The Florida legislature, dominated by Republicans, is facing up to the problem of land value driven skyrocketing property taxes with two proposals:
- Eliminate property taxes on all homesteaded houses. Replace the revenue by jacking up the sales tax 2-1/2 points. Roll back county budgets to 2000, adjusted for inflation and population growth. Future tax rates would be capped and indexed to the same factors.
- Give each county the option of eliminating homestead property taxes and raising its sales tax, or keeping the property tax structure and sales tax as it is now. Roll back county budgets to 2000 adjusted for inflation and population. Future tax rates same as #1.
Well, I favor option #1, but the #2, the "option" option has certain Federalsitic merit. #2 would lead to some bad conditions at county lines, especially for those selling big ticket items like cars and appliances in counties going for the high sales tax option. But the Republicans seem serious about rolling back and indexing county budgets, which is beyond brilliant and beyond overdue.
Republicans, sad to say, do not control all the legislatures in this land. Some, like Michigan's, are controlled by Democrats and heavily influenced by unions and that wonderful union mentality. What is Michigan up to?
We have come to the conclusion that the crisis Michigan faces is not a shortage of revenue, but an excess of idiocy. Facing a budget deficit that has passed the $1 billion mark, House Democrats Thursday offered a spending plan that would buy a MP3 player or iPod for every school child in Michigan...
The Democrats, led by their increasingly erratic speaker Andy Dillon of Redford Township, also pledge $100 million to make better downtowns.
Their plan goes beyond cluelessness. Democrats are either entirely indifferent to the idea that extreme hard times demand extreme belt tightening, or they are bone stupid. We lean toward the latter.
We say that because the House plan also keeps alive, again without specifics, the promise of tax hikes.
The range of options, according to Rep. Steve Tobocman, D-Detroit, includes raising the income tax, levying a 6 percent tax on some services, and taxing junk food and soda...
Note that Republicans are talking about major tax cuts in times of plenty, whereas Democrats are talking tax-and-spend in times of crisis. What could be clearer? Of course, we need to wait and see what the respective states actually do. Republicans have been guilty plenty of times of taking a good conservative game but acting like a bunch of drunken
Democrats sailors. Well, we have a shiny new governor here, Charlie Crist, and we owe him and the new representatives the benefit of the doubt. Write them -- I have.
Now if we could just get our insurance crisis under control...