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August 07, 2003   Email to Friend 

No Guarantees for Education
Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
August 07, 2003

Montgomery politicians say that Alabama is in a fiscal crisis.

The politicians say they need $650 million more from Alabama families to pay for the fiscal crisis they made.

To pay for the $650 million hole they dug, they want to raise taxes on Alabama families and businesses by $1.2 billion -- twice as much as the deficit!

Here is what the politicians propose:

• $198 million property tax break for Giant Utilities over the next 8 years while taxes on utility bills passed on to you will increase by 44 percent.

• Up to a 350 percent increase in the state property tax on your home. In fact, state property taxes will increase on every home valued over $52,000.

• Property reappraisals every year means taxes on your home will continue to increase every year.

• A 100 percent increase in the mortgage tax and deed taxes on home sales.

• A sales tax on car repairs, oil changes, appliance repair and installation and many other everyday services for the first time -- as much as 10 percent in some towns.

• A 25 percent increase in the sales tax when you buy a car -- new or used.

• Making you pay taxes to Montgomery on the taxes you pay to Washington. The politicians want to tax the money withheld from your paycheck for Federal income tax, Social Security and Medicaid, even though you never get to see it and the politicians in Washington are spending it, not you.

Sales and service taxes are regressive -- poor families will pay a bigger portion of their assets than the wealthy. It is unfair and dishonest to make poor Alabama families pay a bigger portion of their income on the new sales and service taxes.

It is dishonest to call this anything but a tax increase on the poor. What will happen with this tax increase?

• Although politicians say the tax increase will improve schools, not a single new dollar is actually dedicated to schools. Much of it will go to a $600 million Slush Fund called the Excellence Fund where politicians can spend it as they wish.

• Alabama's big utility companies, some of the largest tax-increase campaign contributors, will save millions of dollars while working families see increases in income and property taxes and the tax on basic goods and services.

• $1.2 billion more of your tax money will go to state government politicians while only $70 million of the new taxes will stay in local communities.

• Alabama take home pay DECREASED over the last three years an average of $3,100 for a family of four according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This tax increase will mean even less money for your family.

• Alabama businesses hurt by this tax increase will eliminate 24,000 jobs per year according to the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University.

• And to top it off, working families will continue to pay taxes on food.

Fact is, this plan was poorly thought out, and drafted by special interests, union leaders and their lobbyists whose influence over the Legislature is out of control. They have hired those lobbyists now to convince you to pass this tax.

Those same lobbyists convinced Governor Riley to change his mind about taxes. While running for Governor, he said, "Clearly, taxes are out of control. Unfortunately, working families wonder why they can't seem to make ends meet.... We will not be able to stimulate economic recovery unless we begin to lower tax rates on American Businesses and individuals."

That's absolutely right.

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