Georgia’s Kemp Receives B Grade for Fiscal and Tax Policies

by T.A. DeFeo


The Cato Institute gave Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp a B on its 2022 Fiscal Policy Report Card of governors, citing his tax cuts as a reason for the grade.

The libertarian think tank also gave Kemp, a Republican, a B on its 2020 report card. The analysis grades governors on their fiscal policies from a limited-government viewpoint; the higher the grade, the more a governor has cut taxes and spending.

According to Cato, Georgia’s General Fund spending grew by an average of 4.3% annually between 2019 and 2022, below the growth average for other states. Spending is expected to grow 1.1% in fiscal 2023, Cato said.

The group cited Kemp’s signing of House Bill 1437, which moves Georgia to a flat income tax. It merges six tax brackets into a single 5.49% tax rate in 2024, which will drop to 4.99% if the state meets revenue targets, Cato said.

Cato also cited the governor’s suspension of the gas tax and his approval of one-time tax rebates of $250 for single filers and $500 for married couples.

Cato gave five governors — all Republicans — an A. The group gave eight governors — all Democrats — an F.

Kemp is running for re-election and faces off against Democrat Stacey Abrams in a rematch of the 2018 election.

“We can tackle the long-ignored issues impacting Georgia’s families and children: Education, healthcare, housing, and the ability to earn a good living — all without raising a single dime in taxes,” Abrams said in a statement last week. “Our state has the resources and now we must elect a governor willing to do the right thing for all Georgians, so let’s get it done.”

In a statement last month, a Kemp campaign spokesman said Abrams’ plans would jeopardize the successes of Georgia.

“Under Governor Kemp, Georgia has seen unprecedented economic success, jobs, and opportunity despite the failures of Washington,” Tate Mitchell, press secretary for Kemp’s campaign, said.

Earlier this year, a WalletHub analysis ranked the Peach State in the middle of the pack regarding tax rates and found that Georgia trails several neighboring states.

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T.A. DeFeo is a contributor to The Center Square. 
Photo “Brian Kemp” by Governor Brian Kemp.




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