Governor to bring tax reform message here Thursday
Published 8:12 am Wednesday, August 6, 2003
By By Bill Crist
Special to the Advance
While recent polls conducted statewide indicate that the Amendment One tax package is in trouble with the state's voters, Gov. Bob Riley remains convinced that the tax reform package will pass if the public just learns the truth about what it will mean.
The governor will bring that message to Escambia County Thursday with a 6 p.m. town hall meeting at Flomaton High School.
"The governor has been spending a lot of time travelling the state, campaigning for the package in the larger cities," the governor's press secretary David Azbell said. "There have been very few stops in between. But now the governor is making a concerted effort to visit the less traveled parts of Alabama which will allow him to take the message right to the people."
The governor, making his presentation with Drayton Nabers, the state finance director, will address the group first, discussing the outline of the plan and what it will mean to Alabama at the family level as well as from the larger statewide perspectives. Then Nabers will give specific examples of the plan's impact and outline what might happen if voters reject it.
"We feel if people across the state can listen to the message, it's almost contagious," Azbell said in response to questions about the recent polls. "The poll numbers, when broken down, show us that people who will pay more, by and large support the plan. People who will be getting tax cuts, don't seem to know they're getting them. They are the ones the polls say do not support the package."
Azbell said that the plan's opponents have been putting out misinformation and distortions about what the package contains in order to sway the public opinion.
"It bothers me that the opponents of this plan would put out false information – information they know very well is false," Riley said to editors and publishers gathered for the Alabama Press Association's summer convention two weeks ago. "The sad thing is that they're putting it out there and it is working."
Dr. Marsha Raulerson, a Brewton pediatrician, will open the meeting with a 10-minute presentation that will address what impact the tax package will have on Escambia County, particularly in terms of healthcare.
According to Ruth Harrell, who organized the event, Riley and Nabers will both take questions from the audience after the presentations are completed.