Tax Day arrives every April, annually stirring a conversation about the benefits of taxes and their influence on the state economy. GBPI’s analysts break down Georgia tax policy to help the public better understand the fundamental value of taxes and the vital investments that result in the short and long run.

We jumped into a timely Twitter conversation on April 18, playing off the trending #TaxDay hashtag. The tweetstorm from our @GaBudget handle provided a fact-based case for the importance of taxes in Georgia and some documentation of ways tax-cutting measures in other states failed to deliver tangible results in promised job growth or economic improvement.

Tax cuts don’t benefit nearly as many businesses as advertised, and the small businesses that are often propped up as beneficiaries of tax cuts typically aren’t in position to create jobs. Only 2.7 percent of all personal income taxpayers nationwide are owners of bona fide small businesses with employees other than the owners.

Everyone can find value sitting through a 101 lecture now and then, especially on a topic as complicated as taxes. Here’s where we dive in to the heart of the matter.

There are recent examples of states implementing tax cuts only to find little gained in compared to the rest of the nation.

North Carolina is a key example in this scenario. The state continues to push for more tax cuts, yet the numbers offer little encouragement to support the argument.

With the majority of entrepreneurs choosing to continue working in a city they’re familiar with, it’s clear that local environment and connections weigh more than things like tax cuts.

Tax cuts are politically popular, but the other side of the ledger is often left out of the discussion. When you take a deeper look at the state budget, cutting taxes squeezes another area of the budget. The money has to come from somewhere.

North Carolina experienced slightly above average job growth since 2010. That’s part of the story. Looking at the full picture, other parts of the state budget took a corresponding hit due to tax cuts.  

Kansas’ gross state product declined 1.1 percent in 2015 vs. 2014. Also, personal income estimates showed a one-year growth rate of 2.4 percent in Kansas, which trailed the average of 2.7 percent for the region and 3.9 percent for the United States.

Louisiana is still reeling from past measures like these, as Nick Albares, Senior Policy Analyst for Louisiana Budget Project, noted in response to our tweetstorm.

Turning back to Georgia, GBPI sees opportunities to build a better future for the state.

The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute is working to build a more inclusive economy, and we believe taxes play an integral role in shaping the lives of all Georgians. We strive to bring you thought-provoking content, like this thread of tweets, to shine a light on paths that lead to all Georgians sharing in the state’s prosperity.

Along with keeping up with our website, be to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for daily discussion and insight.

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