Good idea, bad timing

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Gov. Sonny Perdue is doing the right thing -- but at the absolute worst time and not in any good way.

Perdue says the state's program of subsidizing local property taxes with grants of $428 million has only fattened local governments, and hasn't provided the tax relief it's supposed to.

He's right. It's a silly scheme, and only masks the true cost of local government by having the state come in and play Santa Claus with -- guess what! -- money provided by the very same taxpayers.

It's a pyramid scheme and ought to stop.

But just not right now, as he would like. The state is facing a $1.6 billion shortfall, and Perdue has frozen the $428 million that is supposed to go to local governments for property tax relief.

For one thing, local governments are deep into their budgeting processes. Changing the rules of the game now would throw counties and cities across the state into turmoil.

For another thing, it's an election year -- and while Perdue is serving his last term, state legislators are up for re-election. And they have heard from local government officials who are panicked over the possibility that that $428 million won't be coming.

We agree with Perdue that the shell game has to stop. But local governments and taxpayers need more notice than this.

Ultimately, the state may need to reduce the $428 million to a lower amount, leaving local governments to either cut their budgets or raise more taxes. The pain may need to be spread around.

But the state can't simply pull the rug out from under local governments without more notice.

End the tax subsidy down the road. But at least phase it out.

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shivas
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shivas 08/21/08 - 07:01 am
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Call it what it is AC- This

Call it what it is AC- This is the Homestead Exemption that Sonny is cutting. A tax break for the homeowner. Always the homeowner the hypocritical right-wingers attack. I didn't hear Sonny talk about ending those pig-farmer subsidies, or those corporate subsidies. These conservatives like the AC talk a big game about lowering taxes, but when the chips are down they protect their own self-interest and pork-barrell projects. Where are all the conservatives this morning? I guess they are still searching for evidence of Obama being a secret Muslim. And here's the AC jumping on board supporting the cut of the tax exemption. Typical right-wing politics.

egan
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egan 08/21/08 - 07:52 am
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Goverment should do what

Goverment should do what every tax payer has to do; If you don't have it don't spend it. Give us a brake, cut spending and forget raising taxes. Take care of the important things and let the it would be nice things go until you have the cash.

griesella
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griesella 08/21/08 - 10:25 am
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shivas...I don't think the

shivas...I don't think the article is about eliminating homestead exemption, just that the state would stop subsidizing the program. You know, stand on our two feet. Be responsible for our county and not expect the state to be our nanny. The AC seems to feel "not now".

jack
10
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jack 08/21/08 - 10:31 am
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Numby (Shivas) I guess you

Numby (Shivas) I guess you don't think conservatives pay property taxes? Just goes to show more of your ignorance. As for the tax issue, why pay it to the state for redistribution rather than the county in which you live? Sounds like DIMocRATs to me.

jack
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jack 08/21/08 - 10:31 am
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Numby (Shivas) I guess you

Numby (Shivas) I guess you don't think conservatives pay property taxes? Just goes to show more of your ignorance. As for the tax issue, why pay it to the state for redistribution rather than the county in which you live? Sounds like DIMocRATs to me.

As It Is
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As It Is 08/21/08 - 08:32 pm
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Don't spend what you don't

Don't spend what you don't have. Taxes should be for infrastructure, public safety and national security. All government give away programs such as section 8 housing, food stamps, welfare, tax rebates, child credits, etc. should immediately end as that is the resopnsiblity of the individual with additional support from family, church or charitable organizations not the tax money taken from hard working citizens. Also, tax money used to put the government in business for ball parks, golf courses, etc. that are not self sustainable is ridiculous. Enough is enough - it may hurt but all of this ridiculous spending must stop. The AC has it wrong, it must stop and stop NOW, not a day longer. It needs to starts witht the feds then the states then our local governments as they are all very guilty of waisting our tax money.

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