Sunday, December 2, 2007

The GREAT Plan, version 4.0

Jim Galloway and Bridget Gutierrez did a nice piece on the speaker's latest version of the GREAT plan.

The basics are as Dick Pettys reported last week, but this quote in Galloway's article caught my attention:
Richardson denied that his revision was a retreat, or that he was having trouble winning support for the plan within his Republican caucus. "I could make this happen the way I've got it out there," the House speaker told a reporter. "But so many people have so many reservations, I thought, we'll show them how much money this produces."

It sounds like Richardson's saying he has the votes to pass a full repeal of property taxes. Surely he's speaking in vague terms - predicting victory based on polls he's done instead of promising passage in the General Assembly based on a nose count.

Because if he really has the votes, and property taxes are so wrong, as the speaker has said repeatedly, why not just do it?

Also, if Richardson has the votes, what deal has he struck, and with which Democrats? It takes a two-thirds majority to pass this thing, because it would be a call for a constitutional amendment referendum, and there aren't enough Republicans to hit that mark without some bi-partisan support.

State Rep. DuBose Porter, the House Minority Leader, told me last week that he and the speaker haven't even sat down to discuss the tax plan.

I've also spoken to some rural Republicans who expressed reservations about the initial plan, but also said they don't want to upset the speaker by making those reservations public.

By the way, I just made up the "version 4.0" thing. But it's about right.

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