The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute issued a report comparing the House and Senate budgets in the areas of community health, human services and education.
The Overview of the report states the following:
“The House of Representatives’ and Senate’s version of the fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget both balance the budget by incorporating additional budget cuts to those the governor proposed. Compared to the pre-recession FY 2009 budget, the House and Senate versions (House Bill 948) include General Fund cuts totaling 17.8 percent, or $3.6 billion. When incorporating American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, the total cuts are 12.6 percent.
“Both the House and Senate budgets assume $229 million in additional revenues from hospital provider fees (these will sunset after 3 years) and $96 million from increases in various fees from the recently passed House Bill 1055. HB 1055 also includes a five-year phase out of the state property tax, which will cost the state $95 million annually, and a five-year phase out of all income tax on retirement income for those age 65 and over, which will cost $150 million annually.
“The cost to the budget five years from now, when the hospital fee sunsets and the state property tax and senior citizen income tax phase out, is nearly a half-billion dollars. The actions by the General Assembly during this session will open up additional shortfalls in future years. When the state loses $380 million due to the capital gains cut in HB 1023, the total loss to state revenues will be nearly $900 million dollars a year. This significant amount of revenues worsens Georgia’s structural deficit.”