Tax Reform Bill Getting Another Re-Write On The Fly Today

March 30, 2011 10:38 am

by Charlie · 35 comments

With the Tea Party Patriots and Americans For Prosperity coming out against the proposed tax reform package, the bill has been forced into another re-write which is occurring as I type. Revision is expected to be released today.  No word yet from my capitol gnomes if the concerns of social conservatives, namely the elimination of charitable deductions, will be accommodated.  And if they are, will there be enough revenue to remain “revenue neutral” or if there’s enough “reform” to make the bill worthwhile.

Buckle up and stay tuned.

debbie0040 March 30, 2011 at 10:45 am

Another re-write? You have to be kidding? There will be no time to study the bill before a vote. They need to put this off until next session and post the bill online at least 72 hours before scheduling a vote… Isn’t the house leadership doing the same thing we accused Sen Reid and then Speaker Pelosi of when they were trying to pass ObamaCare – rush the vote without people having time to study the bill?

Calypso March 30, 2011 at 10:54 am

@ debbie0040

We are but mere peons, know-nothings, the unwashed masses, beholden to our magnificent overlords who are infallible. They must pass this bill, even before it is written (or re-written) before we are deemed worthy of knowing what is contained therein.

Hell, THEY don’t even know what is in it. Of course this thing needs to be studied more, in whatever form it finally comes out. Keep in mind, however, next year is election year. Why do you think they’re trying to cram this through now?!?

B Balz March 30, 2011 at 10:55 am

They know that annual dues to the Club are not taxed.

B Balz March 30, 2011 at 10:54 am

Ha.

When has the fact that last minute, substantial, and material changes, which cannot be adequately evaluated ever stopped a vote? I hope the the Bill is put on the table, as Speaker Ralston indicated, we are not in a rush.

Calypso March 30, 2011 at 10:57 am

we are not in a rush.

Coulda fooled me

B Balz March 30, 2011 at 10:58 am

Yeah, me too.

Dave Bearse March 31, 2011 at 12:51 am

Last year Speaker Ralston’s House less than an afternoon to pass a $100,000,000 income tax exemption for well-heeled seniors that had suddenly arrived from its Senate woodwork origins that morning. Grover Norquist’s demanding something be done, transparency be damned, about the bed tax increase was heard above the din of the approaching end of session cacophony. Attentive common Georgians were treated as mushrooms.

Once is an anomaly. Am I off base for being concerned that a second similar occurrence Ralston’s second year as Speaker is the beginning of a pattern?

With respect to the legislation itself, the Council’s recommendations appear to have been reduced to a core that shifts income tax burden from the rich individuals to middle class workers, while simultaneously creating a special interest lobbyist’s dream, service taxation lacking rhyme or reason.

Calypso March 31, 2011 at 7:56 am

@ Dave Bearse

You said, “With respect to the legislation itself, the Council’s recommendations appear to have been reduced to a core that shifts income tax burden from the rich individuals to middle class workers, while simultaneously creating a special interest lobbyist’s dream, service taxation lacking rhyme or reason.”

I see you have been given an early copy of the Executive Summary.

debbie0040 March 30, 2011 at 11:03 am
debbie0040 March 30, 2011 at 11:33 am

We are going to oppose any bill where sufficient time is not given to study the bill. How can the GOP criticize Democrats for rushing to vote on bills , when GOP elected official here in Georgia do the same?

Calypso March 30, 2011 at 11:42 am

Though I don’t always agree with you or your group, I’m with you 100% on this one, debbie0040. That and $.50 will get you a cup of coffee.

I know, coffee costs considerably more than that now. I’m old. Coffee *was* $.50 when I first learned that saying.

debbie0040 March 30, 2011 at 12:06 pm

I am old too. I remember when gas was 50 cents a gallon :)

SOGTP March 30, 2011 at 3:49 pm

I used to cruise on Friday nights at $.15 cents per gallon.

Lady Thinker March 30, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Remember the gas wars during the mid-sixties? One corner station would say .17 and the station across the street said .15. Also one could get a complete McDonald’s meal for less than $1 and Krystal hamburgers were a dime?

Chris Huttman March 30, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Actually, since coffee is not a “business input” (although tell that to the self employed who spend hundreds of hours putting together proposals and meeting with clients at Starbucks) you will probably need more for it in the future as the tax will likely go up.

bowersville March 30, 2011 at 11:51 am

Why would anybody go along with anything like a MAJOR tax overhaul left over from a previous administration knowing the State was left in the shape it’s in? A left over from Perdue inherited by Deal.

Why not allow our new Governor, Governor Deal, have a year to study and introduce his own tax overhaul if there is to be one? Deal’s responsible, so why not give him the responsibility. This thing’s a farce. Perdue had 8 years, that’s more than we can stand. Enough already.

Calypso March 30, 2011 at 11:56 am

Now, now bowersville, don’t let logic and common-sense get in your way of embracing this railroaded abomination of a bill. It certainly hasn’t with our esteemed benefactors under the gold dome.

B Balz March 30, 2011 at 11:56 am

I do not think Speaker Ralston will put it on the floor.

Charlie March 30, 2011 at 11:55 am

Am now told not enough GOP votes. Committee meeting “any moment” (now?) to address Stacey Abrams concerns that the middle class will see a tax increase. Hopes are to bring her and other Dems on board.

Calypso March 30, 2011 at 11:57 am

This thing needs to be put back in the file drawer until next year. The vote, that is, not the due diligence on the bill itself.

debbie0040 March 30, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Let me get this straight, GOP House leadership is reaching out to the Democrats to secure enough votes to get this tax bill through because they don’t have enough votes in the GOP House Caucus?

If there are successful, I can imagine the campaign ads that will run in the primary against those that vote with the Democrats in order to pass this bill.

debbie0040 March 30, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Agree with B Balz, Bowersville, Calypso. Why rush it if it is so good? Makes one wonder if they want it rushed because they want it passed before people have a chance to study it. In other words they want to , “Pass it so you can find out what is in it. ” That sounds so familar..

Bloodhound March 30, 2011 at 12:17 pm

The “re-write” should easy if they think like their conservative constituents:

1. Eliminate the income tax.

2. Increase the sales tax on ALL goods, including groceries.

3. Stop giving peanut butter, health insurance and cell phones to people who have not earned them.

Sine die!

SOGTP March 30, 2011 at 3:50 pm

@Bloodhound. That is sound economics.

Charlie March 30, 2011 at 12:32 pm

House Rules Committee is meeting now, with 5 minutes notice given for the meeting.

Not sure if the topic was the tax reform bill or the inexplicably stalled SB 10-Sunday Sales bill.

John Vestal March 30, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Neither. Simply moved a couple of other bills to the calendar, including Buddy Carter’s “Patient Safety Act” SB36….but not until after he came back and offered apologies for his terse replies (re: database access) in the morning’s discussion……particularly to Rep. Karla Drenner.

I'm Not A Crook March 30, 2011 at 1:05 pm

The explanation of why Sunday Sales has stalled is not that inexplicable. I know Speaker Ralston. He is personally opposed to Sunday Sales. His consituency, Blue Ridge, is overwhelming opposed to Sunday Sales. He is a long-time close friend of Governor Nathan Deal, who personally (and privately) is opposed to Sunday Sales, but is willing to sign a local control bill.

All Deal has to do is make a private call to his friend, Speaker Ralston:

Deal: “Dave, kill the bill.”
Ralston: “Ok.”

End result, Deal takes ZERO heat because he publically supported the bill. Ralston takes all the heat because it fails to pass the House. But Ralston need not worry, his constituency does not want this bill to pass, so they will send him back year after year, with overwhelming margins of victory.

Never underestimate the power of personal friendships in politics. And never forget that a man’s public position on a policy item may be FAR different from what he works for privately, behind the curtain.

B Balz March 30, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Interesting story, nothing new, but seems as plausible as any explanation.

YossarianLives March 30, 2011 at 3:54 pm

The tax bill has not been available? That’s funny. Tax reform committee met all summer, all fall, presented their recommendations, and the joint committee is working off their recommendations. Does it really sound as shady as the self-proclaimed tea party people want it to sound? Could it be that the tea party really doesn’t want tax reform? Do they want to keep the income tax level where it is?

If you truly feel the joint committee is doing what Reid and Pelosi did, then it is clear you don’t keep up with local news. If you are supportive of the Fair Tax, Flat Tax, or any other tax structure that is based on consumption and not income, then you should be for this.

It is time for people to shut up, take the bumper sticker off their car, and stand on their own two feet for what they believe. The choice in the tax reform bill is simple: s tax system based on consumption, or a tax system based on income.

Calypso March 30, 2011 at 4:14 pm

@ YossarianLives

This bill has been altered in more ways than the hashbrowns at Waffle House. Another re-write was going on as late as this morning. Why are you so concerned that the legislature takes the time to get this right? The consequences and impact it will have on the citizens and the state are great.

Your last line, ‘The choice in the tax reform bill is simple: s tax system based on consumption, or a tax system based on income.” is simplistic at best, more likely naive. This bill is neither a consumption tax nor an income based tax. It’s both; it’s neither. It has more (loop)holes in it than the proverbial swiss cheese.

Do it right or don’t do it at all.

Chris Huttman March 30, 2011 at 4:14 pm

As much as I love the fact that Republicans are going around calling each other Pelosi, we had a national debate for a year on health care, and everything in the bill was well known to people who followed the debate and didn’t just stand around screaming “KILL THE BILL”.

In comparison, if you think people know anything about this tax panel proposal, you must be one of the commission members. It’s not anywhere close to as well known or followed as HCR was.

debbie0040 March 30, 2011 at 4:40 pm

The new version is still not available and there have been many changes. Don’t you think the people have a right to check it out? The original version has been around all summer, not the new version.

This is not Fair Tax and this bill raises taxes. It is that simple. I am surprised at the groups/people that have sold out on this bill..

countryclub March 30, 2011 at 4:23 pm

I can’t for the life of me understand why the stall on the Sunday sales issue, let the people decide if they want it for there communities. How dare anybody say we are broke and we have such a simple way of making money for the state. It allows the individual communities decide for themselves that is how this country should run. Why the power grab?

The same thing goes with the proposed tax changes as I think a consumption tax is the way to go overall, but to raise taxes on certain items and only cut the tax rate doesn’t do enough and it is really making me think that the Tea Party has it right in their thinking. Government programs must be cut and decided that they are no longer needed and ended. It takes real guts and that is what the Tea Party is demanding!

debbie0040 March 30, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Heard the Senate wants to cut a deal with the House on the tax reform bill. The House will pass the Sunset Bill and Zero Based Budgeting and the Senate will pass the tax reform bill with changes. There will not be time to analyze the newly modified bill before a vote this afternoon by the House and tomorrow by the Senate. They are doing the same thing Pelosi and Company did during the health care debate. They are rushing to get it passed.. Shame on them!

debbie0040 March 30, 2011 at 5:12 pm

I hear there may be some good changes to the tax reform bill but there still needs to be time to study the changes. The Senate is doing good if they force the House to make the changes I hear they are asking for and if the House passes Sunset Bill and Zero Based budgeting. The people still should be able to analyze the changes

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