Georgia lawmakers kicked off the 2021 legislative session on Monday, January 11th, in a year grappling with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. One of the top priorities for the general assembly will be the amended budget for FY 2021, which would restore some funding cut last session in anticipation of large revenue shortfalls due to the pandemic, particularly for education.
With pandemic shutdowns of parts of the state economy last spring and continued high unemployment as we enter the new year, most forecasters were anticipating a significant decline in revenues. Fortunately, that hasn’t been the case. FY 2020 finished with state tax revenues flat from the prior year, and through the first six months of FY 2021, state tax collections are up 6.1% from the pre-pandemic, year-earlier period.
The budget outlook for the rest of FY 2021 remains cautious, given the sharp rise in COVID cases over recent months, but the economy is expected to continue its recovery and accelerate in FY 2022 as COVID vaccines, currently limited to the highest priority populations, reach the broader population of Georgians. A priority for FY 2022, in addition to education, is community health.
To help navigate Georgia’s legislative session, FRC has released its annual go-to guides: the 2021 Georgia Tax Handbook and the Rankings Report. Download them here: