ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp spent the morning Wednesday talking to Georgia’s economic leaders about his plans for the coming year.
Among his plans is $1 billion in income tax rebates to Georgians over what he calls inflation relief.
He also wants to give another $1 billion in property tax relief grants as rising inflation can also inflate property taxes.
He said that equates to $500 per Georgia homeowner.
“We’ve got to move the needle on workforce housing,” Kemp said. “Not all local governments are rolling back the millage rate to completely offset the property tax increases and, as you know, 60% of Americans right now are living paycheck to paycheck.”
Kemp worries that businesses will stop moving to Georgia if there’s no place for their employees to live.
House Democratic minority leader James Beverly told Channel 2′s Richard Elliot that he’ll listen to the governor’s proposals -- especially on housing -- but he believes the governor should use the big budget surplus to fully expand Medicaid rather than using it to give homeowners a one-time $500 property tax relief grant.
“Truth of the matter is, I think it’s a dereliction of duty,” Beverly said. “The request to me and to my caucus and to the governor is why not? Now’s the time. We have a surplus, let’s take care of our citizens from a healthcare standpoint.”
Georgia Chamber president Chris Clark said he thinks the United States will face some rocky economic roads in 2023, but he believes Georgia is well-position economically to weather the storm.
Kemp will be sworn-in on Thursday for his second term as governor. During his inauguration speech, he is expected to propose another round of pay raises for state employees as well.
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On Wednesday, Kemp’s office announced the governor would speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland next week to talk about the state’s economy.
“Gov. Kemp looks forward to traveling to Davos to share how Georgia’s long record of Conservative governance can serve as a model for economic success across the country and the world,” his office said in a statement.
Kemp’s inauguration will start at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. It will be followed by a review of the troops and a march up Capitol Avenue to the State Capitol.