Thursday, November 30, 2006
So, we are now paying 40 cents/gallon. How much more would you be willing and able to pay?
Monday, November 27, 2006
"When Tennesseans were asked whether they favor a state property tax, 85% said no and just 7% said yes."
Recently the State Comptroller, John Morgan went public with a plan for a state property tax.
Surely Mr Morgan is aware of this 2001 poll. Why then would he promote a "reform" plan so clearly and overwhelmingly unpopular? Hmmmmmm???
Sunday, November 26, 2006
I commented earlier on a similar report from Channel 2 Reporter Trent Seibert on a report from The Tennessee Center for Policy Research.
crunched data from the Federal Reserve and found that Americans for
the first time owe more money than they make.
According to the center, average household debt levels topped average
after-tax income by more than 29 percent as of this summer. Moreover,
the average family is now spending 14.4 percent of its disposable
income on debt repayments -- the largest share since the Fed began
collecting such data in 1980."
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Two bills have been proposed to implement the Senior Property Tax Relief just passed as a Constitutional Amendment. The Norris Bill proposes a $50,000 income limit and the Maddox/Jackson Bill proposes a $60,000 income limit. Anyone over 65 whose income from all sources is above these limits would not qualify for the property tax freeze when and if their local city/county implemented the freeze.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
"But the crowd wasn't to be swayed. One woman declared her house
insurance was only $500 to start with and when asked for a show of
hands who didn't want to be annexed into the city, every hand in the
room shot up.
Faced with such overwhelming opposition, Moser made the motion to
"forget about the annexation." Alderman Irad Lee seconded the motion and all voted to drop the idea except for Bill Spradlin.
House Republicans meeting to elect their leaders for the coming legislative session pledged Monday to "dismantle the current tax code" and consider scrapping the politically unpopular personal income tax.
Republicans have already established several study committees and other initiatives to look into reforming the state's tax structure.
"And when (House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Larry O'Neal) gets to that portion on the personal income tax, maybe we'll just leave that section out and we won't have that anymore in this state," House Majority Leader Jerry Keen, R-St. Simons Island, said to loud applause during a GOP caucus meeting Monday.
House Speaker Glenn Richardson, R-Hiram, said after the caucus meeting that income tax revenues make up about half the state's budget, which totals $16.7 billion in the fiscal year that ends June 30. He suggested that the plan could involve elimination of some of the exemptions to the sales tax.
Just doing away with the sales-tax exemptions wouldn't be enough, said Alan Essig, the executive director of the nonpartisan Georgia Policy and Budget Institute, which supports closing sales-tax loopholes as part of tax reform.
Monday, November 13, 2006
November 11, 2006
There are many reasons that Republicans lost control of Congress last week. On one level, people just didn’t think Congress was doing its job very well.
However, it is also clear that the GOP lost its edge on an issue that
Ronald Reagan once claimed solely for the Republicans—taxes.
Americans today still hold views similar to those that brought Reagan to the
White House—61% believe that tax hikes are bad for the economy. Just
16% believe they help the economy (see crosstabs).
But, in the Reagan era, Republicans were seen as the protector of tax
cuts while Democrats were painted as always seeking more revenue for
government. A Rasmussen Reports survey finds that the distinction is no
longer clear in the public mind.
Heading into Election
2006, 45% of voters believed that taxes would go up if Democrats won
control of Congress. Just 12% thought Democrats in control would lead
to lower taxes.
However, while concern about tax hikes
remained on voters’ minds, they didn’t see Republicans as all that
different. Thirty-two percent (32%) of voters believed that Republican
control of Congress would lead to higher taxes and just 13% thought the
GOP would enact further tax cuts.
Among the general
public, Republicans remain more zealous than others about the benefits
of lower taxes—74% of Republicans believe that higher taxes hurt the
economy. But, that view is shared by a majority of Democrats (51%) and
unaffiliated (57%) voters.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
Thursday, November 09, 2006
If you take a look at the city and county websites on the Tennessee Tax Revolt Taxpayer Information Center you find MANY with pictures, and videos which are very thinly veiled promos for incumbent politicians. One of the most obvious and amazing examples is www.BrockHill.org. I don't know if taxpayer money is being used for this site but looking at the content of the website, it is clear that its intent is to be a website for Cumberland County. It has a re-elect Brock Hill graphic at the bottom of the page and I could not find any other web site for Cumberland County. This website is listed as the official Cumberland County website at both the County Mayors Association website and the State of Tennessee website.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Here's how those measures fared (based on yet-to-be-certified results):
|Total||# Approved||# Rejected|
|Measures that would lower taxes/limit government||46||32||14|
|Measures that would raise taxes/expand government||33||12||21|
Among important taxpayer wins:
Alaska: Rejection of a new tax on natural resources
Arizona: Passage of the Taxpayer Protection Act
California: Rejection of higher cigarette taxes, new energy taxes, a $50 property tax increase, and a publicly-funded campaign finance system
Colorado: strengthening of the rights of citizens to propose ballot measures, and approval of putting a two year hold on former lawmakers before they can lobby
Idaho: rejection of a 1-cent sales tax increase
Louisiana: approval of stopping municipalities from taxing cars on a value basis
Michigan: rejection of a minimum funding level for education
Missouri: rejection of an 80 cent-per-pack cigarette tax increase, and approval of stripping felon lawmakers of their pensions
South Carolina: approval of a restriction on property taxes
Finally, approval of eminent domain reforms in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, and South Carolina.
Monday, November 06, 2006
"Sir Nicholas Stern's report on the economics of climate change, which was published last week, says that the debate is over. It isn't. There are more greenhouse gases in the air than there were, so the world should warm a bit, but that's as far as the "consensus" goes. After the recent hysteria, you may not find the truth easy to believe. So you can find all my references and detailed calculations here.
The Royal Society says there's a worldwide scientific consensus. It brands Apocalypse-deniers as paid lackeys of coal and oil corporations. I declare my interest: I once took the taxpayer's shilling and advised Margaret Thatcher, FRS, on scientific scams and scares. Alas, not a red cent from Exxon."
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Here is a summary to bring you up to date: after much negotiation we agreed to a specific ballot wording for the charter amendment summary. Because of an oversight at the election commission the correct wording was NOT placed on the ballot. However, the error was discovered too late and both the sample ballot sent to every voter and the official ballot on voting machines could not be corrected. The ONLY place the ballot appears correctly is the version posted on the Davidson County Election Commission web site HERE (scroll down to page 4).
The election commission proposed placing a notice on each voting machine so voters could see the corrected version. We agreed to this procedure (since there really wasn't much else that could be done) and asked that poll workers notify voters of the notice on the machine since clearly notices don't do any good unless voters know they are there. The problems that our poll watchers have observed is that voters are not being advised about the presence of the notices.
Dennis Ferrier's report from last week indicates the uncorrected ballot language presents a very real problem and, in fact, is confusing voters.