Local News

October 14, 2012

Meadows says voters want taxes as low as possible

John Meadows saw almost eight years of work pay off this year when the General Assembly voted to phase out the sales tax on energy used in manufacturing.

“That’s something that (fellow representatives) Tom Dickson and Roger Williams and I worked on for a long time,” said Meadows, who has represented District 5 in the Georgia House of Representatives for eight years.

“We were the only state in the Southeast that charged that tax, and it put our manufacturers at a disadvantage. This will really be a boost to Northwest Georgia with all of the manufacturing here,” he said.

So why did it take so long?

“You really can’t rush things like this. Cutting that tax will have an impact on the state budget, but it will also have an impact on local governments. Ending that tax will reduce the money cities and counties and school systems collect through their LOSTs (local option sales taxes) and SPLOSTS (special purpose local option sales taxes). That can put a strain on their finances, so you have to make sure you do things right,” Meadows said.

Meadows, a Republican, will face Democrat Howard Johnson in the Nov. 6 general election. District 5 includes parts of Gordon and Murray counties.

Meadows currently serves as chairman of the House Rules Committee, one of the most powerful posts in the Legislature since that committee decides which bills get to the House floor for a vote.

Meadows previously served 16 years on the Calhoun City Council, including 13 years as mayor. He is currently employed as an insurance agent with Starr-Matthews Agency in Calhoun.

Meadows says he expects tax reform to be one of the top items when the General Assembly meets again in January. The state created a commission two years ago that recommended a complete overhaul of the state tax system, including ending the energy tax, ending exemptions on the sales tax and reducing the state’s reliance on an income tax for funding. The General Assembly did not adopt the overall plan, but it approved parts of it this year.

“This is a work in progress. You’ve got to take it in small bites, but I think we will,” Meadows said. “The people expect us to make sure that their taxes are as low as possible and still provide the services they want.”

 

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