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Finally, some positive numbers
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Proposed maps for both the State Senate and House Reapportionment Committees are available online for the public to review. Here is the process:

Go to:

Click on “Joint Offices”

Click on “Reapportionment Office”

There are several types of maps available.

The Senate and House Reapportionment Committees will be considering these maps this week for a possible vote the week of Aug. 22-26.

While there will be active discussions concerning Congressional reapportionment during the first week, there likely will not be any committee consideration until the Senate and House have completed most of the steps in passing the respective House and Senate maps.

July revenues start off FY2012 strongly

The first month of FY2012 started off very well, showing a 7.3 percent increase with total revenues of $1.23 billion for July.

Individual income taxes include businesses that file as Subchapter S corporations and other individual filings. That category, usually about 50 percent of total revenues, totaled $656.5 million for the month, a whopping increase of 22 percent.

Sales tax collections, while up 4.6 percent overall, showed a net decline to the state of -1.1 percent after distributions were made to local governments. The difference for state collections was about $5 million less than July 2010.

Motor fuel tax collections showed a strong increase on sales taxes on fuel coming in at a 26.5 percent increase while excise tax collections showed a decrease of 14.6 percent, reflecting less fuel consumption with the rising prices. Fuel taxes collected totaled $85.6 million for the month.

Corporate tax collections were negative for the month by $43.0 million, totaling -$24.1 million for July versus an $18.9 million gain a year ago. This category, which showed a -2.0 percent drop in FY2011, continues to reflect the weakness in business activity and profitability. Because of carry forward losses, recovery in this category will probably lag other categories’ recoveries.

Tobacco tax collections were up for the month by $3.9 million or 42.3 percent while alcohol tax collections were down at a -12.1 percent rate.

Inside the numbers

The sharp increase in individual income taxes can be partially explained by a decrease in the number of individual refunds by 71.6 percent or -$91 million and an increase in individual withholding payments of $29 million, or 4.6 percent. Individual tax return payments, though, were down $3.5 million or -34.1 percent.

The decrease in state sales tax revenues for the month can best be explained by the increase of $38 million in local sales tax distribution over July 2010. Looking at sales tax categories, increases were shown by: automotive 2.0 percent; food 6.9 percent; general merchandise 3.2 percent; home furnishing 0.2 percent; retail trade 6.6 percent; utilities 7.4 percent; and wholesale trade 10.9 percent. Categories with decreases included: accommodations at -1.4 percent; construction -30.0 percent; and manufacturing -1.8 percent.

What lies ahead?

There is much to be concerned about as work begins on the FY2013 state budget amid the uncertainty at all levels of the economy and government. Since there are more questions than apparent answers, maybe a future column will dwell on the range of issues facing the state, country and in fact the world.

But one thing is clear; both the immediate and long-term future of Georgia is woven in the economic uncertainty facing the United States; and Georgia is affected by the decisions or lack of decisions coming out of Washington today and in the coming months.  

I may be reached at
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(404) 657-7094 (fax)
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Or call toll-free at
1-800-367-3334 day or night
Reidsville office: (912) 557-3811