James Salzer

James Salzer has covered state government and politics in Georgia since 1990.

Latest from James Salzer

Georgia ethics panel to begin auditing candidates in governor’s race
 After years of mainly investigating issues raised by Georgians, the state’s ethics watchdog agency plans to aggressively audit campaign filings from all the major statewide races coming up. Stefan Ritter, the executive secretary of the ethics commission, said that while some details still have to be worked out, the agency will be auditing...

Posted: a day ago

After years of mainly investigating issues raised by Georgians, the state’s ethics watchdog agency plans to aggressively audit campaign filings from all the major statewide races coming up. Stefan Ritter, the executive secretary of the ethics commission, said that while some details still have to be worked out, the agency will be auditing...
Report: state debt at $3,600 per Georgia taxpayer
 Lawmakers approve a balanced state budget every year, but a new report said Georgia still faces $3,600 per taxpayer in debt, mostly to pay for retirement benefits for ex- teachers and state employees. That’s an improvement from 2015, when the state debt was calculated at $4,500 per taxpayer. The annual report by the financial think...

Posted: 4 days ago

Lawmakers approve a balanced state budget every year, but a new report said Georgia still faces $3,600 per taxpayer in debt, mostly to pay for retirement benefits for ex- teachers and state employees. That’s an improvement from 2015, when the state debt was calculated at $4,500 per taxpayer. The annual report by the financial think...
South Dakota ruling may boost Georgia online tax push
 A state Supreme Court ruling Thursday in South Dakota may prove a boost to Georgia’s efforts to get all retailers to collect sales taxes when they sell products online. South Dakota officials were hoping for a quick ruling in their state Supreme Court on legislation requiring internet companies to remit sales taxes. The bill was passed...

Posted: 9 days ago

A state Supreme Court ruling Thursday in South Dakota may prove a boost to Georgia’s efforts to get all retailers to collect sales taxes when they sell products online. South Dakota officials were hoping for a quick ruling in their state Supreme Court on legislation requiring internet companies to remit sales taxes. The bill was passed...
First insurance “claims village” set for Georgia coast post-Irma
 Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens announced Wednesday that his office will open its first “claims village” in Brunswick next week to help homeowners and business owners get their insurance claims expedited. Hudgens was touring coastal areas Wednesday assessing damages from Irma, meeting with storm victims and local...

Posted: 10 days ago

Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens announced Wednesday that his office will open its first “claims village” in Brunswick next week to help homeowners and business owners get their insurance claims expedited. Hudgens was touring coastal areas Wednesday assessing damages from Irma, meeting with storm victims and local...
Georgia insurance agency plans help in Irma’s aftermath
 With the remnants of Hurricane Irma hammering Georgia on Monday, the state’s insurance commissioner was developing a plan of action to respond to what will likely be a costly storm for homeowners and businesses. Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens is considering setting up mobile “villages” where Georgians can come to meet...

Posted: 11 days ago

With the remnants of Hurricane Irma hammering Georgia on Monday, the state’s insurance commissioner was developing a plan of action to respond to what will likely be a costly storm for homeowners and businesses. Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens is considering setting up mobile “villages” where Georgians can come to meet...
Georgia experiences rare decrease in state revenue for August
 State tax collections took a rare dip in August after years of mostly improving numbers. The overall tax take was down 0.2 percent — or $3.9 million — for August in comparison with August 2016. Income tax collections were down almost 1 percent, while net sales tax collections were off 2.4 percent. Income and sales tax collections...

Posted: 14 days ago

State tax collections took a rare dip in August after years of mostly improving numbers. The overall tax take was down 0.2 percent — or $3.9 million — for August in comparison with August 2016. Income tax collections were down almost 1 percent, while net sales tax collections were off 2.4 percent. Income and sales tax collections...
Georgia tax collections take a rare dip in August, but only a tiny one
 State tax collections took a rare dip in August after years of mostly improving numbers. The overall tax take was down .2 of a percent - or $3.9 million - for August over August 2016. Income tax collections were down almost 1 percent, while net sales tax collections were off 2.4 percent. Income and sales tax collections make up the bulk of...

Posted: 15 days ago

State tax collections took a rare dip in August after years of mostly improving numbers. The overall tax take was down .2 of a percent - or $3.9 million - for August over August 2016. Income tax collections were down almost 1 percent, while net sales tax collections were off 2.4 percent. Income and sales tax collections make up the bulk of...
New report: Georgia corporate income tax bite softer than most
 President Trump has called for a big cut in the federal corporate income tax rate, and plenty of Georgia lawmakers would like to do the same to the state corporate levy. But a report out this week by the Washington D.C.-based Tax Foundation said Georgia collects less from its citizens in corporate income taxes than most other states. The...

Posted: 15 days ago

President Trump has called for a big cut in the federal corporate income tax rate, and plenty of Georgia lawmakers would like to do the same to the state corporate levy. But a report out this week by the Washington D.C.-based Tax Foundation said Georgia collects less from its citizens in corporate income taxes than most other states. The...
Georgia ethics officials file new complaint against Oxendine over loan
 Former Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine has been battling ethics charges since 2009, when he was considered by some to be the frontrunner to win the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Now he’s got a new problem: a complaint alleging that he illegally benefited from a loan his long-ago campaign made to his law firm, which...

Posted: 22 days ago

Former Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine has been battling ethics charges since 2009, when he was considered by some to be the frontrunner to win the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Now he’s got a new problem: a complaint alleging that he illegally benefited from a loan his long-ago campaign made to his law firm, which...
Georgia ethics officials file new complaint against Oxendine over loan
 Former Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine’s years-long battle with the state ethics commission has taken yet another turn with a new complaint alleging that he illegally benefited personally from loans totaling $237,000 in leftover campaign money to his own law firm. Oxendine, whose troubles with the commission began in 2009...

Posted: 23 days ago

Former Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine’s years-long battle with the state ethics commission has taken yet another turn with a new complaint alleging that he illegally benefited personally from loans totaling $237,000 in leftover campaign money to his own law firm. Oxendine, whose troubles with the commission began in 2009...
State officials predict big shortfall for Georgia health plan, again
 Teachers, state employees and retirees have heard it all before, but officials are again predicting a big shortfall for their health insurance plan. State Department of Community Health officials told the agency’s board last week that the plan will have a surplus this fiscal year and next, which begins July 1. But for the budget year...

Posted: 26 days ago

Teachers, state employees and retirees have heard it all before, but officials are again predicting a big shortfall for their health insurance plan. State Department of Community Health officials told the agency’s board last week that the plan will have a surplus this fiscal year and next, which begins July 1. But for the budget year...