Looking inside February’s numbers gives us reason to be optimistic as well as understanding that recovery continues to be slow. The largest category, individual income taxes also contains small businesses filing as individuals and so is a barometer of activity.
Of course this time of year, refunds are in season and that is a category to pay special attention to. Year to date, the number of refunds is down some 99,000 or about 7 percent. The amount of refunds is also down YTD, about $128,000 or about 12 percent.
The other important set of numbers in this category is the number and amount of tax payments. So far, the number of tax payments is up, by 40,000 or about 2.5 percent and the amount of payments are up $251,000, or about 4 percent.
The other large category, sales taxes, about one-third of revenues, is up 5.6 percent for the year. Inside the categories, food leads the way, up 15.4 percent; general merchandise, up 13.9 percent; retail trade, up 12.1 percent; utilities, up 10.7 percent; followed by automotive up 9.7 percent; miscellaneous services, up 9.1 percent; wholesale trade, up 9 percent; home furnishings, up 6.9 percent; and even manufacturing, up 5.4 percent. None were negative.
Corporate tax collections continue to be of concern, down for the year $117.5 million basically because refunds are up $100 million, or 70.4 percent, and payments are down $25.5 million.
Amended budget passed and signed
The Georgia Senate passed the amended FY 2012 budget this week. It totals $18.5 billion, which is a slight increase from the original FY 2012.
$10 million in new funds for rural economic development through the One Georgia program.
Fully funds the growth in the K-12 formula with $85.9 million.
Funds Charter System grants growth of $2.8 million.
Restores one-half of 1 percent provider cut to Medicaid and Peachcare.
In the Department of Health, $1.2 million to hold harmless counties losing funding under the new grant in the aid formula.
Transfers funds totaling $1.2 million for newborn screening for children at risk for developmental disabilities.
$250,000 to the Marcus Autism Center.
These are some of the increases found in the amended budget FY 2012, which included some $207 million in new funds.
Bills passed in the Senate
For a more complete list see http://www.senate.ga.gov/spo/en-US/UpperChamberReport.aspx
HB 110 -
HB 175 -Allows a local and charter school to share computer-based courses with students in other districts and charter schools. It is known as the "Online Clearinghouse Act."
HB 642 -This ends the State Personnel Administration and transfers certain functions to the Department of Administrative Services and the Commissioner of Administrative Services.
Expands GBI duties and responsibilities to include the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board and its employees on July 1, 2012.
HB 713 – HB 760 – If you would like additional information regarding a specific piece of legislation, you may access the Georgia General Assembly Web site at
HB 713 –Delays implementation requiring students to choose a career path by ninth grade. It includes reading, writing, and math requirements for those applying for technical colleges for high school students until 2013.
HB 760 –Capital Outlay - Ends the exceptional growth program, which distributed funds to elementary and secondary schools based on exceptional growth. The program had 50 systems in 2002 and this year there are only 18. Instead the program will be replaced by a maximum entitlement level for regular capital outlay.
If you would like additional information regarding a specific piece of legislation, you may access the Georgia General Assembly Web site at
I may be reached at
234 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334
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Or call toll-free at
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Or call toll-free at
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Reidsville office: (912) 557-3811