Monday, June 8, 2015

Governor vetoes tax credits for insurance companies

After approval by the General Assembly, Gov. Nathan Deal signed almost every tax-related bill that made it to his desk this year.  The main exception was House Bill 439, which would have created up to $55 million in insurance premium tax credits for insurance companies that invest in low-income communities in Georgia.  Deal vetoed HB 439 saying that it "would have too much of an impact on the general fund."  The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute called the proposal "complex," "unaccountable," and a "bad investment" that has worked poorly when tried in other states.  GBPI estimated that the credits would have totaled up to $139 million over the next seven years.

Insurance companies pay annual insurance premium taxes to the state which are partly distributed to cities and counties.  The City of Decatur receives approximately $1 million annually in insurance premium taxes.  Insurance companies also pay occupation taxes directly to Georgia's local governments if they write policies in those jurisdictions.

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