Carter has a point on uncollected taxes, but context missing

Posted: 3:19 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22, 2014 By Nancy Badertscher and April Hunt …

Georgia (Sep 25, 2014)Posted: 3:19 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22, 2014


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By Nancy Badertscher and April Hunt 

Education eats up the largest share of the state budget, so it only makes sense that it’s consuming much of the debate in the neck-and-neck governor’s race.

Nathan Deal, the Republican incumbent, says his efforts to grow jobs and the economy have paid off for schools. His education track record also includes work for passage of a 2012 charter school amendment and a bipartisan deal to shore up the lottery-funded HOPE scholarship and pre-k programs.

His challenger, Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter of Atlanta, contends that Deal has shortchanged Georgia’s children. He’s most critical of $1 billion-a-year-plus austerity cuts to education recommended by Deal in the first three of his four state budgets.

Carter, who voted for those three budgets, is promising that, if he’s elected, he will increase education spending through a three-pronged approach that involves growing the economy, cutting government waste and going after tax cheats. …

Georgia made probably its biggest push to go after tax cheats when Sonny Perdue was governor and Bart Graham was revenue commissioner.

“This is a messier process than (Carter) is suggesting,” said Barbara Neuby, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University who specializes in public budgeting and finance. “There is no automatic money that comes in once letters go out.”

That’s because collection would be handled through regulatory enforcement. The same laws that give state agencies broad powers to enforce taxation give people the right to appeal, Neuby said.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit