Tuesday, October 02, 2007

It's already happened here 

An editorial last week in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (h/t the ever-reliable Gerald Prante) argues that killing the property tax is deadly to local government control and authority.

Local governments in Georgia, like in all states, are more responsive to their citizens than is the state government because they have the ability and flexibility to provide the services those citizens demand. And that requires the ability to raise and lower taxes.

Georgia local governments are more efficient than the state at providing local services because local government officials know the costs and benefits of those services. Relying on political leaders in the state capitals to fund local police, fire and ambulance services and schools almost guarantees that those and other essential local public services will be inadequately funded. Do you think the Georgia General Assembly would fund schools, police or libraries to the extent the average citizen wants or would be willing to pay for? Fifty years of political science research suggests it would not.

Isn't this what has happened in Minnesota? Take the local increase in property taxes, which is receiving all kinds of negative letters to the editor in the Times. Is there any reason to think this is due to anything but the local government aid that we continue to see fought over at the Capitol?

We already have a system in Minnesota that gives the state far too much control over which cities can tax which taxpayers how much. Georgia, don't do what we've done.

Labels: ,