TABOR, School Sales Tax not on 2006 Legislative Agenda.

Governor Perdue and Speaker Richardson took two issues off the table for the 2006 Session of the Legislature: statutory spending caps and funding schools via sales tax.

Both the spending limits and sales-tax-for-schools proposals would have required approval from voters as well as the Legislature, making them potentially controversial topics for the campaign trail in a year when Perdue and all 236 legislators will stand for re-election.

Political observers said the GOP decision suggests the 2006 Legislature will stick with topics not likely to offend large numbers of voters.

“In an election year, you want to be with the tried and true, not with the controversial and risky,” said Kerwin Swint, professor of political science at Kennesaw State University.

It’s probably a good idea to table the school sales tax proposal as it seemed to lack support, but, I think it’s a mistake to not make capping State spending an issue in next year’s election. As Peach Pundit readers will remember, I support such a measure and have urged the Governor and the GOP to run on this issue. Georgia voters need assurances that a GOP governing majority will not spend like drunken sailors. Our friends in Washington have not given the voters any comfort on that issue.

12 comments

  1. buzzbrockway says:

    From what I understand, small business owners like Keen’s idea. Some “think tank” said it would hurt the poor and I’m sure there would be a huge fight over the issue. One thing is certain, Georgia’s method of funding schools will likely change. There’s a lawsuit challenging our formula and similar suits in other States have succeeded. I think Keen was trying to get out in front of the issue – solve it before some Court forces a solution on us, I’m just not sure if this is the best solution.

  2. housecreek says:

    There are a lot of REPUBLICAN voters that don’t like that law (i.e. small business owners whose services are not taxed). And TABOR is already being excercised in Georgia without handcuffing the Gov. and legislature. For instance, in 2003, the budget was 17.3 billion. In 2006 it was 17.4 billion. Don’t look like we are spending like drunken sailors to me!

  3. buzzbrockway says:

    “For instance, in 2003, the budget was 17.3 billion. In 2006 it was 17.4 billion. Don’t look like we are spending like drunken sailors to me!”

    Let me be clear: I’m not accusing the GOP of out of control spending, I just want controls in place so that we don’t in the future. Now is the time to do this, not when the government is awash in cash and drooling over the prospects of a pork-fest. When a politician (of either party) sees a big pile of cash, they’re going to find a way to spend it. I want to prevent that from happening.

  4. Tommy_a2b says:

    Melb said,
    November 17, 2005 @ 10:49 am

    I’m confused, did the Governor sign good bills while he was in office????

    I am not saying the Gov signed good or bad bills. I am just saying addressing “contraversial” issues should not be off the table in election years. I will say the Republican House, I am not sure about the Senate, was not happy about the Governors budget last year and that is a fact, not rumor.

  5. Bill Simon says:

    A “0.1 billion-dollar increase” amounts to a $100,000,000 increase.

    $100,000,000 is a whole lot of dollars, and, they could very well have been spent in quite the drunken fashion.

  6. kspencer says:

    I’ll argue against TABOR. First, though it wasn’t meant as such the remark of wanting it to prevent problems in the future sounds like trying to fix what isn’t broken. Yes, 0.1 billion is a lot of money for an individual. For a multi-trillion dollar business (net worth equivalent), it’s chicken feed. To get a better grasp on it, the increase was less than the rate of inflation. It was also less than the percentage growth of population. I admit I hold most of my objections to it, however, due to seeing how screwed up TABOR was in Colorado. It makes me highly suspicious of anything similar. If it’s not got releases for “what if things go wrong?”, then I’m not supporting it.

    As to the sales tax for schools, back in the archives I submitted some basic concerns. I’ve yet to see suggestions on blogs or from legislators in response to those concerns – the responses have been more along the lines of “we’ll figure that out later if it’s a problem.” As with TABOR, if you don’t prepare for the problems you know of how are you going to cope with the unexpected? I will admit, however, that the issue of apparent inequitability of school funding is an issue that’s going to have to be resolved. And however it gets resolved, someone is going to feel slighted, which means an objective of “everyone is satisfied” is no good. I’m not as resistant to Sales Tax Schools as I am of G-TABOR. But it needs to at least avoid the problems I see across the Tennessee border before I’ll support it.

    Kirk

  7. GeorgiaEagle says:

    I agree with Tommy … with so much to be done now I don’t consider avoiding conflict a key characteristic of statesmanship nor leadership.

    For example, there is one constitutional amendment proposal that might blindside the state GOP if they don’t lead the way and get it before the people to vote – HR 87. There’s nothing risk-adverse about stopping the abuse of eminent domain to take people’s land for private use … unless you are the city/county/state representative/judge that is “funded” by the criminals that support such malfeasance. With the SB 5 debacle still fresh on people’s minds, what better way to gain the confidence of a wide segment of voters than swift passage of this resolution?

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