You can’t take that kind of money from the State’s General Fund without reducing expenses or increasing taxes. I don’t think our Legislators will increase taxes (unless they decide to take another shot at seniors) so programs will be cut. If the proponents were at all transparent they would identify those cuts. But not a word. Our own Representative Amanda Price sent out a nice mailing with her picture but it did no more than recite the proposal without giving an explanation or taking a position. Her office did not return my calls asking for help.
Another caution. The proponents claim this will guarantee funding for local governments. It does no such thing. The proposal removes some local funding from the normal budgeting process and gives allocation to a new agency appointed by the Governor but the Legislature can change vital parts of the scheme at any time.
There are good arguments for repeal of the personal property tax. But repeal has serious consequences and the proposal is all smoke and mirrors about them. The proposal’s ambiguous language suggests that this may be deliberate. But whether they won’t tell us – or, assuming the best, they don’t even know – it makes sense to send them back to the drawing board.
Peter Armstrong Sr.