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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is tracking the money coming into Georgia from the $1.9 trillion federal stimulus package. Journalists from across the newsroom will document how the money is administered and spent, whether it accomplishes its goals and whether it creates any unintended consequences. It is part of our commitment to hold government accountable and show our readers how government action affects their lives. Our journalists work hard to be fair and will follow this complex story as it unfolds in the coming months and years.
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It is unclear whether the prohibition on tax cuts would apply to HB 593, but Kemp was angered by the provision and House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, wrote President Joe Biden, the treasury secretary and Georgia’s congressional delegation asking the federal government not to stop the measure.
The tax cut would be relatively small — less than $100 for a married couple filing jointly — but would cost the state $140 million a year.
Under the bill, the standard deduction for a single taxpayer would increase by $800, for a married couple filing a joint return, $1,100. Georgians who are over 65 or blind would get an additional $1,300 deduction.
Danny Kanso, a senior policy analyst for the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute think tank, said the state could be docked $200 million over the next two fiscal years by the federal government if it passed HB 593. Instead, he suggested the state make direct payments to Georgians, which the relief act allows.
But Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, said he’s heard conflicting arguments about whether that would happen, and his panel showed no interest in stopping the bill.
Staff writer Greg Bluestein contributed to this article.