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Graves' JOBS Act Recognized by Leading Free-Market Economists in Rich States, Poor States

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Location: Ranger, GA

In a new report released by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) former State Representative Tom Graves' Jobs, Opportunity and Business Success Act (JOBS Act) was highlighted as a positive step that states should take to bring about economic recovery.

The third edition of Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index was released yesterday and shows how many states responded to the economic crisis with higher taxes, new spending, and more debt. Additionally, the index points out policies that aim to alleviate fiscal pains and increase competitiveness.

Graves' JOBS Act, which was included in the chapter on the State of the States, was recognized as "economic stimulus through meaningful tax relief."

Other Tax Cutting Efforts

One of the near misses for tax cutters in 2009 took place in the Peach State. Sponsored by ALEC member and former Rep. Tom Graves, the (appropriately named) JOBS Act aimed to provide economic stimulus through meaningful tax relief. As Rep. Graves explained: "We recognize that the greatest stimulus for a robust economy comes from an economic environment that encourages opportunity, productivity, and innovation. It's the hard-working people of Georgia--not big government--that are the key to our economic prosperity." Among other things, this pro-growth legislation would have phased out the corporate income tax and eliminated the burdensome inventory tax on businesses. Alas, in one of the worst vetoes of the year, Gov. Sonny Perdue axed this promising legislation. However, Rep. Graves and others have introduced similar legislation in 2010. (Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State of Economic Competitiveness)

"My number one priority is fostering job creation by embracing and empowering the entrepreneurial spirit of Georgians, through tax cuts and eliminations," said Graves. "It is truly an honor for the JOBS Act to be recognized by these supply-side scholars. My hope is the Governor will sign the bill and pro-growth tax relief policies will be the law of Georgia. I look forward to taking this fight to Washington."

Rich States, Poor States was co-authored by renowned economist Dr. Arthur B. Laffer, Stephen Moore, senior economics writer at The Wall Street Journal, and Jonathan Williams, director of ALEC's Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force.

Laffer invented the Laffer Curve which triggered a world-wide tax-cutting movement in the 1980s and earned him the distinction in many publications as "The Father of Supply-Side Economics."

Rich States, Poor States presents state economic outlook rankings based on public policies that have a proven impact on growth. The publication reveals which states have the best chance of experiencing economic recovery, and which need to re-examine their policies before they can expect to see improvement.

The trio analyzed how economic competitiveness drives income, population, and job growth in the states and found that states with a high and rising tax burden are more likely to drive away individuals and business, while those with lower and falling tax burdens are more likely to attract businesses and create jobs.

Graves' JOBS Act passed the Georgia Senate 33-13 last Thursday and the Georgia House of Representatives last month 154-8, with both votes being bi-partisan. The bill is now on Gov. Sonny Perdue's desk awaiting his signature.

The JOBS Act of 2010 is a combination of tax credits, cuts and eliminations designed to create, expand and attract new businesses in Georgia. The legislation the Georgia House and Senate approved includes an "Angel Investor" tax credit, quarterly credit towards unemployment insurance tax, elimination of the net worth tax and a triggered 50 percent reduction of the capital gains tax for all Georgia taxpayers.

Graves championed the bill in the Georgia House until he resigned his seat late last month in order to qualify for the upcoming special election in Georgia's 9th Congressional District.

Graves represented the 12th House District from 2003 until March 23, 2010. Graves announced last May that he would seek the 9th District Congressional seat that was vacated by Congressman Nathan Deal, who is running for Governor.


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