Tuesday, April 25, 2006

TEA gets a lesson

from Bill Hobbs. The current TEA legislative report encourages members to lobby against Sen. Jim Bryson's bill to constitutionally limit state spending.

The TEA says, "SJR 629 is largely modeled after the so-called Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) which was enacted in Colorado in 1991. The 1991 provision had such a negative impact that Colorado voters last year suspended several key provisions of the amendment. "

Not true.

A side-by-side comparison of SJR 629 and Colorado's Taxpayers Bill of Rights shows that the two share almost no similarities.
...SJR 629 really only does three things:
  1. It changes the Tennessee constitution's existing cap on the annual growth of the state budget to allow it to be broken only if two-thirds of the legislature approves, rather than the current simple-majority vote.
  2. It puts unspent surplus funds in the state's rainy day fund.
  3. Once the rainy day fund reaches a set target, additional surpluses go to reducing the state sales tax.
It's one thing to disagree on the issue--and a completely different matter to encourage advocacy based on error. You should read both the TEA report and Bill's corrections to that report. And I encourage you to contact the Senate Finance Ways & Means Committee members and let them know how you feel about how they take and spend your money.

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