Monday, August 27, 2007

Locals Sound Off On GlennTax

From Blake's piece yesterday:

"Imagine if Speaker Richardson was in control of this community," Dodson said Thursday at a Clarke County Democratic Committee meeting. "How much money do you think Athens would get from state coffers?

"We are going to have to beg for money in Atlanta," he said. "We would lose all local autonomy. ... It's the end of home rule in Georgia. It's the end of local control, unless you happen to be a community that's very closely aligned with whatever power structure is in Atlanta at the time."

The issue of local control also concerns Charles Worthy, president of the Clarke County Board of Education.

"I just can't imagine having state taxes funding the local school system," Worthy said. "When you look at it realistically, you're taking local control away from the school system."


A vote in the state legislature on whether to place the plan on the 2008 ballot still is at least six months away, but it's already drawing opposition. Davison attended a meeting Wednesday between Richardson and local officials from across the state, and said opposition was nearly unanimous.

The meeting was organized by the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, which opposes the plan, as does the state's other major local government group, the Georgia Municipal Association. Elected officials of both parties in Savannah, Albany, Cobb County and Rome, among others, also have criticized it.

"It was very clear ... that no one seemed to like this plan, and I would say I was in the minority as far as party affiliation," said Davison, a Democrat.


So far, local lawmakers are waiting to see the details of Richardson's proposal before deciding how to vote. State Rep. Bob Smith, R-Watkinsville, said he is planning several hearings this fall to gauge constituents' interest.

"I want to see what they have in writing," Smith said. "I've got several questions to be answered, local-control questions."

State Rep. Doug McKillip, D-Athens, said he hopes his bill giving low-income workers a break on their state income taxes will be part of the reforms the legislature eventually votes on. He said he is skeptical of Richardson's plan, especially since a tax on services and a renewed grocery tax would hit the poor hardest.

"If you are going to overhaul the tax system, I would like to see the regressive nature of the taxes that are being suggested eliminated," McKillip said.

You gotta admire Glenn's ability to bring unity between Georgia's two parties, even if it is only unity in opposition to the GlennTax. Here's hoping the GlennTax proposal dies a slow and unceremonius death.

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