For the first half of fiscal 2023, collections are up 6.5%, or $966.7 million, over the same period the previous year. Still, the governor’s budget office projected a decline in revenue this fiscal year when it released Kemp’s spending plan for the coming year.
The state has run big surpluses the past two years. After all the bills were paid and agencies returned leftover funds, the state’s surplus for fiscal 2022, which ended June 30, was about $6.6 billion, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in September.
The taxes the state collects help it educate 2 million children, provide health care to more than 2 million Georgians, manage and improve parks, investigate crimes and incarcerate criminals, and regulate insurance firms, utilities and dozens of professions. The state issues driver’s licenses and helps pay for nursing home care for the elderly.
The state is a major provider of treatment for mental health and drug addiction. Besides paying salaries, it helps make sure that hundreds of thousands of former teachers, university staffers and state employees receive pensions and health care.
State income tax collections have been on the rise since shortly after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, when Congress first passed massive spending on federal aid. Inflation has helped boost sales tax collections, with goods costing more and the taxes on them rising, and wages have also increased as unemployment hit record lows and businesses scrambled to fill job openings.
December tax collections
The state of Georgia’s tax collections for December, compared with December 2021:
- Individual income taxes: down 6.5%
- Corporate income taxes: Up 109%
- Net sales taxes: up 7.5%
- Motor fuels taxes: down 100%*
- Hotel/motel fees: up 5.7%
Source: Georgia Department of Revenue
* Gas tax collections were suspended for December 2022