After five years of passing millions of dollars in tax cuts for big businesses and billion-dollar, out-of-state corporations that, in some cases, pay zero state income taxes, Republicans in the state House of Representatives are about to raise taxes on working men and women.
Only six months after campaigning on a pledge to create more jobs and never raise taxes, House Republicans have traded in that “jobs, jobs, jobs” campaign slogan for “taxes, taxes, taxes.”
Not since former President George H.W. Bush said, “Read my lips: no new taxes” have Republicans so blatantly broken their campaign promises and fully endorsed a tax package that raises taxes on Alabama families.
Had Republicans passed a lottery bill last year, they wouldn’t be raising your taxes this year. And make no mistake about it – these tax bills will mean less money in your pocket.
The worst of these taxes is the proposed tax increase on lube oil. Lube oil is used in everything from manufacturing and farm equipment to the motor oil you put in your car. What this bill does is change the tax on lube oil from an excise tax to a sales tax. That means that, in addition to the state sales tax, local county and municipal sales taxes will also kick in.
In hard numbers, this means the tax on a 55-gallon barrel of lube oil will go from $3.30 per barrel to as much as $200 a barrel. That is a 5,960 percent tax increase! And this tax will be passed on to you, the consumer.
So when you go to buy fruits and vegetables for your family and the price has gone up because farmers had to raise their prices, it will be because of the Republican tax package.
When you go to change the oil in your car and the price has gone up, it will be because of the Republican tax package.
When you buy a car and you have to pay a higher fee for your car title, it will be because of the Republican tax package.
When manufacturers (the only sector of Alabama’s economy that has grown and the reason why our unemployment rate hasn’t gone up over the last five years) have to lay people off or put on hold their plans to expand and create new jobs because their costs have gone up, you know it will be because of the Republican tax package.
Forget about bringing new industry and manufacturing business to Alabama! Anyone thinking of coming here is going to look at this and think to themselves, “Sure, they promise you all these tax incentives to come there, but then once you get there, the legislature will raise taxes on the infrastructure you need to do business.”
So much for all that rhetoric about Alabama being a “business friendly” state.
But what makes all these tax increases so much worse is that Republicans campaigned on pledges not to raise taxes, knowing the whole time that they were going to raise taxes.
This crisis is not new. Legislators have known since 2012 that this day was coming. That’s when Republicans chose to borrow $437 million from the state’s savings account over three years to avoid a government shutdown. But now that money has run out, and it still took Republican leaders until almost two-thirds of this legislative session was over to finally release their plan – and that plan is to raise taxes!
Shame on Republicans for promising not to raise taxes when they knew all along that raising taxes is exactly what they were going to do!
My dad raised me to believe that a man’s word is his bond, and you don’t make a commitment that you know you can’t keep. Now, Republicans are preparing to violate those values and their own pledge not to raise taxes.
This tax package shows that Republicans are not ready to lead our state. Across Alabama, people are working harder but making less, and they don’t deserve to have their taxes raised. There are better options out there than more taxes on working people. And the only thing worse than raising taxes is lying about raising taxes.
Six months ago, Republicans won the election on a platform of creating jobs and no new taxes. This week, Republicans are trading in that “jobs, jobs, jobs” slogan for “taxes, taxes, taxes.”
Craig Ford is a Democrat from Gadsden and the Minority Leader in the Alabama House of Representatives.
While the quartet was discussing various ways and means for sinking the shaft through the rock, there came a tremendous rain that caused the big hole to cave in to such an extent as to discourage the black men. The brothers had been at work for a year and a half and had found no sign of gold.
There was no evidence that Maxwell was faking or that he did not believe in the Indian sign on the tree himself, but he ate high on the hog while the digging was going on.
It is said that in Eph-raim’s home, the black men placed a specially-built table for him in the dining room and fed him on the best that could be produced on the farm in that part of the county.
When the Collins brothers lost hope and faith, Maxwell drifted out of the community.
Nobody knew where he went.
Of course, some said that he imposed upon the black men, but there were some who said he might have been sincere. All believe that the scar on the tree was caused by another tree falling against it, and for years afterwards the tree was called “the Gold Mine Tree.”
It so happened that the mine was opened by mistake on the land of Captain Benjamin Archer, a pioneer citizen of Etowah County who was a fine and prosperous farmer. He served the county in the state legislature and his descendants also carried on in a prominent way. Tracy Usury, grandson of Cap-tain Archer, visited the old mine shaft and walked down into it, since it had been almost completely filled by the cave-in.
The Collins brothers were very good workers. Esau cut the sills for the Archer home with hand tools. All three were woodworkers who built the old wooden axle kind wagons as well as much furniture.
It is likely that very few residents of Southside today know about them or their tremendous effort to mine gold almost within sight of the old Pilgrim’s Rest Church site.