ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — During a press conference on March 22, 2021, Georgia legislators applauded the signing of two bills providing tax cuts during a pandemic. “Today, under this gold dome, I will sign two bills that reduce the tax burden placed on hard-working Georgians and the parents of foster children across our state,” said Governor Brian Kemp.

Kemp signed them both into law. House Bill 593 increases the standard deduction for single tax payers from $4,600 to $5,400. Married tax payers will also see a deduction increase. “It is critical that Georgians keep much of their hard earned money as possible to revive small businesses and industries still struggling under the weight of COVID,” said Kemp.

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House Bill 114 triples Georgia’s adoption tax credit from $2,000 to $6,000 per year for each child for up to five years. “We are doing our part as state leaders to secure a safer, brighter future for Georgia’s foster children,” Kemp said. “When a person or a couple adopts a foster child, they do not receive as much aid from the state as they do when that child is in foster care,” said Governor’s Floor Leader and State Representative Bert Reeves (R-Marietta), who sponsored the bill. “We want people to answer the calling, but what we also want to do is we want to be able to help offset these costs.”

A tax credit for families is what foster care organizations say is desperately needed, as the number of children waiting for foster homes and adoption continues to increase, and particularly the number of older children. “I’ve been a proponent of that bill when it was brought up in the past, I’m so happy to have it one through this year,” said Bob Bruder-Mattson, the president and CEO of Faithbridge Foster Care, adding about 12,000 kids are waiting for placement. “If you were to go 15 minutes from where you live or where you are, you would be surprised at the number of kids that need a foster home right now today.”

Faithbridge says about half of the calls they received last year were for children ages 13 and up. They’re hoping the tax credit will help lower the financial burden for those families willing to open up their homes. “It’s a good thing. It’s a proud day in Georgia,” said Bruder-Mattson about the tax credit.

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For information on Faithbridge’s Christian-based foster care services, click here. For state foster and adoption information, click here.