Wednesday, November 11, 2009

15. The $1 Billion Dollar Crack

House Bill 356, the “point of sale” bill I co-sponsored in last year’s session, gives local governments the right to collect sales taxes locally at the point of sale.  Alabama made the change and found $1 billion of lost sales tax. Georgia’s elected Republican leadership, on the other hand, chose to let HB356 die in committee. They chose instead to increase property taxes, furlough teachers and state employees, and keep law enforcement at record lows when those are the very things that enhance economic development and attract industry and jobs. Why? Because HB356 actually creates local control, something state politicians love to run on when campaigning but run from when elected. Politicians fear local control, because sharing control also means sharing power. Instead of giving up a little power and reaching out to partner with local governments, Georgia officials decided to keep an outdated system of collecting sales tax and let $1 billion of your money — money you have already paid — just “fall through the crack.”As your governor I will not run from local control or sharing power. I will foster a partnership between state and local governments and end the adversarial relationship that costs Georgians money and jobs. Georgia cannot afford a $1 billion crack. – DuBose Porter