Let’s look at real tax issue

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The election cycle is getting cranked up in Alabama and property taxes are, once again, a hot issue. Two gubernatorial candidates, one Republican and one Democrat, have already expressed their dismay with the current practice of yearly property re-assessment. When Gov. Bob Riley took office, he authorized the yearly re-assessments to begin, stating that based on current Alabama law, assessments were to have been performed yearly instead of every four years.

Now, Alabamians are gearing up for the next election and this issue is front and center once again.

We suggest that maybe the issue should not be whether property is re-assessed every year, every other year or every four years.

Maybe the issue should be that our state is simply not collecting enough to operate. Property taxes in Alabama are among the lowest in the nation.

The argument that the funds collected are not spent efficiently is a good one but will not negate the fact that property taxes are, in fact, too low.

Alabama’s schoolchildren are suffering for a great many reasons but this is first and foremost among them. At some point, we will have to stop and make a decision: will we continue to be numbered among the lowest in quality education in the United States?

Will we continually seek to handicap our children from the beginning by making them unable to compete in what has become a fiercely competitive world?

Or will we, during this election cycle, step up and address this issue in the way we should? Let’s hope so