Originally posted by teyates:
Originally posted by ALmuckraker:
One of the major problems leading to the shortage of funds for education is our current tax system. We seriously need to change it. If you are not familiar with it, just Google Alabama's regressive tax system. It is definitely worth spending some time to learn about it.
I disagree. Taxes are plenty in this state. The AEA and its minions try to control the Legislature and have for years tried to institute a more offensive tax systemon the homeowners in Alabama.While I agree that large lumber/forestry corporations do not pay their fair share of taxes
the average homeowner in Alabama has seen their taxes increase signifcantly in the past five years.
The AEA has a pretty sweet deal, and Hubbard appears to be the one pulling the strings in Montgomery. AS long as he continues to meddle in state politics and ask for more tax money from the people, I will not support them. Every profession (medicine, construction, etc) is seeing these types of hadships. People are being asked to do more for the same or less, and if they won't do it, then the companies or corporations will have to find someone who will. Welcome to the real world, it is about to get tough.
My son finishes school (college) this year and I too worry abouthim finding a job. I know how hard it was in 1981 when I finsihed HS. back then if you did not find a job, your only alternative was enlist in the military or go to college and bide your time till something opened up. I know lots of my friends who had degrees in engineering and business who could not find jobs and ended up working in the oil field.
"While I agree that large lumber/forestry corporations do not pay their fair share of taxes..."
I’m sorry if I feel a bit snake-bit here, but I heard the same thing when Riley was pushing Amendment One early in his first term. Problem was, a blanket was thrown over all us forest landowners without regard to size. Fortunately, there was enough BS in Amendment One to upset everyone and it was soundly rejected at the polls.
Two thirds of my forest land is not suitable for growing anything but bottomland hardwoods. The remainder is planted to pines with 20% dedicated to open fields for wildlife, both game and non-game. In addition to complying with a host of government regulations such as Streamside Management Zones and Conservation Reserve Programs, I also subscribe to the Best Management Practices and am certified as a Tree Farm and Alabama TREASURE [not shouting] Forest which have even more stringent regulations.
My crop is a minimum 20 year investment. If I lose it to any catastrophic event such as fire, tornado or the Southern Pine Beetle, there is no next year recovery. It may take a decade or more. Bottom line is, the only thing that keeps wood and paper affordable is low taxes on land that may not be suitable for anything else. Then again, I could sell the land for development into another Super Box Store.
I don’t think you were targeting small-time operators like me, but I needed to say this to clarify what independent landowners in Alabama risk. We farmers own almost 22% of all forest compared to 25% owned by the forest industry. http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-0602/
And yes, I am an average homeowner as well. My taxes shot through the roof last year.