49 comments

  1. eehrhart says:

    Jace,

    I do not engage in dialogue with those who make their arguments littered with personal attack and invective. My experience has always been that if you are really insecure about your own position this is how you act. If you want to try making a case without personal attack I will be glad to accomodate you.

    I have proven on here over and over that I will hold a discussion with anyone no matter how vehement the disagreement as long as it is a civil conversation. I just have no time or interest in somone who argues with persoanl attack.

  2. John Konop says:

    Eehrhart

    In all due respect, I think Jace made some very valid points that many of us are concerned about with this bill. I as well as others would like to see your response if possible.

  3. eehrhart says:

    John and Jason,

    I will be glad to respond to specific questions from you guys and I generally do when I can make the time to get on here.

    John if you want an answer ask away I have never seen you have the need to be snarky or sarcastic to make your point.

    Same for you Jason, and if I may have responded in the past, I am really not interested going forward.

    Generally front page posters have better arguments and hardly ever resort to such tactics.

  4. Jace Walden says:

    Earl,

    I called you a liberal Republican cut from the same mold as the big government Republicans in Washington.

    Get over it.

    The only reason you aren’t responding to anything is the same reason you haven’t given a straight answer to anyone since the issue of the GREAT Plan ever came up.

    I specifically outlined a number of points that you have failed to answer on. If you have a problem with being called out, then maybe you’re too soft to be in politics.

  5. John Konop says:

    eehrhart,

    Is not the local control of the tax revenue an issue?

    Also does this take away local accountability, incentive to deal with the balance of tax revenue and growth from local elected officials?

    I find this short sided by either party because there is no guarantee you will stay in power.

    Also does this not just guarantee finger pointing and more backroom politics with spending?

  6. dorian says:

    With all due respect Rep. Ehrhart, we all get passionate about ideas that we care about (especially when they are this bad and will send the state into economic ruin). No one on these boards has a corner on that market, and if I recall the last legislative session, such passion can even infect the capital building in Atlanta.

    If anything, many people like me are just very confused, and perhaps disappointed, in all of you for being so vauge and, from our perception dishonest. What it seems like is your pushing an agenda, regardless of what the voters actually want, because you want it. Because you will benefit.

    If you want to say that you don’t deal with people because they’re rude, that’s fine, but the reality that settles in on everyone is that you don’t give answers because you can’t. You can’t change tax policy by sound bite.

    Liberal newspapers, greedy county commissioners, biased academics, evil special interest groups like the aarp and teachers unions. Whose left to support your plan? If everyone who opposes it is some sort of radical, you’re going to find yourself in a very small majority of one.

    You don’t have the momentum to pull a proposition 13 like they did in California. And to be honest, it hasn’t really helped them and won’t help us either. That is just reality, and not likely to change no matter how many pollsters the house republicans buy.

  7. eburke says:

    Even without details of the plan available before the poll was taken, it only got 59%. Once the details are out that support will likely decrease. The same guys who told us it had 80% support are the ones who say that the expanded sales tax will provide enough funds to meet all the local needs and to just trust them to return it all to the cities, schools and counties. They have had a number of years to cut state spending and they say just trust us to do right by everyone. I am not calling names but just pointing out that there is a credibility gap.

  8. debbie0040 says:

    You are wrong, Dorian, when you say it hasn’t helped them. Typical liberal dribble.

    http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=5682

    Then and now, Proposition 13 was and is the subject of relentless attack. Money ran a cover story back in 1994 by Richard Reeves titled “The Tax Revolt That Ruined California.” The article blamed the recession, the loss of 600,000 jobs and the decline in family incomes in the early 1990s on the cumulative effects of Proposition 13. No mention was made of the fact that in 1991 California passed the biggest tax increase ($7 billion) in the history of any state in the Union. The Pete Wilson tax increase negated many of the positive effects of Proposition 13.
    But what is not said in any of these accounts is that Proposition 13 ushered in a second California gold rush in the 1980s. California’s economic surge in the years following Proposition 13 was to become the envy of the nation. In the 10 years after the passage of Proposition 13, incomes in California grew 50 percent faster than in the nation as a whole; jobs grew at twice the national pace. Even supporters of Proposition 13 never envisioned that it would unleash the spectacular entrepreneurial and commercial explosion that it did over the next decade.

    Did Proposition 13 really starve state and local services? Hardly. In real dollars, California’s budget climbed from $55 billion in 1980 to $97 billion in 1992 — a 75 percent increase above inflation! Only in government would a 75 percent real spending hike be considered inadequate and neglectful. What about revenues? In the 1980s state tax revenues as a share of Californian’s incomes actually rose — from 11 to 12 percent.

    But what is not said in any of these accounts is that Proposition 13 ushered in a second California gold rush in the 1980s. California’s economic surge in the years following Proposition 13 was to become the envy of the nation. In the 10 years after the passage of Proposition 13, incomes in California grew 50 percent faster than in the nation as a whole; jobs grew at twice the national pace. Even supporters of Proposition 13 never envisioned that it would unleash the spectacular entrepreneurial and commercial explosion that it did over the next decade.

    http://www.hjta.org/content/ARC000024B_Prop13.htm

    In addition, Proposition 13 required that all state tax rate increases be approved by a two-thirds vote of the legislature and that local tax rates also have to be approved by a vote of the people. The people’s right to vote on taxes is a key taxpayer protection.

    The bottom line is that a lot of the things being said now about the House and Senate plan to do away with property tax were said about Prop. 13.

    The Senate has a plan almost identical, but you don’t hear the venemous attacks on that plan as you do with the House plan. Makes you seriously contemplate whether or not it is a personality issue.

    Florida is looking at changing their property tax system. Georgia is not the only state. Florida also is putting a cap on the growth of local government and I believe that is something that should be done in Georgia , too.

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/legislature/sfl-flbproptax1016nboct16,0,843100.story

    My parents lived for years in Cape Coral, FL and always sent their property tax to the state and did not pay at the count level.

  9. debbie0040 says:

    Let the People Vote!!
    Let the People Vote!!

    Let both sides put forth their best efforts to sway voters opinions but

    Let the People Vote!

  10. cheapseats says:

    Let the People Vote!

    OK, that tells me that at least we agree on something. We obviously both agree that the voters will not take the time to study this issue and will go along with the “typical neo-con” BIG government, tax-and-spend, lobbyist rule the state, kind of thinking.

    If the supposed proponents of “letting the people decide” really thought that the voters would educate themselves and fully understand all aspects of this idea, they would NEVER put it on the ballot.

    This is the kind of disingenious, wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing crap that passes for the Republican party these days.

    I’m very happy to see that a lot of real Republicans can see through this but, the voters won’t. Not for the 8 seconds that they will spend thinking about this.

    I hope there is a special corner of Hell reserved for these kind of liars and, I assure you, it will be as bi-partisan as you could possibly imagine.

    This is a give-away to Big Timber and Big Development. A kind of corporate welfare that you’d never countenance if it were going to someone who was truly in need.

  11. debbie0040 says:

    I think a cap to limit the growth of local governments should be part of the ammendment as well as doing away with the property tax.

  12. debbie0040 says:

    It is spreading the tax burden around not just milking property owners.

    Illegal aliens will finally pay taxes . They sure use government services enough….

    I have heard citizen seniors complain about having to pay property tax to help fund schools when they no longer have children school age.

    How about parents that send their children to private schools, don’t they deserve a tax break?

    This will benefit everyone.

    The low income will receive refunds on taxes paid.

    The reason I like this idea is because you have a choice about paying sales tax, you don’t have a choice about paying property tax.

  13. dorian says:

    Wow! Well, there is one person who supports the GReAT tax. Now, if we can only find the other 399. Unlike some folk, I won’t bother to block quote from wikipedia, but if you had kept reading further down the page, you’d have come to the part called “aftermath in california”.

    As I don’t know Rep. Ehrhart personally and am not one of his consituents, I have no real opinion of him outside of this issue. He talks much the same way as 90% of every politician I have ever heard talk about anything talks. It just so happens that this issue is going to destroy the economy of the state, so it is more irritating than ususal.

    When you’re done plagiarising wikipedia on behalf of the house ogliarchy, you may want to go out and russle up those 399 other folks who want to take food off the table of our grandparents so you can feel morally superior in sticking it to poor people for not paying their fair share of the tax burden.

  14. dorian says:

    By the way debbie, this isn’t a “tax break”. It is a tax shift. Even your beloved house ogliarchy conceeds that. And those parents sending their kids to private school can look forward to paying sales tax on the tuition. And textbooks. And tutoring. And after school care.

  15. Loren says:

    eehrhart: I have proven on here over and over that I will hold a discussion with anyone no matter how vehement the disagreement as long as it is a civil conversation…I will be glad to respond to specific questions from you guys and I generally do when I can make the time to get on here.

    In that case, Mr. Ehrhart, I have some questions that I’d be interested in hearing your answers to:

    1) Since the GREAT Plan is revenue neutral, won’t that mean that money that is currently the province of local governments will instead go straight to the state? Doesn’t that run counter to conservatism’s belief in more local governance?

    2) What are local governments supposed to do about this loss of funds?

    3) If it’s truly revenue neutral, then it’s not, on the whole, a tax cut. Why should I support a plan that simply rearranges who I pay my taxes to, and under what label they’re paid?

    4) Instead of exchanging one tax for another, what’s preventing the state legislature from pushing through a true and simple tax CUT? Speaking as someone who could possibly pay more in taxes under the GREAT Plan (given my housing circumstances), why can’t Georgia just cut its taxes for everybody?

    Thanks in advance.

  16. debbie0040 says:

    Excuse me Adrian but you need to learn to read and not just spout off liberal dribble. I did not quote from Wilkipedia . I provided the links for the info I posted, but then the truth doesn’t matter to you does it?

    Taking food off our grandparents table. What bs and outright lies, you are pathetic!

    Those parents that send their kids to private school will also not have to pay property taxes on houses, cars, etc.

    I am not doing anything on behalf or anyone. I support both the Senate and House plan. Doesn’t really matter to me which one passes.

    It might be a tax shift, but you will have a choice about paying the sales tax, you don’t about property tax… There will be another layer the local governments have to go through to raise taxes. They won’t be able to just re- access the value of your house and raise more revenue so they can spend more money.

  17. debbie0040 says:

    I got your name wrong, it should be Dorian not Adrian. Was readking something else at the same time as I was typing.

  18. joe says:

    Rep. Erhart,

    4% is undoubtably the wrong number. 4.017% or 3.926% might be a right number, but 4.000 can not be right. If the state collects $100M too much, where does the money go? If the state collects $100M too little, who gets shorted?

  19. debbie0040 says:

    Bleeding heart liberals said that Reaganomics would ruin the economy and it did not. Dorian, I bet you just hate Reagan don’t you?

    I bet you despise any tax system that is fair and does not soak the rich..

    Do you support Fair Tax or do you think our current tax code is good?

  20. IndyInjun says:

    Put the GREAT plan to the vote!

    I now say this, after consideration of the $20 grand a year I would save versus the minimal additional sales taxes I will pay to Georgia.

    NOBODY on Peachpundit is more tight-fisted with a buck than I am.

    NOBODY believed me when I was hammering this plan for altruistic purposes, namely the damage it does to most other people, so why beat up on Earl when he is trying to save ME so much money?

    It is the Republican way, reminding me of why I supported the GOP for so many years.

  21. cheapseats says:

    Borrowed from another blog (Safe As Houses):
    The GREAT Glenn Tax on Everything is really just publicly-funded campaign financing.

    All the money will go to the places where Glenn needs the votes in his run to be the next Goobernor. Plain and simple – this is NOT tax reform; it IS campaign finance reform.

  22. debbie0040 says:

    I believe in private property rights and that is one reason I support in doing away with property tax.

    Under the current system, you buy property and pay tax on the property when you buy it, but you never really own it. Your name may be on the deed but if you fail to pay the government its annual homage, the government takes it. That is not true ownership and private property rights.

  23. dorian says:

    Actually, debbie the elderly will get hit especially hard since most do not pay property taxes on their home. What you’ll be doing is making everything else they buy more expensive to buy.

    It’s simple math, but for you I will illustate. My granny pays $0.00 property taxes on her home. She can go buy a box of oreos for about $3.00. With 0.07/dollar tax, that is about $3.21. Now, you bump up that tax to 0.11./dollar, and she pays $3.33 or so. Now use that example, and multiply it by everything my retired granny buys during the course of a year living on a fixed income. Why do you hate granny debbie? She loves her oreos. Why take the oreos out of the mouth of my granny?

    And by the by, I was a kid during the 80’s, so everything I know about Reganomics was from Alan Greenspans’ book. He seemed particularly enamored with the fiscal policy of Clinton who paid down the deficit Regan ran up. Although he did credit Regan with winning the cold war by outspending the USSR on defense.

    Why don’t we just get a amendment put on the ballot that will exempt the republican legislature, titlemax, and debbie from property taxes? Maybe then, they’d be content to leave the rest of us alone with this craziness.

  24. eehrhart says:

    John Konop,
    “Is not the local control of the tax revenue an issue?Also does this take away local accountability, incentive to deal with the balance of tax revenue and growth from local elected officials?
    I find this short sided by either party because there is no guarantee you will stay in power.
    Also does this not just guarantee finger pointing and more backroom politics with spending?”

    The local control argument is one I find most disingenuine. People are fed up with the rate of growth in Government spending. The vehicle for local governments ability to do this is the property tax. Through this back door approach of assesment they can raise all the revenue they want regardless of the taxpayers ability to pay. through a sales tax the government has to ask the people directly and by setting out what they plan to spend the money on. People much prefer this concept and they do understand it contrary to what some may think.
    Local accountablity for spending decisions remains with the local government under the plan. Just as it does with road money or premium tax money, or school money. The state is merely doing the admistrative function. A good example of this is the QBE monies that since 1985 have been collected by the state and the splost monies which are returned to the locals to spend however they want and the amounts are set in statute, not by subjective whim of the legislature through the appropriations process.

    Loren,
    1) Since the GREAT Plan is revenue neutral, won

  25. dorian says:

    Rep. Ehrhart, the poll is ancedotal. It’s just the latest example of the latest issue with the great scheme. Most of us don’t dispute that the system needs fixing. I certainly don’t. We do dispute as to whether or not this is the way to do it. Since it has come up recently, look at prop. 13 in california. There, property taxes weren’t even repealled. They were capped, and even then on occassion the state had to tap into the money earmarked for the locals.

    You guys can’t even agree on a budget for the state when you’re all from the same party and you want all of it? You don’t deserve it. And, I say that not trying to be rude or insolent in any way. I just have a total lack of confidence on how I have seen this legislature perform.

    I could recite, again, the dozen or so reasons that we have already discussed on why I think this is disasterous, but I’m not going to convince you nor you me.

    Ultimately, though, I believe in small government. I live in a small town. I know my electeds, and they are who I will stand with and not the atlanta oligarchy.

    If I were an elected official in atlanta, I would be much more concerned in restoring public confidence in my ability to govern than enacting sweeping tax reform. To start that process, instead of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to various outfits in virginia to tell me what the voters think, I’d ask them myself. They’ll tell you for free.

  26. Mad Dog says:

    I notice the great member of the Georgia Legislature has been caught again making up information then cutting and running when confronted.

    Tell me again, eehrhart, about the millions and millions of dollars Cobb County pays in property taxes to the State of Georiga.

    With a link to your sources.

    Not only are you big statements … bogus at best, the Speakers numbers are made up.

    No wonder you two are married at the hip.

    MD

  27. cheapseats says:

    I’m writing my legislative delegaion and ask them to support the GREAT(ER) plan that somebody here proposed. Under this plan, no property tax or sales tax money at all would ever go to the state. It would all stay right where it belongs – in the community that created it and presided over by the folks we know and see in our local grocery stores.

    The state can learn to cut their spending and live off of driver’s license fees and hunting and fishing licenses. We don’t need them.

  28. cheapseats says:

    one more thing:

    Rep. E keeps saying that there is nothing more local than a vote by the people. So, if 20, 30, or 40 counties vote overwhelmingly against this plan but it passes state-wide, by what logic is this equal to “local control”?

  29. debbie0040 says:

    Mad Dog, you are wrong on that one. I have heard school board members from Gwinnett talk about how part of the money collected from property taxes in Gwinnett goes to the State and is then distributed to other poorer school districts in the state. This can be verified with the state or local school boards.

    Dorian, you are full of lies about taking food out of the elderly. Same lies that the bleeding hearts used over reforming Social Security.

    I heard Rep. Ehrhart speak at a breakfast about the plan and a 70 year old stood up and said he supported the plan and that he would trade not having to pay property tax on his home any day of the week for sales tax on food and drugs.

    I have a granny too Dorian. Why do you hate property owners so much that you think they should shoulder the tax burden?

  30. John Konop says:

    eehrhart

    Thank you for your answer. Can you tell us how the money will be split up by County? Will it be based on how much each County collects in sales tax? Does a community that has more commercial office space which is a tax gain via service cost get more money?

  31. John Konop says:

    eehrhart

    One more question how did you factor people making border purchases from States with lower taxes especially on high dollar purchases?

    Debbie this is not a solution for illegal immigrants. The tax revenue collected via service cost is a drop in the bucket. Arguments like this are why Americans have lost faith in both Parties on fiscal responsibility.

  32. dorian says:

    Does anyone else see a parallel between certain persons opposed to property taxes and certain persons who supported bringing back the confederate flag, ie the so called “flaggots”?

    Debbie I want you to be just as outspoken and vocal about this as you are capable of being. I’d really like to see some more of those little one line chants like “Let the People Vote!!” Also, would you consider typing in all caps?

  33. debbie0040 says:

    Dorian, you can stop your lies now. Please show me where I have EVER advocated bringing back the confederate flag.

    You never showed me where I quoted from Wilkepedia either as you said I did. You just keep spouting outright lies and hope no one notices…

    The truth doesn’t matter to you does it?
    I want you to continue to be outspoken as well…

    I think the people have the right to vote on whether or not to do away with property tax and go with sales tax. Obviously you don’t this issue should be voted on by the people. Why is that?

  34. debbie0040 says:

    dorian, the fact you don’t like me makes me very happy.

    Answer my question about why you don’t think voters should be allowed to vote on the proposed Constitutional Ammendment.

    Why do you have no problem with the Senate bill but attack the House version? How do they differ?

  35. eburke says:

    The same people who are saying “what’s wrong with letting the people vote” on the tax issue prevented the people from voting for the flag that they really wanted on the ballot. It seems hypocritical and another reason not to trust the General Assembly to keep its word on the tax plan.

  36. John Konop says:

    Dorian,

    I think Debbie does come off as a partisan hack. Yet the survey looks mean spirited. I do think you bring up valid points and logical arguments even when I disagree with you. Yet the attack on Debbie undermines your contribution in my opinion.

  37. eburke says:

    I like cheapseats’s idea of collecting all taxes at the local level and then let the Tax Commissioners send what is needed to the State. Let us vote on that.

  38. Jace Walden says:

    Earl,

    I really would like to have a discussion with you on this topic. I honestly would. So I hope you will accept my apology if I offended you.

    I want to have an honest discussion on this topic. That means both of us. I can’t ask you to be honest with me if I am not first honest with you. My honest opinion is that you and Glenn Richardson are big-government liberal Republicans. I’m not just making that up to increase website traffic. I’m not trying to “call you names” or attack you personally. This is my opinion of your politics not you as a person. I think it is more than fair to criticize your politics.

    That said, I don’t hate you or Glenn Richardson. I think you are profoundly wrong on this, and several other issues. I also think that up until this thread, you haven’t been completely forthright in your explanations of this plan.

    But I do appreciate the fact that you come on here and blog. I hope we can move on and get down to some serious discussion.

  39. cheapseats says:

    Thanks but I can’t take credit for that idea. Without spending time combing back through all the posts, I can’t remember who first proposed it but it wasn’t me. I just happen to like it a lot!

    Let’s say that we wanted to use the idea of eliminating property taxes and replacing them with a sales tax (I don’t but just for the sake of argument), then the only thing that makes any sense at all would be for the local, LOCAL, governments to collect the sales tax and keep it in the communities where it was generated and collected. A lot of cities and counties have poured a lot of money and hard work into economic development and others have done almost nothing so, why shouldn’t those of us who have made the investment get to be assured of the rewards?

    Seriously, the General Assembly continues to grow less relevant every day. The only time anybody here ever even thinks about the Gold Domers is when they threaten our local control – which they have done consistently since the Gold Dome became the Red Dome. Didn’t Republicans use to campaign on local control? What happened to those guys?

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