The state’s calculations put the savings at a much more modest $78 million over four years.
Watch: What's in Gov. Deal's new budget?
The Georgia Senate approved legislation last year to cut the top tax rate from 6 percent to 5.4 percent, and Republicans have long pushed for a lower flat income tax.
“It seems like it’s always been talked about,” said Jay Morgan, a longtime GOP activist and lobbyist. “It’s one of those bumper-sticker issues people want to be associated with, particularly people who might want to run for higher office.”
When asked how it will do in the Senate, state Sen. Hunter Hill, R-Atlanta, the chamber's Finance Committee vice chairman, said, "I would think it has a good chance."
Hill said he’d like to see some changes made in the section dealing with low-income working families.
Wesley Tharpe, the research director of the Budget and Policy Institute, said his organization has long supported the low-income tax credit for poor Georgians.
But he added, “The flat tax that is the core of the bill is a big defect.
“Flat taxes inherently lead to higher income tax bills for low- and moderate-income people because they are paying a higher rate,” Tharpe said.
Kelly McCutchen, the president of the conservative Georgia Public Policy Foundation and a longtime proponent of the change, said the bill’s chances in the the Senate should be “outstanding.”
“Usually the push for this has come from the Senate,” McCutchen said. “I would think the chances of getting tax reform this year are the best I have seen in a decade.”
McCutchen called House Bill 329 "pro-growth tax reform."
Tharpe’s group says the “growth” would be in the wallets of Georgia’s top earners. Those Georgians also currently pay the most in state income taxes.
The institute estimates that taxpayers who make at least $536,000 a year would claim 37 percent of the tax cut — each receiving about $2,575 per year.
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