Recent tax reform attempts have so far been unsuccessful.
Although Georgia has a low-tax reputation—and despite state lawmakers’ repeated attempts to pass tax reform legislation in every General Assembly session in the past few years—the Tax Foundation’s latest ranking of state-by-state tax competitiveness showed a different story. According to the 2018 State Business Tax Climate Index, Georgia has only the 36th most competitive tax code structure in the nation.
The index analyzed states on their corporate tax, individual income tax, sales tax, unemployment insurance tax, and property tax rates. Here’s how Georgia stacked up:
- Overall rank: 36
- Corporate tax rank: 10
- Individual income tax rank: 42
- Sales tax rank: 28
- Unemployment insurance tax rank: 38
- Property tax rank: 23
The Peach State ranked 36th overall in 2017 as well, but improved by a few positions since 2016, when it ranked 39th.
Georgia’s General Assembly came close to approving tax reform legislation in the 2017 legislative session, but ultimately were not able to resolve the differences between two competing bills. The Index authors caution lawmakers to remember two rules when assessing tax changes: Taxes matter to business, and state tax changes (whether cuts or increases) do not happen in a vacuum.