James Salzer

James Salzer has covered state government and politics in Georgia since 1990.

Latest from James Salzer

Who has the highest salaries in Georgia schools and colleges


During debates on teacher pay and retirement benefits at the state Capitol each year, one of the most repeated lines is that educators don’t get into the profession for the money. 
They get into it because they love what they do, they say. And the money bit is certainly true for a vast majority of k-12 teachers and many...

Posted: 10 hours ago

During debates on teacher pay and retirement benefits at the state Capitol each year, one of the most repeated lines is that educators don’t get into the profession for the money.  They get into it because they love what they do, they say. And the money bit is certainly true for a vast majority of k-12 teachers and many...
Georgia ethics panel offers director job to Douglas County prosecutor
 The state ethics commission voted Monday to hire David Emadi, the chief assistant district attorney in Douglas County, as its new director. The panel’s top administrator quit about a month ago after staffers filed complaints saying he watched pornography at work and recommended sitting on campaign finance cases. Emadi, who also worked...

Posted: a day ago

The state ethics commission voted Monday to hire David Emadi, the chief assistant district attorney in Douglas County, as its new director. The panel’s top administrator quit about a month ago after staffers filed complaints saying he watched pornography at work and recommended sitting on campaign finance cases. Emadi, who also worked...
Georgia lawmakers, unhappy about chief’s bonus, may continue ARC cuts
 The executive director of the Atlanta Regional Commission was given a $30,000 bonus less than a year after lawmakers pulled 60 percent of the planning agency’s state funding when an audit said he misused his purchasing card, an Atlanta-Journal Constitution and Channel 2 Action News review found. Douglas Hooker, who was paid $244,000...

Posted: 4 days ago

The executive director of the Atlanta Regional Commission was given a $30,000 bonus less than a year after lawmakers pulled 60 percent of the planning agency’s state funding when an audit said he misused his purchasing card, an Atlanta-Journal Constitution and Channel 2 Action News review found. Douglas Hooker, who was paid $244,000...
Georgia bill would delay fundraising reports at key time for lawmakers
 The Thursday before the 2019 General Assembly session opened in January, the House Republican leaders’ political action committee held a fundraiser at the stately Capital City Club in downtown Atlanta, taking in about $168,000 from big-money businesses and lobbyists hoping to persuade lawmakers to give them tax breaks or help them smite...

Posted: 6 days ago

The Thursday before the 2019 General Assembly session opened in January, the House Republican leaders’ political action committee held a fundraiser at the stately Capital City Club in downtown Atlanta, taking in about $168,000 from big-money businesses and lobbyists hoping to persuade lawmakers to give them tax breaks or help them smite...
Georgia tax collections up in February for first time in four months
 Georgia tax collections were up in February for the first time in four months, but they remain below what the state needs to meet its fiscal 2019 budget. Overall collections were up 5.5 percent from February 2018, with the income tax take down again — this time by 1.5 percent — and sales taxes up 4.1 percent. Most of the...

Posted: 8 days ago

Georgia tax collections were up in February for the first time in four months, but they remain below what the state needs to meet its fiscal 2019 budget. Overall collections were up 5.5 percent from February 2018, with the income tax take down again — this time by 1.5 percent — and sales taxes up 4.1 percent. Most of the...
Georgia’s used- and new-car dealers reach deal to settle tax fight
 It’s not over quite yet, but after years of very public spats at the state Capitol, lawmakers and lobbyists for auto dealers say they have come to an agreement on legislation that would reduce taxes for Georgians who buy new cars. At the same time, the deal will mean higher taxes for some used-car buyers. The House this week easily...

Posted: 13 days ago

It’s not over quite yet, but after years of very public spats at the state Capitol, lawmakers and lobbyists for auto dealers say they have come to an agreement on legislation that would reduce taxes for Georgians who buy new cars. At the same time, the deal will mean higher taxes for some used-car buyers. The House this week easily...
Georgia House backs jet-fuel tax break for Delta, other airlines
 The Georgia House overwhelmingly backed legislation Tuesday to exempt air carriers such as Delta Air Lines from paying state taxes on jet fuel, saving them tens of millions of dollars each year. The 140-25 vote for House Bill 447 was not a surprise, since it was backed by Gov. Brian Kemp and a similar tax break measure won the chamber&rsquo...

Posted: 14 days ago

The Georgia House overwhelmingly backed legislation Tuesday to exempt air carriers such as Delta Air Lines from paying state taxes on jet fuel, saving them tens of millions of dollars each year. The 140-25 vote for House Bill 447 was not a surprise, since it was backed by Gov. Brian Kemp and a similar tax break measure won the chamber&rsquo...
Georgia House backs sales taxes for customers of Uber, Airbnb, others
 The Georgia House passed two bills targeting internet-based businesses this week that would mean big money for the state, and they could bump up the tab for Georgians who use ride-share and short-term housing rental services. The sponsor of both bills, House Ways and Means Chairman Brett Harrell, R-Snellville, said the legislation, in...

Posted: 14 days ago

The Georgia House passed two bills targeting internet-based businesses this week that would mean big money for the state, and they could bump up the tab for Georgians who use ride-share and short-term housing rental services. The sponsor of both bills, House Ways and Means Chairman Brett Harrell, R-Snellville, said the legislation, in...
Georgia Senate backs analysis of proposed tax breaks ahead of vote
 The Georgia Senate approved legislation Monday that would mandate that the state do an economic analysis of any new special-interest tax break before the General Assembly votes on it. The measure, Senate Bill 119, was paired with Senate Bill 120, which passed last week and would mandate a similar review of tax breaks before they...

Posted: 15 days ago

The Georgia Senate approved legislation Monday that would mandate that the state do an economic analysis of any new special-interest tax break before the General Assembly votes on it. The measure, Senate Bill 119, was paired with Senate Bill 120, which passed last week and would mandate a similar review of tax breaks before they...
Deputy chief, eight others finalists to lead Georgia ethics agency
 Nine finalists have been named as potential replacements for Stefan Ritter, who resigned last month as director of the state ethics commission after complaints were filed saying he watched pornography at work and told staffers to sit on potential campaign finance violations of city hall and gubernatorial candidates. Among the finalists is...

Posted: 19 days ago

Nine finalists have been named as potential replacements for Stefan Ritter, who resigned last month as director of the state ethics commission after complaints were filed saying he watched pornography at work and told staffers to sit on potential campaign finance violations of city hall and gubernatorial candidates. Among the finalists is...
Tax break for airlines like Delta experiencing no turbulence this time
 The latest legislation to exempt air carries such as Delta Air Lines from paying state taxes on jet fuel is zooming through the General Assembly. Less than a week after the bill was filed, it passed its first test, winning the approval of the House Ways and Means Committee. It is expected to get through the full House in the coming days....

Posted: 20 days ago

The latest legislation to exempt air carries such as Delta Air Lines from paying state taxes on jet fuel is zooming through the General Assembly. Less than a week after the bill was filed, it passed its first test, winning the approval of the House Ways and Means Committee. It is expected to get through the full House in the coming days....