New Kemp Ad Accidentally Praises Abrams for Stopping Tax Increase on 82% of Georgia Families

May 10, 2022

TIME: Abrams “single-handedly stopped the largest tax increase in Georgia history”

Brian Kemp released a new ad yesterday aiming to attack Stacey Abrams, but one of the ad’s few citations features a 2018 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article that details how Abrams assembled a bipartisan coalition to stop a 2011 Republican bill that “worked out to be an increase on the average middle-class taxpayer.” TIME described Abrams’ role in stopping this tax increase as follows: “She organized her findings by legislative district, put it into a color-coded spreadsheet and left a copy on every desk in the house.”

The Democratic Party of Georgia released the following statement in response:

“We’re glad that Brian Kemp and his team recognize Stacey’s work in the legislature to stop the largest tax increase in state history, which would have raised taxes on 82 percent of Georgia families. Kemp offers lip service on taxes, but has staunchly opposed Medicaid expansion, which means Georgians’ tax dollars pay for health coverage in 38 other states instead of our own. Kemp has also been silent on the Republican plan to raise taxes on over 40 percent of Georgians if they regain control of the U.S. Senate,” said Max Flugrath, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia.

By rejecting Medicaid expansion, Kemp has continuously sent Georgians’ federal tax dollars to provide coverage and create jobs in the 38 states and D.C. who have expanded Medicaid. Kemp’s actions have left billions in federal taxpayer dollars on the table, which could be used to provide health coverage for over 500,000 Georgians, create over 64,000 jobs, assist rural hospitals, and help save on uncompensated care costs, which in 2019 alone cost state hospitals $2.7 billion.

In April, the Georgia Republican Party welcomed National Republican Senate Campaign Chair Rick Scott to headline their spring gala. Georgia Republicans — including Kemp — haven’t opposed Scott’s economic agenda for the GOP, which will raise taxes on over 40% of Georgians – including seniors, retirees, teachers, and firefighters.

Read more about Abrams’ work across the aisle to stop the largest tax increase in Georgia history:

TIME: Stacey Abrams Could Become America’s First Black Female Governor—If She Can Turn Georgia Blue

  • In 2011, as one of the Democrats appointed to a commission to study the state’s tax system, she argued that the Republican proposal to cut income taxes while raising a sales tax on cable service would increase the amount most people paid.
  • When the committee ignored her, she asked the chair for an electronic copy of the fiscal model used to construct the bill. “He said yes, because he did not know what that was,” she tells me with a grin.
  • Abrams took home the data and reorganized it by income level to show that 82% of Georgia families would see their taxes go up.
  • She organized her findings by legislative district, put it into a color-coded spreadsheet and left a copy on every desk in the house.
  • The tax overhaul failed, and on the campaign trail Abrams can credibly boast of having single-handedly stopped the largest tax increase in Georgia history.

AJC: How Stacey Abrams helped defeat GOP tax bill

  • A clunky but effective coalition of Democrats, tea partyers and Baptists forced state Republican lawmakers into a desperate attempt to save their troubled tax reform bill Wednesday.
  • Problems began Tuesday when House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, pointed out the plan, which would lower the personal income tax rate from 6 percent to 4.5 percent, worked out to be an increase on the average middle-class taxpayer.
  • The bill would “flatten” the tax code by eliminating most deductions, such as for charitable giving or interest on home mortgages.
  • The Joint Committee on Georgia Revenue Structure’s approval Tuesday set up a vote in the House. But the bill was in trouble by midmorning Wednesday as rank-and-file Republicans worried about Abrams’ new figures and the speed of the process.
  • The Georgia Tea Party Patriots issued a statement opposing the plan as a tax hike on the middle class. “This bill specifically hurts the middle class and taxpayers that make regular contributions to their churches or other charities,” the group stated in a news release.
  • Using numbers provided by Georgia State University economist David Sjoquist, Abrams said the plan leaves middle-income filers paying hundreds more in taxes annually.


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