Viewpoint: More taxes?

The Georgia Legislature is considering sweeping changes on how the state taxes its citizens and its businesses.

The tax impacting everyone would be the first sales tax on food since the state eliminated it 16 years ago. That new 4% sales tax on food would, some say, be off-set by the proposed decrease in the personal state income tax from the current 6%... to 3%.

While all the numbers being tossed around sounds like a big shell game -- well, it might just be. Georgians would also see taxes at almost every turn -- on haircuts, oil changes and a doubling of the state tax on cigarettes... as well as imposing new taxes on the purchase of items off the Internet. Businesses would get several tax breaks to encourage hiring and to fuel a healthier state economy.

We think that prudent managing of the tax code is smart... but only if it doesn't hit the millions of low and middle-income taxpayers at a time when they just don't need it. If it shifts a lot of the burden from business and industry... to individual taxpayers... we think that's just unfair.

The overall plan is currently being reviewed for changes and it'll go before the full General Assembly for a vote. Call your state legislators and tell them what you think.