Instead of a predicted deficit, Georgia’s total revenue increased by $2.5 billion, according to a statement released by Governor Brian Kemp’s office.
Many state elected officials predicted significant budget shortfalls due to a partially-closed economy because of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.
“Year-to-date, net tax collections totaled $21.74 billion for an increase of nearly $2.51 billion, or 13.1 percent, compared to the previous fiscal year when net tax revenues totaled $19.23 billion after ten months,” the statement read.
However, the statement adds that a year-over-year comparison is “made difficult by the 2020 deferral of state tax filing deadlines for quarterly and annual income taxes to July 15, 2020 and the 2021 deferral of the annual individual income tax filing deadline to May 17th.”
The numbers presented by the Governor Kemp’s office will likely continue to grow as the fiscal year continues. Further, businesses and restaurants that are allowed to fully open will spur an increase in spending.
Georgia is not the only state that has reported an increase in revenue, despite COVID-19 lockdowns. Several states, including California, have increased their revenue totals throughout the year. In fact, California issued some of the most strict lockdown measures in the country; however, the state, which is notorious for running a budget deficit, hauled in a $76 billion surplus. The surplus has allowed California Governor Gavin Newsom to release a wishlist of proposed ways to spend the extra funds — including stimulus checks for immigrants who entered the country illegally.
States that have demonstrated increased totals of revenue call into question the need of the state and local financial aid given by President Joe Biden’s $1.8 trillion “American Rescue Plan.” Since its enactment, the legislation gifted billions of dollars to each state, ignoring the increased financial standing of most states. Additionally, the legislation provided little direction on how each state was to spend the aid claiming to be for “COVID-19 relief.”
In total, Georgia received over $4 billion from the American Rescue Plan.
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