24 comments

  1. I’d love to see a source for his figures.

    I believe in the power of the marketplace. What has happened in the marketplace? Well, for one thing the value of houses in many areas has increased 100% or more over the past 10 years. Many people who complain about higher taxes aren’t complaining about a doubling in their net worth.

    But another thing that has happened is that people from all over the country have fled their former home states to come to Georgia. Amazing…isn’t it? And within Georgia, people are leaving rural areas to move to Atlanta and its suburbs, and people are even fleeing some of the outer suburbs to move back into the city and the core counties.

    You would think if Earl’s data was as bad as he claims it was that people would be fleeing Georgia. The exact opposite is happening. On the other hand, the Georgia Legislature on a whole is embarrassingly incompetent and petty even compared to the low bar that other state legislatures set. They’ve passed no big initiatives of note since at least 2002 and continue to bicker amongst themselves instead of tackling real problems the state faces like water and transportation planning.

    Now they are basically saying give us more of the power for this state. Right now, if schools aren’t up to par (or you think your taxes are too high) in one county you can move to another county or city where you think you’ll get a fairer shake. If the GREAT plan passes, any variation that local control currently offers will slowly wilt away on the vine.

    A few guys who are rarely held accountable by the media or the voters and who aren’t even well known by most of the state will control just about every dollar.

    The revolt in Macon which will almost completely change the composition of city government would be impossible, or worse, meaningless. Do I think that all money should be collected and spent on the local level? No. But a balance can be struck and I believe the current balance struck is by far better than what Earl and Glenn propose.

    If Earl thinks assessments are broken, then how about offering a plan to fix that process? If my Honda Accord breaks down, that doesn’t mean I must replace it with a spaceship. That’s essentially what Earl and Glenn are proposing. They’re taking advantage of people’s dislike of some aspects of the current system to try to introduce a radical change that will benefit some of the wealthier Georgians while wreaking havoc on the government services of just about every other Georgian. Don’t buy what they’re selling.

  2. eehrhart says:

    Of course Chris..no surprise!

    You really do think people are too stupid to make this decision for themselves and you effectively said we are taking advantage of them.

    I have more faith in the intelligence of the voters to make such a choice.

    Good ole class warfare argument too.

    Very predictable.

    Trust the people not those who think they are smarter than everyone else.

  3. griftdrift says:

    Since this plan is revenue neutral, the burden must be shifting somewhere. Good old class warfare indeed.

    My opinion is pretty basic. I’m for tax reform. But this ain’t it.

  4. cheapseats says:

    if, a big, big “if”, there’s any validity to these numbers then how about showing the other side of the equation? Like, what are the percentage increases of unfunded state and federal mandates?

    what is the real percentage DECREASE in funding for public schools that the local governments have had to make up out of their own pockets?

    add to this that no data was given on the population increases over this same period…another round of smoke and mirrors and cherry-picking the data.

    think on this other thing, too: if Glen and Earl and the other good ol boys push this through because it make great “bumpersticker politics” then they each will have to make only about 20-25,000 people happy with their decisions about distributing the money because that’s about all the votes (less in some cases) that they need to get re-elected.

    You really think the voters are “smart enough” to get all the nuances of this reform? Seriously? The people of Georgia who elected Sonny? Nope, you really don’t! You think you can bumpersticker your way into fooling them into this and that’s all you really want or need.

    The people of Georgia may be smart enough but they won’t spend more than about 30 seconds thinking about it. No matter what your IQ level, this takes more than 30 seconds to think through and the voters of this state would really rather not spend that much time on it.

  5. eehrhart says:

    Keep it up guys!!

    Your disdain for the voting taxpayer is making this easier and easier. Go ahead tell them they are only 30 second thinkers. What arrogance! What elitism!

    OH and can we get some cheese with that “unfunded mandate” whine?

    The true unfunded mandate is the one being passed along to the taxpayer by governments who spend at these levels.

    The federal government is the largest purveyor of mandates to the state government and yet we keep our spending at 2% below the rate of inflation. Imagine that? And no they are not passed down….try medicaid a huge budget chunk growing exponentially. Not funded locally.

  6. LymanHall says:

    Hasn’t school board spending gone up because people are moving in and we need to build more schools? Population growth and inflation are not tied together. Further, when the state cuts education, doesn’t the local board have to make up the difference?

  7. eehrhart says:

    Grift….The best way to cut off government spending is to cut off the cash faucet. That is what we are proposing.

  8. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    No one took a stab at my question I posed in a related link, so I’ll repost it here…Rep. Ehrhart, I’d especially love to hear a response from you. I’m not looking for an ideological response, just a real world one, since the example I give is real-world:

    I own a home in Cobb County. I live within my means. My property taxes are low; even lower than it seems because I can claim it on my income tax returns. The county sales tax is relatively low. My vehicle registration taxes are low because my car is 10 years old. Again, I live responsibly (As Republicans demand) and within my means.

    So, will somebody please tell me how this GREAT plan will benefit me????

    I would rather see the state income tax repealed or drastically reduced. But if someone can convince me that the Speaker

  9. eehrhart says:

    Cheap,

    NO guarantee has been made that government should be able to continue at the obscene spending rates above.

    The only guarantee is in the proposed statute that local governments keep what they had in the base year plus a formula for growth.

    If they want to spend at those outrageous numbers then they will have to ask the taxpayers directly for the money, not assess them through the back door.

    By cutting them off the property tax easy money from the taxpayer con then you restrain their out of control spending.

  10. Federalist says:

    Did you know that georgia’s population has increased over 27% between 1996 and 2006? An increase like that requires a hell of a lot more infrastructure…and that money comes from taxes. It hurts more when wages are not increased proportionally to inflation…well that changed just recently. Just look how metro-atlanta has grown. It is not the largest metropolitan statistical area in the us…i think it might cover more geograpic area than any metro in the world. Maybe there should be new taxes rather than just raising taxes. Perhaps increase taxes on cigarettes and fast food.

  11. cheapseats says:

    so, how do we control “out-of-control” state spending if we send all our money to Atlanta and then have to beg to get some of it back?

    I think this plan is not about cutting off any faucets, it’s about re-routing the plumbing so that it flows directly into the Speaker’s office. I don’t get to vote for the Speaker. I do get to vote for my county commissioners, mayor and council, and my local school board members. The ‘Stache (and you) don’t have to do a damn thing for me because I’m not in your district.

    This is an incumbent protection plan and a great start at de-funding public education so that people will start to beg for private school vouchers. A few of us do understand how everything is connected – well, how I get disconnected from the pipeline since I can’t do anything for the Speaker.

    Our only hope is that the Senate can stop this insanity although I must admit that I fear that they’ll actually try to get the plumbing re-routed to Cagle or Johnson’s office.

    BTW – if this is such a GREAT idea, why stop here? Let’s talk about sending all the revenue from all the states up to Washington and let Congress dole it out. Now, there’s a GREAT plan! NOT!

  12. Earl,

    Griftdrift is correct. If your plan is revenue neutral (at least for the first year) then some class of people will be paying more and people who are not in that class will be paying less.

    This is what I hate about Republicans like yourself. Simple ageless facts (like a mathematic equation) automatically become “class warfare”. Divide up the population with any class definition you want – rich vs poor, white vs black, men vs women, over 18 vs under 18, homeowner vs renter, cobb resident vs non cobb resident…you may call it “class warfare” but it is really simple math and statistics.

  13. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    Rep. Ehrhart why did you ignore my question? I’m not trying to pick a fight, just want to see how this plan will benefit me.

  14. eehrhart says:

    loyalty

    I neither know your personal circumstances nor could I begin to evaluate them.

    I do not know your definition of benefit.

  15. eehrhart says:

    Chris and Cheap

    Hate and personal insults are such harsh concepts….Join the Republican ranks and let go your hate.

  16. modcon says:

    “The only guarantee is in the proposed statute that local governments keep what they had in the base year plus a formula for growth.”

    Lets imagine that there are two counties with populations of 100,000 and an equal amount of assessed property let

  17. John Konop says:

    In fairness the increase cost in Education also has the hands of lobbyist, politicians and publishing companies all over it.Any of you who support the failed big government pork filled No Child Left Behind should not complain about the cost increase. The sad part most of the money showed up in the publishers pockets at the expense of tax payers and our children.

    This bill sucks the life out of local school budgets, while the testing, books, consulting is controlled by 4 major publishing houses that are making out like bandits while they pay off officials from both parties.

    If you are upset than you should tell Kennedy, Bush, Price, Kathy Cox

  18. cheapseats says:

    the whole House in Georgia is so embarrassing – like most state senators I’ve spoken with, from both parties, say “it’s a handful of morons elected by a handful of morons” – the Georgia House is one of the laughing stocks of the whole country!

    We can’t even really debate a tax reform package that has almost no details at all but they’ve got a lot of folks excited about the idea that their property taxes will go away. And you want to try to mock me for saying Georgia voters are gullible?!

    Everybody wants stuff and nobody wants to pay for it – is there any way I can make that more simple for you?

    Look at the crap bills that Erheart has supported – you have to be rich, white, Baptist, and Republican to take this guy seriously.

    For Glen, I fantasize about the world-class bimbos that the lobbyist will be sending to this guy if this GREAT plan gets passed. They will make that pipeline gal look like a barnyard bumpkin! He’s going to think he’s gone to heaven with the class of babes they will be lining up to send him.

  19. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    I own a home in Cobb County. I live within my means. My property taxes are low; even lower than it seems because I can claim it on my income tax returns. The county sales tax is relatively low. My vehicle registration taxes are low because my car is 10 years old. Again, I live responsibly (As Republicans demand) and within my means.

    So, will somebody please tell me how this GREAT plan will benefit me????

    I would rather see the state income tax repealed or drastically reduced. But if someone can convince me that the Speaker

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