Alabama, Home of Progressive Politics
From the home state of 11th Circuit Court Nominee-who-must-be-stopped, Bill Pryor, also comes a plan to increase Alabama’s overall state taxes by 14%, progressively. To wit, the proposed property tax “would mean an extra $93 a year in state taxes for the owner who lives in an $85,000 house, which is about the average value for Alabama; and an extra $706 for the owner who lives in a $300,000 house. The owner of a house worth $50,000 or less would pay no state property tax.” Alabama’s current tax system, based mostly on sales and property taxes, is very regressive, so it’s unclear whether the new taxes would actually make the state’s system progressive or just less regressive.
Oh, and Alabama Governor Bob Riley is a Republican. Still, he got the bill through the Alabama House and Senate by basically arguing that the alternative was massive cuts in programs, including education (the proposed plan will apparently cover the shortfall and increase education funding). Needless to say, Riley’s party isn’t happy with him. Riley’s tax plan goes to the voters on September 9th, should be fun to watch.
And, of course, there is a blogger who is following this issue: Michael from A Minority of One.
P.S. A lot of other states are facing budget crises, partly of their own doing (irresponsible tax cuts during the Clinton Boom Years), and partly due to the recession, cuts in Federal spending, and unfunded mandates. Increases in state taxes may cancel out, and certainly will attenuate, the stimulative effects of the Bush tax cuts.
UPDATE: Fixed the link to A Minority of One.