With the economy strong, state of Georgia headed for a record tax surplus

The numbers show that Kemp will have a huge surplus in his 2022 re-election year. That will give him money to spend on the teacher salary increases he promised on his first run in 2018 and possibly fund the kind of tax cuts GOP candidates traditionally like to run on.

In addition to the blessing on government tax collections, Georgia also receives $ 4.7 billion or something from the federal government’s latest COVID-19 aid plan.

The taxes the state collects help it raise 2 million children, provide health care to more than 2 million Georgians, manage and improve parks, investigate crimes and detain criminals, and regulate insurance companies, utilities and dozens of professions . The state issues driving licenses and helps finance elderly care.

The state is a major provider of mental health treatments and drug addiction, and is helping to fund public health programs to fight the pandemic. In addition to paying salaries, it helps ensure that hundreds of thousands of retired teachers, university and government employees receive pensions and health care.

The General Assembly cut the budget by 10% in June 2020 because she feared that tax revenues would collapse. That didn’t happen and Kemp last month signed a new state budget for Fiscal Year 2022 starting July 1, which replenishes 60% of cuts in education and most government agencies, provides targeted increases, and raises more than $ 1 billion for construction projects.

Georgia isn’t the only state with rising tax revenues right now. Governors across the country are trying to figure out what to do with the large surpluses and federal willingness to help.

In California, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a second round of $ 600 government stimulus checks in May to help accelerate the state’s recovery. The plan to pay millions of Californians $ 8 billion in cash was part of a $ 100 billion proposal made possible in part by a budget that has tax revenues, a surplus raised by the governor It was estimated at $ 75.7 billion.

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