Sunday, September 25, 2005

Flush Times, For Some

August is the first month of the Tennessee State fiscal year. Already, we are running a surplus! Sales tax collections rose 5.8%.

Remember three years ago? We were told -- by the Governor (Sundquist), the Legislative leaders Naifeh and Wilder, and by every newspaper in the state -- that the sales tax was simply unable to keep up with the needs of the state of Tennessee. It was outmoded, "inelastic" was the buzz word, and needed to be replaced by the income tax. If we didn't do that, we'd be facing terrible times ahead.

And yet, here we are. Three straight years of revenue growth. Three years of rising budgets. Did you know that last year's budgeted actual expenditures were 25% higher than the last year of Sundquist's budget? Twenty five billion versus twenty billion. We still had surplus revenue even after that!

Is the State Legislature even looking at returning state-shared revenues to the cities and counties again? Bredesen suspended those to make his so-called austerity budget work. When is first year in office produced a tax surplus, he didn't restart those shared revenues, even though he precipitated the budget crises that most major Tennessee cities have faced since. Cities have had to look at cut services and rising property taxes instead. And the State has kept all that money.

What's up with the greedheads of the Shelby County Legislative delegation? Can't they, you know, legislate for the benefit of their constituents?

No. It seems government will always keep its money and find ways to take more of yours.

Hey, Bredesen couldn't even be bothered to suspend the gasoline tax for a month. It's not like he couldn't afford it. It just sets a bad example....

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