Tax reform #045; we#039;re voting #039;yes#039;

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 22, 2003

The battle over Alabama Governor Bob Riley's tax proposal has begun full-strength as commercials blare their message to us over the airwaves on radio and television.

Messages both for and against. A "grandmother" concerned about the future of her grandchild's education - that's why she's going to vote for it.

The "educated" man saying the proposal will do more harm than good, and that's why he's voting against it.

Who's telling the truth? We doubt that either one of the "concerned citizens" are even Alabamians, much less concerned with the tax system in Alabama.

The truth of the matter is, we have yet to get a clear, definitive answer from any elected official about their honest belief regarding the merits of the tax proposal.

Politically-correct remarks about fully supporting the governor's desire to reform Alabama and build a brighter future for our children are all the comments we tend to receive from politicos.

We want the whole truth. The whole story. We've read Gov. Riley's little pamphlet on the tax proposal, and quite frankly, we're still not sure about all of the package.

However, we do know this:

There are just about as many people speaking for the passage of the proposal as there are against it.

The proposal is the largest tax increase in Alabama history.

Alabama does lag behind other states, including Mississippi, in funding its educational system.

A tax increase is not going to hinder the efforts of the entire citizenry of Alabama to live the life in which they are accustomed. It will probably benefit the majority of the population.

Now is the time to embrace change. We can't be hypocritical of the tax increase by saying we support it on the surface, only to vote against it en masse - much in the manner the state rejected the lottery a few years back. Following that vote, thousands flocked to Florida and Georgia that afternoon to purchase their shot at millions in "easy money."

No, this is something, that on the surface, we must embrace with open arms.

Could more have been done to prevent a tax increase? Probably.

Has enough been done already? Probably not.

Is there any other option? No.

Do we agree with every suggestion in the tax proposal?

Not really, but we have no other choice.

Unless we get some straight answers from elected officials, we're going to have to go with the Governor on this one.

He's only doing what the state elected him to do.