2011 Georgia Legislature passes HUGE new TAX on Georgia’s Middle Class!

Was that you going, huh?  Did you ask what does he mean, what tax? Didn’t the Republicans say no new taxes, cut spending, no tax hikes! Even the Atlanta papers didn’t ever report anything about the 2011 Georgia Legislature passing a massive tax hike on Georgia’s Middle Class.

I, Bull Sullivan, am here to tell you that the 2011 Georgia Legislature accomplished just such an act, and further, that they relied on your disinterest and ignorance to do so.

What is a tax? A tax is any means by which a governmental authority levies against your income, property or charges fees for services to provide revenue to that governmental authority. Tuition for public education is a “tax.”

To demonstrate how this new Middle Class Tax is applied, I will cite the “tax” that a parent or parents with one child attending any of the three cited University System of Georgia(USG) institutions will soon pay. The three campuses are Georgia Southern University, Kennesaw State University, and The University of Georgia. These schools are representative of the impact that families all over the state will feel if their child attends any State supported college or university.

Of course, not ever student is “child.” Many students are self-supporting, fully emancipated from their parents, and rely on full or multiple part-time employment to pay for their education. Other students may rely on the help of their parents to partially pay college tuition and fees. A majority of students are funded, at least partially, through loans, taken out either in the name of their parents or in their own name.

1. Our first example cites the tuition, fees and book costs for attending Georgia Southern University in Statesboro.

COST Of Attending GSU for the 2011-2012 School Year:

Tuition per semester, in state:                                                           $2367

HOPE Scholarship previously paid 100%                     $2367

Tuition balance previously due out-of-pocket:          $0__

HOPE Scholarship now will pay:                                       $2130.30

(TAX) Tuition Balance now due out of pocket:                                            $236.70

Estimated Fees, per semester $936

HOPE Scholarship previously paid 0%

Estimated Fees previously due out-of-pocket:          $936.00

HOPE Scholarship will now pay:                                          $ 0

Estimated Fees now due out-of-pocket                        $936.00

Estimated Books per semester: $600

HOPE Scholarship previously paid flat fee:                    $150.00

Estimated Fees previously due out-of-pocket:              $450.00

Hope Scholarship will now pay:                                            $0

(TAX) Tuition Balance now due out-of-pocket:                                            $150.00

Total Cost of Attending, per semester: $3903

(TAX) What you now must pay out of pocket: $386.70

TAX RATE: 9.9%

ANNUAL OUT OF POCKET COST: $773.40

The Georgia Legislature and Governor Deal have imposed a 9.9% tax of the cost of a HOPE Scholarship, costing a family with one child attending this UGS institution almost Eight Hundred Dollars a year.

 

2. Our second example cites the tuition, fees and book costs for attending the University of Georgia in Athens.

COST Of Attending UGA for the 2011-2012 School Year:

Tuition per semester, in state:                                                           $3641

HOPE Scholarship previously paid 100%                     $3641.00

Tuition balance previously due out-of-pocket:           $ 0__

HOPE Scholarship now will pay:                                       $3276.90

(TAX) Tuition Balance now due out-of-pocket:                                            $364.10

Estimated Fees, per semester $1095

HOPE Scholarship previously paid 0%

Estimated Fees previously due out-of-pocket:    $1095.00

HOPE Scholarship will now pay:                                       0

Estimated Fees now due out-of-pocket                    $1095.00

Estimated Books per semester: $600

HOPE Scholarship previously paid flat fee:                    $150.00

Estimated Fees previously due out-of-pocket:              $450.00

Hope Scholarship will now pay:                                            $ 0

(TAX) Tuition Balance now due out-of-pocket:                                            $150.00

Total Cost of Attending, per semester: $5536

(TAX) What you now must pay out-of-pocket: $514.00

TAX RATE: 9.2%

ANNUAL OUT OF POCKET COST: $1028.00

The Georgia Legislature and Governor Deal have imposed a 9.2% tax on the cost of a HOPE Scholarship, costing a family with one child attending this UGS institution over One Thousand Dollars a year.

 

3. Our third example cites the tuition, fees and book costs for attending Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw.

COST Of Attending KSU for the 2011-2012 School Year:

Tuition per semester, in state:                                 $2367

HOPE Scholarship previously paid 100%                     $2367

Tuition balance previously due out-of-pocket:           $ 0__

HOPE Scholarship now will pay:                                       $2130.30

(TAX) Tuition Balance now due out-of-pocket:                                            $236.70

Estimated Fees, per semester $774.00

HOPE Scholarship previously paid 0%

Estimated Fees previously due out-of-pocket:    $774.00

HOPE Scholarship will now pay:                                       0

Estimated Fees now due out-of-pocket                    $774.00

Estimated Books per semester: $600

HOPE Scholarship previously paid flat fee:                    $150.00

Estimated Fees previously due out-of-pocket:              $450.00

Hope Scholarship will now pay:                                            $ 0

(TAX) Tuition Balance now due out-of-pocket:                                            $150.00

Total Cost of Attending, per semester: $3741

(TAX) What you now must pay out-of-pocket: $386.70

TAX RATE: 10.3%

ANNUAL OUT OF POCKET COST: $773.40

The Georgia Legislature and Governor Deal have imposed a 10.3% tax on the cost of a HOPE Scholarship, costing a family with one child attending this UGS institution almost $800.00

A family with two children would be taxed, annually, twice as much, from Fifteen Hundred to Two Thousand Dollars, depending on institutions attended.

CONCLUSION

What must be clearly understood is that The HOPE Scholarship is not an entitlement.  No tax revenues have previously ever been used to pay the first dime of any student receiving HOPE Funds. It is a scholarship based not on needs, but achievement.

Every dollar of HOPE Scholarship funds comes from the sale, the voluntary purchase, of lottery tickets. No one must participate, no one is made to pay anything to support the HOPE Scholarship program.

The Georgia Legislature arrogantly claims that the newly legislated (HB326AP) HOPE Scholarship program is “generous.” How clever of them to try to take credit for a program which was implemented because as a legislative body they were to gutless to pass educational tax reform in 1992, and remain to gutless to reform education in Georgia today. They pay a private company,  the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, to “review and accredit” our K-12 schools. They follow whatever hair brained scheme the US Congress proposes to improve education and mortgage our children’s future of “pennies on the dollar” Federal Aid, most of which is designed and implemented by euroamericans and progressives, or conservatives who would never qualify for a HOPE Scholarship.

Our State remains nearly last among all states because our Legislators are gifted in only one way, they are successful in making money and running businesses, neither of which has a damn thing to do with educating children.

How many of those grey haired, balding white conservative Legislators could actually qualify for a HOPE Scholarship, and how many of the younger members did qualify and maintain a HOPE Scholarship through their graduation ?

In point of fact, the revenue from the Georgia Lottery has been hijacked by the Georgia Legislature, Governor Deal, and The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. In 1992 the people of Georgia voted to reward our best and brightest students with a scholarship program that would insure that their deserving children would be able to attend college, and be free of the financial worries that limit academic achievement and diminish the zeal for excellence. The HOPE Scholarship was that program, and now these old grey haired white men have reduced this splendid program from a “scholarship” to a grant. Shame on them, and shame on their “generous” hyperbole. Demand that these men return to full payment of Tuition, and Fees and required Books.

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