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Casey Casgle, won't let the auto tax bill to go thru to end car tax


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'08 legislative session ends without tax cut


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 04/05/08 <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

A legislative session that began in rancor remained bitter to the end, closing at midnight Friday with House Speaker Glenn Richardson urging Georgians to get rid of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle after lawmakers failed to eliminate car taxes.

Tax reform, Richardson's top issue for more than a year, died about 11 p.m. on the 40th and final night of the 2008 session after Cagle wouldn't go along with a proposal that would have allowed voters to decide in November to eliminate the tag tax.

"I hope Georgians .... will thank him (Cagle) tomorrow and flood him with e-mails and tell him we're sick of Casey Cagle. Time to get a new lieutenant governor in this state," he told House members.

Cagle responded that the Senate negotiated in good faith.

"It was my hope that we would come to an agreement on tax cuts. We came to the table many times in good faith ... it is unfortunate that those who were in the position to join us in providing tax relief were blinded by ego and unwilling to come to an agreement."

The exchange between Cagle and Richardson, potential Republican rivals for governor in 2010, provided a heated end to a session that began in January with a fight over votes to override some of Gov. Sonny Perdue's vetoes.

The House voted to override 12 of Perdue's vetoes that day. Cagle, the Senate president, and his chamber wouldn't go along with the effort. Relationships between the two chambers were strained from the start.

The chambers agreed Friday long enough to pass a $21 billion budget that, despite the slowing economy, gave both chambers much of what they wanted.

About 200,000 teachers and state employees will get a 2.5 percent pay raise, legislative leaders will get loads of local projects, and schools will get a bit more in basic funding than Gov. Sonny Perdue initially proposed in January.

Late Friday, both the House and Senate gave hurried passage, with almost no debate, to a gun bill that would allow holders of concealed weapons permits to carry their weapons in restaurants, on public buses and trains such as MARTA, and in state parks.

Lawmakers also managed to pass the reservoirs bill, which creates a new state agency solely dedicated to building and expanding reservoirs meant to pull Georgians through future droughts.

Other measures didn't make it.

Bids to approve a source of funding for trauma care - much of which is done at Grady Memorial Hospital - failed as well. Senate leaders had said they were concerned the trauma care bill wouldn't pass if lawmakers couldn't agree on a tax cut. One of the proposals called for adding a $10 fee to car registrations to pay for trauma care.

"The trauma care network is a fatality, the victim of a political hit and run," said

Sen. David Adelman (D-Decatur). "It was a victim of petty politics. It would have been the most important legislation we would have passed."

Legislation to add a new sales tax for transportation died in the Senate as well, as did legislation allowing for Sunday sales of beer, wine and liquor at stores.

The tag tax cut plan was caught up in high-level Capitol politics between Richardson, Cagle, and Perdue.

Perdue, who has been in China on a trade mission this week, opposed any major tax cut, saying it would have blown a hole in the state budget. Cagle, a Perdue ally, proposed cutting income taxes. But House leaders say he consistently blocked tax cut proposals put forth by House and Senate negotiators.

The governor issued a statement after the session ended, praising Cagle for holding firm.

"The Lieutenant Governor and the Senate recognize the importance of fiscal responsibility, and while they worked for a tax cut, they weren't willing to sacrifice our state's fiscal health," Perdue said. "For the second year in a row, the Speaker's tirades blame everyone but himself."

Blowing up on the last day of the session is nothing new for Richardson. Last year he hammered Perdue after the governor vetoed a House-sponsored tax cut. On Friday, his comments about Cagle grew increasingly personal as the day went on.

"You can henceforth, when you go home, on the tag tax, tell people it has a new name. It's called the Cagle birthday tax, and every time they pay it, they can think of Casey Cagle because Casey Cagle solely and exclusively left it on for them," Richardson told House members. Richardson urged Cagle to "stand up and be a man" and stop stalling tax cut legislation.

After the speaker slammed Cagle, the Senate returned to the negotiating table and offered to eliminate the tag tax when people buy new cars. Georgians not buying new cars would have seen the tag tax phased out on their current vehicles over five years.

Senate Finance Chairman Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock), said the plan would help stimulate the economy and help car dealers.

However, House Majority Leader Jerry Keen (R-St. Simons Island) said it would help those who least needed the help in the economic downturn Georgians who can afford to buy new cars.

Staff writers Aaron Gould Sheinin, Ben Smith, Jim Galloway and Stacy Shelton contributed to this story.


I didn,'t vote for this azzhole and I knew he sucked. Just like Purdue a dumbazz. :angry: Imagine just having to pay just the fee for a falcons tag instead of the tax. You think people would want to get it more? How bad people get screwed paying the car tax if they have a nice car is incredible. ;) How much is your car tax?





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capologist (4/5/2008)
I still find it hilarious that Tennessee and Florida have no state income tax or tag tax and get along just fine yet we can't seem to figure it out...
Tennessee isn't doing fine. Their public works projects such as roads take a huge hit. About the only thing keeping them afloat is their coal tax.
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kicker23 (4/5/2008)

Tennessee isn't doing fine. Their public works projects such as roads take a huge hit. About the only thing keeping them afloat is their coal tax.

What I mean by "doing fine" is not needing to have an income tax to pay the bills, it's more based on consumption.

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