Three editorials in three different papers blast the GlennTax today.
Bill Kinney in the Marietta Daily Journal:
Richardson calls his plan “GREAT,” for “Georgia’s Repeal of Every Ad-Valorem Tax.” It would eliminate most sales tax exemptions, including those on food and drugs; would expand the state sales tax; and would tax all services. That means that things never before taxed would start being taxed, including attorney fees, doctor and dental fees, senior living and nursing home fees, surgery costs, funeral costs, landscaping, house cleaning, haircuts, water and sewer bills, day care and much more, Radford says.
Young parents with children in daycare, on the other hand, who now might be paying $145 a week for an infant would have to pay an extra $10.15 per week in taxes, which tallies to an extra $528 per year.
On the other end of the spectrum, basic care in an assisted-living facility is now about $2,400 per month. Under Richardson’s plan, that would jump $168 per month, or an extra $2,016 in taxes.
The editorial board of the Augusta Chronicle:
The GREAT acronym stands for “Georgia’s Repeal of Every Ad Valorem Tax.”
It should be “Glenn Richardson’s Extremely Awful Tax.”
How can any citizen of Georgia think it would be a good idea for local governments to lose control of how they handle their money? It’s the people on the local level who know best how money should be spent on local projects. Under GREAT, the fate of what gets done in Augusta will rest in the hands of non-Augustans under the Gold Dome.
Treutlen County Commissioner Gerald Hooks explained it this way to Georgia Trend magazine: “Under the present system it is a proven fact that counties have to wait two to three months now before getting our portion of sales tax collected by the state. Can you imagine having to tell a county employee that we do not have the money to pay his salary because the state has not sent us our money?
“I think Richardson has turned into a Democrat.”
And…the editorial board of the Macon Telegraph:
For example, under Richardson’s plan, residents would pay sales taxes on water delivered through water lines. Ride a city bus, pay a tax. Buy a Georgia Lottery ticket, pay a tax. Make a long-distance phone call, pay a tax. Fill a prescription, pay a tax. Visit a doctor, pay a tax. Lawyer? Pay a tax. Enter the hospital, pay a tax. Get a hair cut, yep, it’s taxable.
The first rock the speaker will have to traverse will be in the House where he wields the gavel. While he can cajole some support with a variety of arm twisting, it’s doubtful he will be able to get the two-thirds vote necessary to pass the required constitutional amendment. Lawmakers in his chamber are hearing from city councils, county commissions and school boards that Richardson’s plan would be a great disaster. Byron’s Mayor Larry Collins, when asked about Richardson’s plan, told an audience to read the “Communist Manifesto” by Karl Marx, if they wanted to know what the GREAT Plan is all about.
The next session is going to be interesting. The state legislature will be taking up several very contentious issues (Grady, the drought, etc.). The GlennTax may be a headache that many members of the Republican caucus in the legislature don’t want to take up.
I can’t wait until January.