Like too many
property tax relief programs, the tax savings from the Florida "Save
Our Homes" program, which may be expanded by a vote next Tuesday, have
gone overwhelmingly to the richest state residents according to a new report to be published in the Journal of Real Estate Research. The result has been a tax bonanza for owners of multi-million dollar homes. Similarly, a new study by the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute
argues that property tax cut proposals by Georgia political leaders
would come at the expense of working families who would likely see
higher sales taxes even as richer residents would see tax cuts.
The breadth of issues addressed by the California Legislature was impressive
as legislative leaders moved aggressively on the environment and clean energy,
education, workplace family issues, and health care. However, because of the
Governor's veto pen and the minority party's ability to block revenue bills
with just one-third of the vote, the extent of the progress the Legislature
made on these issues was far less than it could have been.
In states across the country, progressive leaders are stepping up to
discuss how to achieve universal coverage for health care. At the same
time, many on the Right are trying to define "health care coverage" to
mean bare-bones care with often unaffordable cost-sharing for
individuals and families.
Calling it the "first step on a very, very long journey," State Senator Alan Bates, who co-chairs Oregone's Senate Commission on Health Care Access and Affordability, said the commission will draft a bill for the 2007 Legislature that will "make Oregon the first state to provide universal health care with a system to contain costs."
While the proposal has been broadly described by the Commission, important details and questions remain.