State Senator David Shafer is supporting two constitutional amendments to change tax policy.

One resolution would require any increase in sales tax to reduce the income tax and the other would place a cap on the amount of state income tax.

John Hopkins University Sociologist Katherine Newman says an increased sales tax will take its greatest toll on those with lower income.

"It's really important for people to understand that maintaining a regressive taxation system has very serious consequences," says Newman. "Consequences that are financial, consequences that heavily sit on the well-being of the citizens of your state."

Other experts such as the Georgia Public Policy Foundation's Kelly McCutchen say the income tax is bad for the poor because it stifles business and new jobs.

"There's a long string of economic literature that says the income tax is one of the most damaging taxes to economic growth," says McCutchen. "You don't want to tax things that you want to encourage. Such as work, savings and investment."

Neither proposal is expected to pass this session.

Amendment backers are hoping to start a conversation that might lead to an eventual vote next year.