Getting into the holiday spirit, Gov. Zell Miller plans to cut state income taxes by $100 million annually.

At news conference earlier this month announcing the cuts, Miller said that beginning July 1, 1994, Georgia will permanently raise the amount taxpayers can deduct for each defendant to $2,500, a $1,000 increase. In addition, he said, the retirement income exclusion will be increased by $2,000, to $12,000.

The governor said the tax reductions were made possible by higher than expected state revenues this year.

"In the old days under the old ways, an increase in state revenues would have been treated as feeding time at the hog farm, with every politician bellying up for a share of the pork," Miller said in a prepared statement.

"But I promised to put business as usual out of business [and] am proposing that we return the remaining tax revenues to the citizens of Georgia," he said.

Georgia's revenue collections through November, the first five months of its 1994 fiscal year, are running $261.7 million, or 8.8%, above year-earlier levels, the state Department of Revenue reported earlier this month.

According to a transcript of remarks made at the Dec. 17 news conference, Miller denied any connection between his cuts and his decision to seek re-election in 1994.

"Would I be doing this if I was not running?" asked Miller. "The answer is yes."

About 960,000 families in the state will be affected by the tax cut. A family of four earning $30,000 a year will enjoy a savings of about $120 a year, Miller said. A retiree with a pension of $12,000 would also save about $120 annually, he said.

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