Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, today posted a glowing endorsement of Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, reinforcing the role that the transportation sales tax will play in other races on July 31.
And complicating Georgia politics to no end. From the ATR website:
Rogers has defended against tax increases and worked to streamline state government, often in the face of intense pressure from appropriators and their special interest allies. Most recently, Senator Rogers has stood up against a multi-billion dollar tax increase for expanded public transportation, an unpopular but extremely principled position.
From Norquist himself:
“The so-called ‘transportation tax’ is a more than a 7 billion dollar tax hike. Senator Rogers knows that the problem isn’t that Georgia politicians are not raising enough in taxes. They have been spending on areas other than transportation for years. Punishing today’s taxpayers for the bad spending decisions of yesterday’s legislators has it backwards.”
Among those complicating factors:
– The sales tax vote was placed on the July 31 ballot with a great deal of help from the Senate majority leader. Rogers bases his opposition on the content of the project list subsequently drawn up by local leaders.
– Norquist has condemned Gov. Nathan Deal’s support for the sales tax as a betrayal of the ATR’s no-tax pledge once signed by Deal. Yet the governor, too, is backing Rogers in his race against Republican challenger Brandon Beach, who supports the sales tax for more roads and rail.
But if you wonder why you don’t see Georgia Republicans tearing each other up over this issue, remember that on Aug. 1, a campaign aimed at restoring the state’s power to create charter schools begins. And many of those on opposite sides of the sales tax votes will need to become quick friends again.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider