Political Notes — Deal has bill introduced regarding federal tax windfall

[private]Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposal for handling the federal tax windfall coming Georgia’s way has been introduced in the form of HB 918.

“This legislation provides more flexibility and fairness to Georgians to decide what’s best for their families,” Deal said. “It will allow taxpayers to take full advantage of federal reforms while ensuring the fiscal health of our state long-term.”

The federal tax cut bill is projected to bring in $3.6 billion more in state revenues over the next five years in the form of higher state income tax payments by Georgians.

HB 918 would allow Georgia taxpayers to take the increased standard deduction at the federal level while providing flexibility to take either standard or itemized deductions at the state level.

The bill also increases the personal exemptions for individuals and married couples by 25 percent.

More money for dredging

Deal said he was “encouraged” by the $49 million included in the federal budget for the Savannah River dredging project.

“On top of President Trump’s budget, we are looking forward to investment from the Army Corps of Engineers work plan to supplement this amount,” Deal said.

The state has already spent $266 million on the harbor project and the FY 2019 budget includes another $35 million for the dredging.

Abrams on criminal justice

Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams rolled out her criminal justice platform Tuesday, which includes the elimination of money bail, the decriminalization of marijuana possession, and raising the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to 18 years.

“We cannot return to the tired, dated patterns of punishing and penalizing Georgians in a system that costs too much money and sets people up for permanent failure,” said Abrams, a Democratic candidate.”

“We must continue building upon bipartisan efforts to reform our criminal justice system by making sure every Georgian, regardless of income or wealth, has a fair chance,” Abrams said.

© 2018 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Nathan Deal , Savannah harbor , Stacey Abrams , state income tax