The Blue Book is a must read

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 29, 2003

People who want to know more about the governor’s tax plan can pick up a free copy of a small booklet that tells the story.

It’s officially called &uot;Laying the Foundation for Greatness.&uot; Everybody in Montgomery calls it simply &uot;The Blue Book.&uot;

It’s an easy-to-read booklet that lays out the tax package plan for the average man on the street.

The book tells the background of our crisis in Montgomery and why Gov. Riley has proposed such a large tax increase.

There is a general overview of the entire package. There is tax reform, accountability and education reform information.

There are even charts included so that the average Alabamian can see what it may mean to his or her wallet.

For example, poor people will get some long awaited tax relief. When fully implemented, they won’t have to begin paying state taxes until their income hits $20,000.

A family of four making $30,000 a year can see that they will get a tax cut of about $275.

In fact, the booklet shows that some 85 percent of Alabamians will pay the same or less in state taxes if the plan is approved.

The blue booklet shows charts about property taxes, too. They are not going to skyrocket as depicted by the media.

A homeowner will get an increase in homestead exemption from $40,000 to $50,000.

Seniors, 65 and older, will continue to get their senior exemption from property taxes.

A home valued at $100,000 will only increase in property taxes about $3 a month.

Farmland will continue with current use up to 2,000 acres.

The booklet outlines where the projected new money is going to go and what it will do for Alabama.

And there are even answers to concerned questions.

The bottom line is that this little booklet is

an essential resource for understanding the tax package.

It is free. It is easy to read. You need to see it

before you vote Sept. 9.

Then pray and decide for yourself whether you agree or disagree with the information.

Contact the Alabama Partnership for Progress, 2 North Jackson Street, Montgomery for a complimentary copy.

Or call my office for information, 334-242-7896.

Sen. Hank Erwin represents Shelby County in the State Legislature. He resides in Alabaster