By BILL BARROW and RAY HENRY
ATLANTA (AP) – A national anti-tax advocate wants Georgia lawmakers to drop a tax paid by hospitals, a move that would create a large hole in the state budget.
The head of Americans For Tax Reform, Grover Norquist, said in a recent letter to state lawmakers that voting to renew a tax on hospital beds that is set to expire would be supporting a tax increase. Around a dozen senators and three dozen House lawmakers have signed a pledge from Norquist’s organization promising not to raise taxes.
The tax, passed in 2010, got Georgia more health care funding as state tax collections tanked. By collecting the hospital tax, Georgia is able to get more in federal Medicaid funding, some of which flows back to the hospitals paying the tax.