Amendment could raise taxes

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Dear Editor:

Alabamians needed to be aware of the deception behind Amendment Two before they vote on Nov. 2. While the amendment would indeed remove segregation era language from the state constitution, its passage would also open the door to increased taxes that could be as high as one-billion dollars.

As originally intended, the amendment called for removal of racist language in regard to the separation of school facilities based on race and poll taxes. A change to the amendment removes a provision that says Alabamians do not have the right to be educated at the state’s expense.

The change has no other purpose than deceiving voters into unknowingly casting their ballots for increased taxes. Striking the provision that says education is not a right would lead the way to lawsuits against the state.

As a result, poorer school systems could sue for funding to bring them up to par with larger systems which receive more local funding. Adults would also be able to sue for free education at state universities and colleges, with taxpayers forced to pay in both cases. Those who support Amendment Two argue that judges cannot raise taxes, but who to they think will pick up the cost of judgments against the state? The answer is simple – the taxpayers of Alabama.

Alabama does need to take steps to distance itself from its racist past and this amendment would have accomplished that and only that. Unfortunately, political means those who vote to pass the amendment may not be aware they are voting to take more money from their pocketbooks.

Greg Heyman

Communications Director

Alabama Policy Institute