50 comments

  1. Bill Simon says:

    Erick,

    Were you at Sonny’s first President’s Day dinner in 2003?

    I realize a Republican speechwriter wrote the speech, but everyone kind of caught their throat when Sonny said to the crowd “And we can remember when the number of Republicans in Georgia was such that we met in a phone booth…”

  2. debbie0040 says:

    I think we should encourage people to call the Governor’s Office and let him know that the tax code is broken contrary to his statements. What Republican really believes the tax code is not broken?

    Office of the Governor, Georgia State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334
    Office Phone: 404-656-1776

  3. suwtiger says:

    On Sept 4, the speaker said that he wanted to bring up the lower income communities in education and govt services and by slowing the growth of the areas that are above the state’s median income. Is that aRepublican or Karl Marx….lets redistribute the income my way and thats what will happen once he gets his mitts around all our taxes, oh by the way, there will be certain tests/ring kissing required to make sure you get your fair share. Also, that new mall you being built your county that will screw up your traffic and disrupt your life and commute to work or that new 500 unit apt that is going up down the street that will make your crowded school even more crowded, the property tax money for both of those will NOT go to your county or community to help offset these problems, it will go where the speaker sees fit. I dont trust him or the Golddomers to make good on any of these promises.

  4. StevePerkins says:

    There’s a difference between saying that “taxes are too high” vs. saying that “the tax system is broken”. You don’t have to completely re-write the tax code, shifting local control to centralized power in the process, just to deal with taxes being too high. Instead, you simply LOWER TAXES to deal with taxes being too high.

    My understanding of the Speaker’s “tax reform” plan is that it’s intended to be revenue-neutral. That means that if taxes are too high now, they would still be too high under the new system. So if taxes being too high is the part that’s “broken”, what exactly is getting “fixed”? Not a damn thing… this is just people hoping that some of their tax burden will get passed on to someone else after the cards are reshuffled.

    With all due respect to Jason (and even a little respect to Erick), Georgia’s tax system is not broken. Our SPENDING system is broken. If you’re not starting from that end of the equation, then you’re just blowing smoke.

  5. Jason Pye says:

    With all due respect, Steve. BOTH are broken. As the Tax Foundation points out, our tax system puts us at a disadvantage in our region.

    Tune into WSB on Thursday at 6pm for a little something on state spending.

  6. debbie0040 says:

    Taxing property is immoral. You pay taxes on property when purchased then continue to pay the government taxes or you lose it and the government takes it.

    The bottom line is that under the Great Plan or the plan Sen Chip Rogers is proposing, the local governments will not just be able to raise taxes by virtue of re-accessing the value of your home. They will have to have tax payer approval to raise taxes. That is one reason local governments are against this plan. They don’;t want their cash cow taken away.

    As far as people upset about sending money to a central location and it not getting back to the counties. Do you see counties and school boards complaining about SPLOST money not being returned to them?

    My parents lived in Florida for years and they sent their property tax to the state not the local county.

    I like the sales tax plan. If your income goes down, you spend less and pay less taxes. That is your choice, unlike now. Those that don’t own property will have to pay their fair share.

    Those that have children in schools that don’t own property will pay their fair share instead of the burden being place on property owners . I don’t have children in school so I resent having the burden put squarely on the shoulders of those that own property.

    Those in our country illegally will pay their share of taxes…

    On a per capita basis, inflation rose 28% since 1996. Spending by cities rose 79%, by counties and school boards it rose 62% and spending by the state rose 26%. The way to bring spending under control is for the local governments to have to receive approval from the tax payers before their taxes are raised. If they have less money, they will spend less..

  7. StevePerkins says:

    > With all due respect, Steve. BOTH are broken.
    > As the Tax Foundation points out, our tax
    > system puts us at a disadvantage in our region.

    No, it doesn’t. I just read the Tax Foundation report that you link to, and it doesn’t say that our “tax system” puts us at a disadvantage. It says that our “tax RATES” put us at a disadvantage.

    That may seem like bickering over semantics, but it’s a pretty key distinction to make when people are construing your post to mean that we should replace a property tax scheme with a sales tax scheme. An attack on the underlying structure of Georgia’s tax system is being read into a report that simply does not make that argument.

    This report just says that taxes should be lower. That is NOT a call for revenue-neutral changes to the tax system.

  8. dorian says:

    Debbie your philosophical objection to property taxes is hardly justification for sending the state economy into economic ruin. There are so many problems with this GREAT tax scheme, at this point, it would take a small encyclopedia to outline them all.

    If this really was a good idea then it ought to sell itself. There would be no need for all this bs political doublespeak or hiring lobbyists to conduct your impartial “poll” of 600 Georgia electorate. And, by the way, check that website you like to tout, and your facts, property taxes won’t be completely eliminated anyway.

    I’d actually respect the house leadership more if they were as honest as you are and just said they don’t like the fact that they have to pay property taxes in the first place and don’t mind the fact that poor people and the elderly ought to pay more taxes.

  9. Chris says:

    “Revenue Neutral” is code word for “We don’t want to make the hard choices that comes with cutting spending”.

    Richardson’s tax plan meddles in the affairs of local governments before addressing real spending reform at the state level. Its like saying the 15% increase in Federal spending since 2002 is bad, but the 20% increase in State spending in the same period is ok.

  10. eburke says:

    The real problem is not the system of a diverse revenue stream to support government services, it is that we have too much spending and too large of a disconnect between revenue and spending. My local government spends too much in some areas in my view, but others want these services and the local leaders really seem to want to keep costs down. I think the General Assembly should start by cutting its spending first. I send about $800 a year to the County and the School Board. I send about $3000 in income tax to the General Assembly not counting another $2000 in sales taxes. I get very little for the $5000 I send to the state and a relative bargain from the $800 that goes to the the County and School Board.
    I know my situation is different than those of you in the Atlanta suburbs but we actually hold our Commissioners and School Board members accountable for how they spend our taxes.
    Cut Spending and Don’t give more money to the General Assembly who hasn’t been faithful with what we have already given them to spend.

  11. Groseclose says:

    Maybe the Governor used the wrong rhetoric, but I think his sentiments are right! We better be awfully cautious before we buy into the Speaker’s plan. So far, the Speaker has built traction by being vague, not disclosing specifics about exemptions or local control. Once Richardson begins to be specific about his plans, I am not convinced yet that so many Georgians are going to benefit from his plan.

  12. eehrhart says:

    Dorian,

    Which paid lobbyist? Paid to poll?

    If anyone is being paid it is Essig, and the Georgia State crowd who are paid with tax funds and are lobbying against the plan.

    You have to love the Georgia state economists. No shame. First with respect to the dollars on the food exemption he says ” oops my own numbers from my own study in 2004 just are not relevant now’ By the way now that I do not like the plan we can just lower that by say 500 million. Of course the actual numbers are available and it turns out his original numbers were quite close.

    Such convienent shifts really do drive their credibility into the abyss.

    I prefer Art Laffer and his proven track record.

    Yes I am a proponent of Reaganomics and proudly so. Thank you Dr. Laffer.

  13. debbie0040 says:

    The elderly would love not having to pay property tax.

    The elderly and the low income would receive a certain percentage of the sales tax back when they file a Georgia Income Tax form. It is based on income.

    It is not just Glenn Richardson that has plan to do away with property tax. Sen Chip Rogers and Lt. Governor Cagle are proposing one that is very similar to the GREAT Plan.

  14. debbie0040 says:

    I remember Reagan’s Economic plan was called “Voodoo Economics” when first introduced and the critics were wrong .

  15. StevePerkins says:

    Yeah, Jason… the title of the article says “reform”, but the text of the article suggests that what they mean by “reform” is simply lowering taxes. Two of the five “principles of taxation” they enumerate in the conclusion actually go against the Speaker’s plan: (3) tax law should be stable, (5) should interfere with economic growth as little as possible.

    This article just calls for lower taxes. Construing it as an endorsement for the Speaker’s proposal (or any other revenue-neutral plan) is disingenuous.

  16. Harry says:

    Interesting comment from Debbie, that Florida collects no taxes at the county level. I wasn’t aware of that. How efficient and cost effective is it to maintain tax offices in all 159 counties in Georgia, especially knowing that some of them have not been too equitable in their operations?

    The “Habsburg mentality” says it’s been like this for three hundred years so it must continue, but I say “it ain’t necessarily so.”

    However as others point out, Republicans are going to be judged by the taxpaying, middle class voters on how much spending can be cut out of budgets which we know are bloated, which in turn will result in bona fide tax cuts across the boards. I’d rather have more concurrent discussion about spending and budget controls. We need to see the receivers of largesse (special interests) start squirming more….that’s a sure sign of progress in the pork wars.

  17. eehrhart says:

    Harry,

    Agreed on the spending side!

    Stay tuned for the screams when we begin the zero based budgeting of three state departments.

    Those who want to see proposed spending cuts stay tuned for the results of such an exercise and the resultant proposed cuts.

  18. eehrhart says:

    Lets see?

    5 counties pay 46% of the taxes in the State of Georgia.

    I wonder if those concerned with centralized economy really want what they are asking for and complaining against.

    Do they really want to go it on their own and raise all those tax revenues locally?

    Is one persons centralized economy anothers redistributive pot of gold?

  19. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    Earl, when do you guys plan on sacking the GSU Fiscal Research Center? I see a Georgia version of a Night of the Long Knives.
    😉

    BTW, I live in Cobb and love my low property rates.

  20. eehrhart says:

    Not in any plan I have ever seen Loyalty.

    I would submit you are a minority of people in Cobb who love their tax rates.

    Ask most anyone who just got their tax bill in the mail. I have had hundreds contact me just in the last weeks and you are the only one who loves their taxes in the whole bunch.

  21. dorian says:

    Rep. Ehrhart, I do not want to violate American Viewpoint’s copyright, but as I had previously posted the link : http://www.amview.com/amview_contents/practice/political.shtml

    1. They are a republican polling firm
    2. They self claim to “win difficult races”
    3. They “help guide messaging”

    What that means to me is that they were hired to formulate a position in such a way that it would be supported amongst a majority of the populace.
    It wasn’t about impartial analysis at all.

    Bottom, line contrary to the 80% I have previously heard that support this scheme, it is only 58% with a republican pollster that was getting paid to lead people to the outcome you wanted for the purposes of manipulating the larger population as a whole.

  22. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    Well they’ve never lived in Fulton I suspect. Anyway, thanks for hanging out on PP and discussing the issues. BTW, I would rather see the income tax be reduced or eliminated instead.

  23. debbie0040 says:

    The only poll that matters in this case is the one on election day.

    The GREAT Plan and the State Senate Plan will require the voters to vote on this plan.

    I can not imagine why anyone would be opposed to letting the taxpayers deciding whether or not to do away with Property Tax.

    Shouldn’t this be an issue for the voters?

  24. Jace Walden says:

    Earl,

    I have a question. But first a comment. You say that the people who scream “local control” are either (1) Uninformed or (2) Outright Misleading the Public.

    But everytime someone asks you to explain how this doesn’t usurp local control, you simply offer a worn-out platitude like “how much more local can you get than letting people vote” or you tell them to contact your office to speak with you privately.

    If you are going to come on here and vouch for this plan, then you need to be more open about what this plan really calls for.

    I know you have personally been misleading us for months now. You said that you have “80%” support. You don’t. The latest polls show you only have 59%. Were you lying to us, Earl?

    Here is my question, why should my county government have to come and kiss yours and Richardsons feet to get a dollar or two? Isn’t the most effective government the one closest to its people?

  25. debbie0040 says:

    Loyalty, are you saying that we should have the “Roy Barnes Mentality” of this issue is too important for the voters to decide? That voters are too uninformed to make an intelligent decision?

  26. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    debbie…well I don’t know about Roy Barnes (WTF, where did that come from?). But yes, voters are uninformed, otherwise all those special interest tax breaks that we vote on in every election would be defeated.

  27. cheapseats says:

    your SPLOST argument is specious at best – the law requires that ALL the SPLOST money be returned to the local government entity from which it was enacted and collected. Nothing in the Glenn Tax requires that – at least nothing we’ve heard so far.

    Side note: some counties have had to pay for independent audits and fight to get their money back in spite of the law – shoddy bookkeeping at the state level is usually the culprit.

    Put me in the category as one who seriously and without apology believes that the voters are too uninformed to make an intelligent decision. Absolutely! I’ve worked campaigns for over a dozen years and I KNOW that the voters do not bother themselves to become informed. (And, before you get on your high-horse, I have won a helluvalot more elections than I’ve lost and even in winning, I knew most voters didn’t know their ass from third base when they voted.)

    I also have had experience with misleading ballot iniatives and heard many stories of “well, if I had known that it was going to do “X”, I never would have voted for it!”

  28. Jace Walden says:

    Debbie,

    By law, All SPLOST money has to go back to where it came from. By law.

    By the Glenn Tax, NONE of the money that would have been collected in property taxes HAS to go back to anyone.

    The counties would be under a de-facto requirement to beg for that money from Glenn and Earl.

  29. debbie0040 says:

    The counties would be guranteed what they have now plus 4%. The counties can go to the voters for SPLOSTS or bond issues for more. Shouldn’t the voters be able to decide if their local government gets more money and is able to raise taxes. Talking about an incentive to reduce spending…

    I am sure that negoiations will be made between the Senate and House that will address some issues.

    A certain percentage of taxes collected in the county should go back to that county. That should be written in the ammendment and my understanding is that it will.

  30. debbie0040 says:

    I think voters should have the right to make that decision and those that think otherwise sound just like Hillary Clinton.

    Those that vote no on the bill will be telling their constituents that they don’t think the voters have a right to make that decision. I am sure that will go over real well….

  31. Jace Walden says:

    Debbie,

    Don’t quote me on this, but I’m pretty sure that regarding SPLOSTs, the MAXIMUM amount combined that local governments can tax on splosts is only .03 cents on the dollar.

    It’s not like they can just “keep raising SPLOSTs” to replace lost revenue.

    The counties would be guranteed what they have now plus 4%.

    WHOA! Where did this come from? I have never heard this. BUT, it’s bullsh*t. If this tax is “revenue neutral”, where in the hell does the extra 4% come from?

    I’m with you on one thing. I think it should come to a vote. I would love to see the attack ads against it and against tax-and-spend Glenn and liberal Earl.

  32. eehrhart says:

    Dorian,

    I look forward to sharing with you all of the polls metrics.

    It is the most balanced poll which could be created.

    Of course balance is in the eye of the beholder, but lets just have this discussion when the I have the rest of the cross tabs to share.

    The very first poll was 79 point something in support of a concept.

    Speaking of messaging: The plan now has today a 2-1 approval after almost every left leaning editorial board in the state, numerous special interest groups, and most big spending local governments(79% per year spending growth), have teed off on it for six months. I would submit that this shows surprising strength, and at the least proves that the public approves.

  33. rugby_fan says:

    Earl:

    There is a 20 point differential in your poll where you find 80% support for the GREAT Plan and this.

    I think now more than ever, we are curious to see your results.

    Can I just add that you must be completely off your rocker if you think average people will pay attention to abstract tax discussions for several months and be in in tune with “almost every left leaning editorial board in the state” (why are they liberal? Is it that they disagree with you?).

  34. debbie0040 says:

    I think this should come to a vote and let both sides present their case and the voters should be the ones to decide the issue.

  35. debbie0040 says:

    There should be enough revenue coming in to allow for growth. I heard Speaker Richardson speak about guranteeing the current spending level of local governments plus 4% if needed

  36. eehrhart says:

    Rugby
    I thought you were not responding to me ever again?

    2-1 is the point I am making and it is strong even if you do not like it.

    As for the left leaning nature of Georgia Editorial boards. They are and that is just a fact. I could care less wether they agree with me. I only care about what the citizens of my district think, as that is whom I represent.

  37. rugby_fan says:

    I don’t believe I said ever again, I think I said for the day.

    If I did, its obvious I need a little debate with you in my life every now and then.

    What would worry me is a 20 point drop in support from one poll to the next.

    Look, what interests me about the support for the GREAT plan is that there is a poll where you have 80% support for the measure but you don’t release the data.

    All I am saying is that that is highly suspect.

  38. rugby_fan says:

    And I would be curious to see your proof that most of the editorial boards in Georgia are left leaning.

    Is it that they are part of the evil MSM that is out to destroy conservatives everywhere?

  39. debbie0040 says:

    One way to find out who is correct is to put it to a vote. Why would anyone but a liberal elitist in the Hillary Clinton mode that thinks voters are too stupid to decide important issues want to prevent a vote on this…

  40. rugby_fan says:

    debbie:

    First off I am hardly “a liberal elitist”. When else do you make assumptions on things you know nothing about?

    Second, what I am afraid of is how this question will be put on the ballot.

    This plan would be a disaster. Every independent group that has looked at this plan realizes how harmful it will be to to the state (and as we already know from you, independence is not a good thing, especially if it criticizes things you support).

    Of course, when people are set to vote on the measure, it will read as a simple minor good for everyone change.

    In short, I don’t trust politicians. Especially egomaniacal politicians who have hopes of creating an everlasting image of themselves through tax reform and need the people to vote on their plan.

    God knows why you do.

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