FILE - Georgia state capitol building

Georgia state Capitol building in Atlanta

(The Center Square) – The Georgia House approved a series of legislation Wednesday that would cut hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes for Georgians.

House Bill 593, dubbed the Tax Relief Act of 2021, would cut income taxes by $141 million during the first year of its full impact, state officials estimated. The House unanimously approved the bill, 171-0.

"The Tax Relief Act of 2021 cuts taxes on Georgians and allows them to keep more of their hard-earned money," said Rep. Shaw Blackmon, R-Bonaire, chairman of the Ways & Means Committee. "This measure follows the tax cuts that the House passed in 2018 and 2020 in demonstrating our commitment to keeping the tax burden on Georgians as low as possible."

The Tax Relief Act of 2021 raises the standard deduction on state income tax returns for a single taxpayer by $800 to $5,400 and by $1,100 to $7,100 for a married couple filing a joint return, starting in the 2022 tax year.

The state auditor's office and budget office said the bill could save taxpayers $58 million in 2022 and more than $140 million each year through 2026, for a total tax cut of $631 million over five years.

The House also approved House Bill 586, the Georgia Economic Recovery Act of 2021, which would allow or extend sales tax exemptions for manufacturers and businesses that create jobs. It includes extensions of sales tax exemptions for regional economic development projects and in specific manufacturing industries. It also exempts sales tax on tickets for fine arts performances from nonprofits and museums. The measure cleared the House with a 164-6 vote.

"We have worked hard to keep the tax burden on businesses reasonable and that work continues through this measure," said Rep. Sam Watson, R-Moultrie, one of the bill's sponsors, said.

The House also voted 157-14 in favor of a bill aimed at attracting more businesses and U.S. Department of Defense projects to Georgia. House Bill 587, the Georgia Economic Renewal Act of 2021, would eliminate the current 4,500-job cap for the state's job tax credit and add a supplemental tax credit for jobs created by medical equipment and supplies manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies.

The bill also extends an additional tax credit to high-impact aerospace defense projects. The defense project would have to create 1,000 jobs and incur a $500 million investment to qualify for the first year of the credit and create at least 1,800 jobs and invest $800 million in the long run.

Rep. Bert Reeves, R-Marietta, said the bill could lead to extensive economic growth for the state as the military has plans for three major aviation projects in the next three years.

"That is going to represent the next iteration of military aviation for the entire country, and Georgia has an opportunity to be the epicenter of military aviation defense with this," Reeves said.

The three pieces of legislation now head to the Senate for consideration.

Staff Reporter

Nyamekye Daniel has been a journalist for four years. She was the managing editor for the South Florida Media Network and a staff writer for The Miami Times. Daniel's work has also appeared in the Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and The New York Times.