CHUCK HUFSTETLER STATE SENATOR DISTRICT 52
It has been my great privilege to serve as your State Senator for the past 6 years. I have been part of a State that is now the 9th largest economy in the U.S. We are one of a handful of states that have a AAA bond rating and have built up the largest rainy day fund in Georgia history. We have the lowest unemployment since 2001. We have fully funded public education for the first time in history and have some of the best funded pensions in the country. With our record and having been selected as the best state to do business in for the last 5 years we are the envy of the nation. Elected as Finance Chair in 2017, I was able to pass out of my committee the first income tax cut in Georgia history this year. I ask that you continue to let me serve as your Senator for one more term.
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Rome News Tribune on the first income tax cut in Georgia History
Hufstetler stayed the course to pass historic income tax cuts
Mar 4, 2018
When state Sen. Chuck Hufstetler became chairman of the Senate Finance Committee in January 2017, he immediately spoke of the need to look at Georgia’s outdated revenue and tax structure “to see if it’s the best for taxpayers and the state.”
The Rome Republican had the credentials for his new job, beginning his third two-year term in the Senate after serving as a Floyd County commissioner and chairing its finance committee for six years. Remarkably, during his tenure the county earned its first AA bond rating in modern history — and the tax rate went down while the general fund balance increased.
Upon taking the Senate committee helm, Hufstetler acknowledged that finance “was perhaps my biggest contribution at the county level and that this was a good fit for me at the state level.” This was confirmed when the senator took on the challenge of tax reform in the 2017 General Assembly, calling for major changes in the tax code and pushing for cuts for all taxpayers, “from richest to poorest.” Under his leadership, that’s exactly what the Senate Finance Committee did, merging different bills passed by House and Senate. But with time running out in the 2017 legislative session, the two chambers deadlocked on a final bill, leaving the task to this year’s General Assembly.
Hufstetler stayed on the job along with his House counterpart, Rep. Jay Powell, R-Camilla, other Republican legislative leaders, Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston. Their efforts were given major impetus by enactment of the $1.5-trillion federal tax cut legislation which meant Georgia potentially would get a windfall of about $5 billion a year with an unintended consequence of hitting many state taxpayers with higher bills. State law required taxpayers claiming standard federal deductions to do the same on their state taxes, but many were counting on using itemized deductions on 2017 returns to reduce their liabilities. That, Hufstetler rightly said, would “put some people in a penalty situation.”
The problem, along with other issues, was resolved when both House and Senate approved HB 918 which eliminated the windfall, cut income state taxes by $1.2 billion a year and doubled the standard deduction. Tax cuts range from 16 percent for a family of four earning $50,000 to 10 percent for the $150,000 earners. The bill doubles the standard deduction this year from $2,300 to $4,600 for individual filers and from $3,000 to $6,000 for married joint filers. Starting in 2019, the top income tax rate will dip from 6 percent to 5.75 percent and to 5.5 percent in 2020.
It’s a triumph for Georgia taxpayers. “This is the first income tax decrease in the history of Georgia,” Hufstetler said at a news conference. “And it’s a true middle-class tax cut.” He pointed out that nearly half of Georgians earn $50,000 or less and the bill provides an income tax break for every bracket. Gov. Deal said the bill “will save taxpayers more than $5 billion over the next five years.”
To say it was about time taxes were cut would be an understatement. The standard deduction was last increased in 1981. The individual rate was set at 6 percent in 1937 and has not changed since, while the corporate rate has also remained at 6 percent since 1969.
One of the controversial issues injected into the legislative debate on HB 918 was a $35 million jet fuel tax exemption, primarily benefiting Atlanta-based Delta Airlines, and many legislators including Hufstetler opposed the exemption. Originally, the Rome senator went along with a compromise approving the Delta tax break to preserve the historic individual tax cuts. But after Delta severed its relationship with the National Rifle Association in the aftermath of the Florida school massacre, sentiment among Republicans turned decidedly against the fuel tax break and it was eliminated from the final bill with Hufstetler joining the majority on that issue.
Now, finally, there will be tax cuts for hard-working Georgians, thanks in no small measure to the determination and leadership of Rome’s own Chuck Hufstetler, who deserves kudos for a job well done! Keep up the good work for Georgia taxpayers, Senator!
Clark Howard presents Senator Chuck Hufstetler with Healthcare Access Award
ATLANTA (September 22, 2014)| Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R- Rome) was awarded the Healthcare Access Champion at Georgia Watch’s 2014 Consumer Champion Gala on Thursday, September 18th.
“Georgia Watch is proud to recognize these four Consumer Champions for standing up for the interests of Georgia consumers and to help protect their legal rights,” said acting Georgia Watch Executive Director Liz Coyle. Three additional Georgia legislators were recognized for their efforts during the legislative session.
The awards were presented at Georgia Watch’s annual gala by nationally syndicated consumer expert and board member, Clark Howard.
Founded in 2002, Georgia Watch is a statewide consumer advocacy organization working to empower and protect Georgia consumers on matters that impact their wallets and quality of life. Through education, advocacy and policy development, Georgia Watch focuses on safeguarding consumer protections in personal finance, as well as ensuring lower utility bills, cleaner energy, access to quality, affordable healthcare, protecting the right to trial by jury and promoting access to the courts.
A Commitment to Excellence
Senator Chuck Hufstetler, a Republican, was elected to the State Senate for Georgia’s 52nd District in 2012. Senator Hufstetler represents Floyd County along with portions of Bartow, Chattooga and Gordon counties.
Sen. Hufstetler serves as the Chair of the Finance Committee, vice chair of the Retirement and member off Higher Education, Health and Human Services and a member of the Appropriations Committee. He will continue to serve as a member on the Education and Youth Committee.
Sen.Hufstetler was elected to the Floyd County Board of Commissioners in 1998. As Commissioner, he led the way to cut taxes six times, trimmed the waste of the government by analyzing every expenditure of each department and eliminated the debt for the first time in modern history of the county. The county received their first ever "AA" bond rating during his tenure when he served as Finance Chair. He was also the negotiator with the Atlanta Braves to bring the minor league team to Rome in 2002. He was one of two in charge of construction of the Rome Braves Stadium. The stadium was built on time, under budget and completely paid for in one year. As a strong fiscal conservative, he was re-elected to the board in 2002 and elected as Chairman in 2003 and 2004.
Professionally, Sen. Hufstetler worked 14 years as a corporate manager for Welch Foods and Earthgrain. In 1994, he returned to Rome to buy a long-time Floyd County establishment, Paul’s Oyster Bar in the Coosa area.
In 2006, Sen. Hufstetler pursued a life-long passion by enrolling in Emory School of Medicine to become an anesthetist. After graduating, he began providing anesthesia to patients at Redmond Regional Hospital where he currently still works. He also works as an Adjunct Professor at Emory University School of Medicine.
He earned a double major in Biology and Psychology from the University of Georgia, a degree from the American Institute of Baking and a Masters in Medical Science in Anesthesiology from the Emory School of Medicine.
Sen. Hufstetler is married to the former Joan Bojo and together they have three children: Caleb, an MBA graduate and Investment Advisor, Dr. Schell Hufstetler, a Health Policy Analyst at the CDC, and Rebeckah, a student at the University of Georgia
The Hufstetlers are members of Seven Hills Presbyterian Church in Rome