Georgia’s mid-year budget will include tax rebates similar to 2022
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Addressing the public for the first time since signing the state’s mid-year budget, Governor Brian Kemp said the state’s multi-billion-dollar reserve will provide a cushion most states won’t enjoy during any unforeseen economic downturns.
“We have to be prepared for that day. Hope it never comes, but we have to be prepared,” said Kemp, speaking from the rotunda of the statehouse on Monday. “Because if that happens, that is when our citizens will need government services a lot more than they do right now.”
Kemp put his signature on the updated bill Friday. Like last year, it includes rebates for both income and property tax filers: $250 for people filing income taxes solo and $500 for couples filing jointly. Homeowners will also see around $500 on average on property tax rebates.
“Last year we returned over a billion dollars to the taxpayers of Georgia through a state income tax refund,” said Kemp. “This year, as you know, we are doing that again.”
The bill also includes money to fund more nurse training and to help paraprofessionals become certified teachers. Officials say $92 million was allotted to the state’s reinsurance program to lower healthcare premiums, and it also allocates $115 million to schools for upgrading safety, which works out to around $50,000 per Georgia school.
Kemp said the budget should send a message to federal lawmakers in Washington, D.C. as they weather their own budget negotiations.
“That you can hold the line on spending,” he said, “that you can use innovation to make government more efficient and streamlined, and that you do not have to raise taxes on people to do that.”
One area where Kemp and lawmakers didn’t see eye-to-eye, however, was on the state’s HOPE Scholarship. Kemp wanted it funded entirely, but lawmakers only got it to 95%.
“I stand in support of that, but this is a process that we’re going through,” said Kemp. “I know the General Assembly is continuing to have discussions on that and I’m going to continue to fight for my position, I think it’s the right thing to do.”
“The great thing about having a $6 billion surplus is we are allowed to fulfill a lot of needs,” said Lt. Gov Burt Jones. “But the bad part of having a $6 billion surplus is everybody thinks their needs will be met and we have to make the tough decisions in doing that.”
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