Thursday, January 12, 2006

The State of the State statement

Yes, the State of the State address was Tuesday, and I technically haven't posted about it yet. But that's because I've already written about most of what I heard -- the school construction plan, the amount of teacher pay raises, the eminent domain proposals -- and the other stuff, especially the tax-cut promises and the anti-gambling language, is what you'd expect to hear from a Republican incumbent in an election year.

Among the indisputably good ideas, one would hope that basic decency impels the Legislature this year to raise the state's income-tax threshold above $4,600 a year for a family of four, and our public schools long have needed to add a week to their instructional calendar to keep up with practices in other states.

It'd also be nice to see lawmakers take advantage of relatively sunny economic times to make structural overhauls to put the state on solid financial footing and stave off proration in harder times, but this is the Alabama Legislature we're talking about, so I won't get my hopes up.


Anonymous Dan said...

Alabamians in poverty pay more in taxes in Alabama than they would in any other state. No question that our tax system is unjust and kudos to Riley for raising the issue.

But to take it out of a "surplus" of education money? How can anyone say we have a surplus of education money when our per-pupil spending is among the lowest (or the lowest) in the country? Can we at least get to the regional average for per-pupil spending before we start saying we have a surplus?

Yes, our unfair tax system must be addressed, and thank you Bob Riley for raising the issue. Rep. John Knight and Alabama Arise propose a better plan that puts more money back in the pockets of working class families and does not take money away from education. Alabama has a very regressive tax deduction that costs the state $430 million in giveaways (mostly to the very wealthiest) in the deduction for federal income tax paid.

Only three states do this. By removing that giveaway, we could raise the income-tax threshold that was set in the 1930's and put hundreds of dollars back into the pockets of working class families.

You can read more about the proposals from Riley and Alabama Arise in this Montgomery Advertiser article.

Do we really want to be a state that taxes people in poverty more than any other state in the nation?

Thanks for bringing this injustice up!

10:51 AM  

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