Tuesday, July 19, 2005
On this day:

Enfinger: Raise Taxes

Huntsville Democrat Jeff Enfinger is disappointed that the Governor's call for the special session doesn't include any new taxes or other revenue-raising measures.
Enfinger said Riley's plan, if it copies the House-passed budget, would prop up the General Fund by spending about $250 million in windfalls that won't be available the following year. The windfalls include a $75 million federal grant, $127.2 million taken from the Capital Improvement Trust Fund, which gets some of the state's natural gas royalties, and $54.5 million from money tobacco companies have paid to Alabama as part of a national lawsuit settlement.

Enfinger this spring worked to kill the House-passed operating budget and one like it passed by a Senate committee in hopes of persuading lawmakers to raise taxes now to fend off a financial crunch looming for 2006-07.

But Enfinger said there's no sentiment among the vast majority of lawmakers to raise taxes in the special session, so he won't try to kill the budget this time around.

"Most people want to get in and out of there in five or six days and don't want to talk about taxes, and see what the story looks like next spring," Enfinger said. "It seems clear to me it's not going to be a pretty picture, but apparently most people are willing to wait until next spring to find that out."
Enfinger's concerns were echoed by Montgomery Democrat John Knight in this Anniston Star editorial.

Fortunately, Gov. Riley seems to have learned his lesson on taxes. Apparently, some prominent Democrats have not.