On the heel of the announcement of the Statesboro Republican Primary Gubernatorial Forum at Statesboro High School, Tuesday's first guest on “Mornings unPHILtered” was forum participant Austin Scott.
Scott is a Georgia state representative for District 153, which includes Tifton, Ga., who lives in the Ashburn house his grandfather owned and Scott rebuilt. He served as the chairman of the House Governmental Affairs Committee and now sits on the Appropriations Committee, the Rules Committee and the Ways and Means Committee.
Scott said he is running for governor because he's a firm believer in Republican principles, but is disappointed that so many special interests have influence over the leadership of his party. Scott said if voters are looking for a common-sense conservative who tells it like it is, he is the candidate for them.
Scott said his main focus would be job creation in the state. He proposes eliminating the corporate interest tax to entice corporations to move and/or start up operations in Georgia. Bringing more corporations and jobs to Georgia is the key to getting Georgia's economy moving in the right direction, Scott said.
Scott counters his critics who say Georgia's current state revenue woes will only be made worse by eliminating the corporate income tax by stating only three percent of the state's revenues come from the corporate income tax. Scott said corporations that move here will still pay sales and property taxes but more importantly people will be put back to work, which will help increase consumer confidence, stabilize the housing market, and increase retail sales. From a revenue standpoint, those benefits will more than outweigh the elimination of the corporate income tax, Scott said.
When host Phil Boyum asked the candidate how he plans to deal with the budget in the short-term since eliminating the corporate income tax will likely bear fruit in the long-run, Scott said he is sensitive to the idea of cutting the budget, especially education, since he has a child in public school and his mother was a public school teacher. With a state balanced budget, Scott said he understand cuts will need to be made, but he said looking at budget expenditures — like horse barns, sports hall of fames or the state's fleet of 23 Cesna airplanes — there are items that could be reduced or completely eliminated.
Scott said he is looking forward to the Statesboro Primary debate in May and enjoys getting out, talking to potential constituents and asking questions with audience members afterward. With his experience on the Appropriations and Ways and Means Committees, Scott said he particularly likes to take the campaign promises of other candidates and analyze just how the state would pay for them.
For more information on the Scott campaign, visit www.scottforga.com.
“Mornings unPHILtered” airs live Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on statesboroherald.com and also simulcast on WWNS-AM 1240 on the radio. You also can listen anytime in the archive section at BoroLive.com or in the Multimedia section of statesboroherald.com