Thursday, May 6, 2010

Deal vows to eliminate state 'marriage penalty' tax

Republican candidate for governor Nathan Deal announced today that he would eliminate the "marriage penalty" in the state's income tax system in order to stress the state's commitment to helping Georgia families.

"Marriage is the cornerstone of our families, and I want to commit my administration as governor to creating jobs and ensuring a better future for Georgia's families," Deal said. "Strong families benefit our communities, and our state policies should always seek to promote marriage rather than see it as a chance to take a few more dollars for the treasury."

Under Georgia tax law, a single filer claims a $2,300 standard deduction, but a married couple filing jointly can claim only a $3,000 standard deduction. Under Deal's plan, a married couple would be able to claim the same deduction per person as two single taxpayers: $4,600. To illustrate the point, if a married couple earns $50,000 total, their tax liability would equal $2,236. If two single filers each earned $25,000, equaling the same $50,000 in total, their tax liability would equal $2,020. The difference in tax liability results in a $216 "marriage penalty."

"As governor, I want to make sure business leaders know that Georgia is a great place to locate - that's a big part of how we bring high-paying jobs here," Deal said. "But it's just as important for our state to be a great place for families, with a low cost of living, high quality of life, low taxes, efficient transportation and great schools. Targeting the state marriage tax penalty for elimination sends the message that we're a state that prioritizes family values. We send the wrong message by penalizing Georgians for being married, and we can right that wrong."

The repeal of the Georgia marriage penalty is the second plank of the Deal tax reform plan. Two weeks ago, Deal released his plan to attract jobs by reducing the corporate tax to 4 percent from 6 percent. Next, the Deal for Governor campaign will release its broader economic reform plan.

Nathan Deal has championed tax relief for Americans throughout his career in public service and voted against every tax increase and for every tax cut that came to a vote in Congress. His proven record as a tax-cutter has won him top ratings from the National Taxpayers Union, Americans for Tax Reform, Club for Growth, Americans For Prosperity and the American Conservative Union.

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