Revenue shortages threaten financial health of state
Atlanta, Ga. - October 1, 2012 - Georgia Senate Democrats said the stability of the Georgia's economy is threatened by latest evidence from the State Accounting Office's report that revenue reserves are dangerously low.
"The worst of our state's economic recession should be behind us," said Sen. Vincent Fort, Whip of the Senate Democratic Caucus. "But new evidence shows that our state bank account continues on a downward trend. Our reserve account, which cushions us against any unexpected mid-year revenue drops is dangerously low. Right now there is only $523 million remaining in our reserve fund and it's expected to drop to only $350 million by next year."
Fort said the state's reserve fund should be $2.6 billion when fully funded and added that the state's bond rating could be impacted by the diminishing revenue.
"As the process begins now to develop the state's 2014 budget, it is critical that we adequately fund education, health care, transportation and public safety. Each of these important areas have seen decreases time and again. Now, our reserve fund is diminishing. All this, while we continue to give hundreds of millions in tax breaks to special interests groups - those who are already posting profits. It's just not right, it is not fair and it is not wise money management. Everyone should have a fair shot, not just those with the money to pay a lobbying firm," said Fort.
Senate Democrats point to a necessary seven percent revenue growth in order to replenish the reserve fund and maintain current budget funding levels.
"This year, our revenue has grown by only 4.6 percent," Fort said. "We need to make some changes."