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Ga. Capitol news: House GOP leadership seeks $1 billion income tax cut

Georgia state Capitol
Georgia state Capitol(Gray)
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 10:56 AM EST
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ATLANTA - Georgia House Speaker David Ralston is proposing a $1 billion tax cut.

Ralston and other House Republican leaders on Tuesday unveiled a plan to create a flat state income tax with a 5.25% tax rate.

It would also raise the amount of income exempt from taxation and eliminate many deductions.

The changes would begin in 2024, meaning most taxpayers would see no difference until they file their taxes in 2025.

Georgia’s top income tax rate is now 5.75%. Some Republicans propose to entirely abolish the state income tax. Ralston rejects that move, saying it would create a “catastrophic” budget hole.

Currently, for singles, the exemption is $5,400 and will increase to $12,000. As for married couples, the standard exemption is currently $7,100 and is set to increase to $24,000.

Families won’t be taxed on their first $30,000 of income in Georgia if this passes as expected.

Senate seeks stricter access to abortion pills

ATLANTA - The Georgia state Senate has passed a bill to require a woman to get an in-person exam from a physician before the doctor could prescribe her abortion pills.

Senators voted 31-22 for the bill, sending it to the House for more debate.

The measure is part of a nationwide push by anti-abortion groups to keep physicians from prescribing abortion pills by telemedicine.

It comes a couple of months after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ended a requirement for women to pick up the medication in person.

Proponents say drug-induced abortion can lead to complications. Opponents say an in-person exam isn’t necessary and that the bill would narrow abortion access.

Voters could decide on legalizing horse race betting

ATLANTA - Georgia voters could get a chance to legalize gambling on horse racing after a Senate committee on Wednesday passed a constitutional amendment.

But the fate of the legislation remains uncertain.

The Senate Regulated Industries Committee did not act on an accompanying bill that would allow up to five horse racing tracks with gambling anywhere in the state.

Republican Committee Chairman Bill Cowsert of Athens pledges a vote on the accompanying bill in coming days.

Some Georgia lawmakers typically attempt to expand gambling every year in the General Assembly. But none have been successful since voters approved a state lottery in 1992.

From reports by CBS46 and The Associated Press