ATLANTA— Georgia taxpayers should expect to see an extra tax check in the coming weeks from the mid-year 2023 budget.
Kemp signed the budget March 10. It includes an additional $1 billion in surplus funds to dispense $250 checks to single filers and $500 to those who filed jointly for 2023.
Last March, lawmakers approved Kemp’s authorization to do the same with $6 billion in budget surplus for those who filed tax returns for 2020 and 2021.
“We are allowed to fill a lot of needs but the bad part about having a $6 billion surplus is a lot of people think their needs will be met and we have to make the tough decision in doing that,” Lt. Gov. Burt Jones said at a March 13 press conference.
The amended 2023 budget also adds $1.1 billion to the Georgia Department of Transportation to account for a 10-month suspension of motor fuel tax collections that Kemp authorized in 2022 to help offset inflation and rising gas costs.
The mid-year budget is set by a revenue estimate of $32.56 billion, an increase of $2.36 billion over the original FY 2023 budget, according to state documents.
Other highlights included in the mid-year budget include:
$50,000 per school, $115.7 million statewide, to fund school safety and security grants
$5 million to support paraprofessionals with bachelor’s degrees seeking teaching certificates. Kemp said the proposal aims to increase the number of educators in classrooms amid a nationwide teacher shortage
$3.5 million in grant funding to assist nursing programs with existing wait lists and increase student capacity
$2.5 million for a state match for a new character education program grant at $50,000 per school
$3.3 million for heavy construction simulators in schools to allow high school students to graduate with a construction industry certificate and immediately enter the workforce
$950 million for a homeowner tax credit on the assessed value of each homestead for 2023. Kemp estimates the tax credit will save each homeowners approximately $500 on their tax bill
$35.7 million for the Rural Workforce Housing Fund
$278 million for growth in the Medicaid programs to meet the projected need resulting from increased utilization and enrollment during the COVID-19 pandemic
$120,963 for protest hearings services rendered by the Office of State Administrative Hearings in relation to the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission
$987,115 to open offline psychiatric beds at Georgia Regional Hospital
$2 million for contract psychiatric beds; $825,000 to address homelessness in the Atlanta area; and $100,000 to support grandparent-led families
$10 million to the Division of Family and Children Services to provide alternative housing options for youth with complex needs
$68.2 million for the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) to make needed repairs, security and technology upgrades, and renovations to its aging infrastructure. The average GDC facility is 35 years old. Upgrades include $31.6 million for body scanning devices, perimeter intrusion detection systems, cellphone detection devices, license plate recognition software, and phone screening technology
$12.3 million to GDC for physical and pharmaceutical services to continue to provide these necessary services to inmates
$485,052 to fully fund a salary increase for circuit public defenders in accordance with HB 1391 (2022 Session)
$2.4 million for domestic violence shelters for security upgrades
$8.2 million for a statewide assessment of facilities under the responsibility of the GDC and the Department of Juvenile Justice
“(The amended budget) demonstrates some things I hope the feds are mindful during their budget process … that you can hold the line on spending … that you can use innovation to make government more efficient and streamlines and that you don’t have to raise taxes to do that,” Kemp said.
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