State Representative Austin Scott was the guest speaker at the Nov. 16 meeting of the Barrow County Republican Party. He is the fourth of seven gubernatorial candidates scheduled to address the local party in advance of the July 2010 primary.
Elected to seven consecutive terms as state representative, Scott is a member of the House Governmental Affairs Committee, the Appropriations Committee, the Rules Committee and the Ways and Means Committee.
Scott said when voters go to the polls next November, they will be seeking a candidate with a track record of integrity and determination.
“I truly believe integrity matters more now than it has ever mattered in the past,” Scott said. Touting his legislative record as proof of his integrity and determination, Scott said he looked forward to the opportunity to challenge other candidates on principles, ideas and actions.
While proud of his own accomplishments, Scott said he realizes voters do not think state lawmakers are doing a good job.
“I think we’re up there in a box,” he said. “I think sometimes those of us up there in that box don’t realize what people outside the box think.”
Scott said he understands voters remain very concerned about the economy. If elected, Scott said his plan for the state economy is to slash the corporate income tax from six percent to three percent and reduce the capital gains tax from six percent to a maximum of two percent.
Scott’s goal is to have the lowest corporate income tax in the Southeastern United States.
“We’ve got to have jobs,” he said. Explaining that other candidates are focused on global economies and competition from overseas, Scott said Georgians need to be more concerned with competition from other states.
“North Carolina is coming to get our jobs. Texas is coming to get our jobs,” he said. “I know we have budget reductions coming, but, if we are not creating jobs today, the budget reductions of tomorrow are going to be much greater.”
Scott also emphasized the importance of reducing the capital gains tax saying the current rate structure drives entrepreneurs out of the state.
“Two percent of something is better than six percent of nothing,” he said. “We are driving our high net worth and high income seniors out of the state.”
On other issues, Scott said he is opposed to the fair tax at the state level, is strongly pro-life, does not support school vouchers, is a proponent of charter and magnet schools, advocates increased water conservation, supports a statewide transportation plan, believes in properly funding criminal justice regardless of the economy and strongly supports gun rights.
Scott said it is important that the government find new ways of doing thing. With the state government facing a projected deficit even before the economic downturn, Scott said it is time to focus on what is important.
“We’re going to have to get out of the business of trying to provide people their wants and get back to providing what our Constitution says we as a state have to provide,” he said.