Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Budget Balancing on the Backs of the Needy

Poor pregnant women; hospitals and poor immigrants; missing children; and law abiding citizens. What do all these groups have in common? They are all about to bear the brunt of the state budget balancing measures. Maybe.

The Miami Herald has a story today about various proposals being floated for balancing the budget when the legislature meets for its special session in September. Cost-cutting recommendations from more than two dozen state agencies are due to Gov. Charlie Crist and legislative leaders today. These measures are needed help close a more than $1 billion budget shortfall, due to a sluggish economy that has sapped tax collections. Legislators will meet to decide what to cut on Sept. 18 when they convene for a three-week special session.

Lets repeat what is causing all this scrooge like activity:
a sluggish economy that has sapped tax collections.
Make that sales tax collections. This tax revenue fluctuates notoriously in line with the Florida economy. With the slowness in the housing market spilling over into other parts of the economy, state services are facing the budget cutting axe. And still we have certain state legislators who think replacing the property tax with a much higher state sales tax is a good idea.

Here's what would be a good idea: Legislators who think this is a good idea should be turned out of office to find another line of work. Another good idea? Get in touch with your state legislators to make sure they know you do not want the most needy in the state to bear the largest burden in this special session of service cutting.

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