Saturday, September 27, 2008

Roger Jones County Commissioner

Roger Jones Madison County Commissioner

No Trust on Taxes

To raise or lower taxes on hardworking Americans has set the tone for the national presidential debate, but it also very near and dear to the heart of valley residents. On June 3rd Madison County voted against raising the sales tax half a cent to support the three school districts. It was defeated handily by two-thirds of the voters; however, the Madison County Commission still has the power to levy this tax and increase taxes on the residents regardless of the June 3rd countywide vote.

There have been a myriad of meeting and votes by the commission in the past concerning the half cent sales tax and residents should be concerned, especially based on past experience when the commissioners went against the public referendum in 1983 and imposed a half cent sales tax after the 1984 election. So it is highly probable that after the November 4th election the sales tax issue could come up for a new vote by the commission and this time, like in 1984, it might just pass. School boards and proponents of the tax have been biding their time waiting for the right time to push the board into a vote – many have said that time is after the general election. This gives the commissioners four years to smooth over the ‘sure to follow public outcry’ and given most voters short-term memory I believe some on the board think they can weather the short term storm and still feel they will still be re-elected in 2012.

Who are the key players? Staunchly against the tax increase and supporting the will of the voters are County Commissioner’s Mo Brooks – District 5 and Faye Dyer –District 2. Commissioners Dale Strong – District 4 and Bob Harrison – District 6 have stated they would only support the tax if the school boards agree to build or improve schools within their districts.

There are two strong proponents FOR the half cent sales tax. The first is Commissioner Roger Jones – District 1 who has a long history of supporting the tax increase and but not supporting allowing the voters to have a say in this important matter. In fact, Roger Jones was one of only two commissioners who supported the tax hike in a vote on September 29th 2006, and in the same meeting voted not to allow a public referendum on the issue. Also, Commissioner Jerry Craig – District 3 who has stood beside Roger Jones in every one of his votes in favor of the half cent sales tax and again Commissioner Craig has been against a public vote on the issue.

This local election is too important to trust commissioners who would raise your taxes unilaterally, who would oppose a public vote on an issue as important as this and who do not see that our residents already are making tough decisions with high prices at the pump, high taxes on food, and a slowed down economy. Do you really trust these liberal commissioners will not vote again to raise your taxes after November 4th, 2008?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Mike Gillespie, Madison County Commissioner

Mike Gillespie - History of Tax Increase Support

Mike Gillespie, Madison County Commissioner, Huntsville, Alabama

Sales Tax Increases in Madison County

Tax increases continue to go up, and the AEA Education Lobby and several Madison County
Commissioners have been pushing hard to raise additional taxes.
Our property taxes are now going up on an annual basis due to the
annual reappraisal of property taxes. Further, since the 2005 BRAC
Announcement property values have gone up significantly. Most
property owners reporting 30% to 40% increase in property taxes to
support the public schools. Education leaders and many members of the
Madison County Commission, led by Chairman Mike Gillespie have been
clamoring for more tax increases, especially a 1/2 cent sales tax


The below is documentation of the determination of Mike Gillespie to raise taxes in Madison County.
For the past 2 years, Mike Gillespie has been one of the major leaders to increase sales taxes in Madison County.
Public record and newspaper accounts reflect several occasions of Mike Gillespie working to raise taxes.

Commission Chairman Mike Gillespie said if commissioners place the sales-tax question on the November ballot, supporters
will have to "clearly articulate" to voters why the extra money is needed and how it would be spent.
"I think the needs are there," Gillespie said Tuesday. "It's just a matter of helping the community understand." Sept 20,
2006 Huntsville Times.

"Expect (Mike) Gillespie to say "yes", too, making a pro tax
majority." Sept 24, 2006 Huntsville Times.

"Commission Chairman Mike Gillespie has said he would vote for the
tax in the event of a tie.
The half-cent levy would raise about $21 million a year that the Huntsville, Madison
and Madison County school systems could use to build, repair and
expand schools."
Huntsville Times. Nov 17, 2006

"A divided County Commission shelved the half-cent tax hike Oct. 27 after
four of the six commissioners refused to support it. Commission Chairman
Mike Gillespie, who has voiced support for the tax, votes only in case
of a tie. The commission passed a resolution banning another vote until
after the 2008 elections unless one of the four opposing commissioners
brings it back for reconsideration."
February 16, 2007 Huntsville Times

A referendum for a ½ cent sales tax was voted on in on June 3, 2008, during the Republican and Democratic Primary.
Voters soundly by a 2/3 margin voted against the tax.

At the following meeting of the Madison County Commission, there was discussion of the sales tax vote.
The newspaper account of the meeting mentioned that there were rumors that
commissioners would approve the sales tax after the November election.
A reporter from the Huntsville Times questioned Mike Gillespie and his support of the sale tax.
It was pointed out that previously in 1984, there was a failed sales tax referendum.
However following that failed tax vote, Mike Gillespie and other Madison County Commissioners voted anyway for the sales

The Huntsville Times made this observation:
“Gillespie, the commission's chairman, voted to raise education sales taxes in 1984
after a failed sales tax referendum. But the situation then was "absolutely, 100
percent different," he said, with schools in much worse shape.”
Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Election Day November 4, 2008 – Referendum on Taxes
After two years of efforts of Mike Gillespie in trying to raise sales taxes, the voters had the opportunity on June 3,
2008 to say “No” to more sales
taxes. The tenure of Mike Gillespie reflects a constant effort to vote for additional tax increases and more
support for public schools. The simple question remains, are the educators and Mike Gillespie, correct in asserting
that more money is needed to support the public schools? The election on November 3 in essence is a referendum on taxes.
Those wishing for increasing sales taxes and requiring more support for public schools should obviously vote for Mike
Those oppose to the concept of more taxes have the option to vote for anti-tax Dick French, Republican Candidate for
Chairman, Madison County Commission.

Conservative Congress

We need a congress to reflect our conservative values.