Sanders: Tax increases likely

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 11, 2003

State Sen. Hank Sanders has a pretty good idea what Gov. Bob Riley has up his sleeve for a proposed upcoming special session of the Legislature, but he’s not saying just what that is.

Riley announced Thursday that he wants the Legislature to convene a special session May 19. The House already has voted to recess the regular session by May 19. The Senate has yet to consider the matter.

Riley has yet to indicate exactly what package he will present to the special session &045;&045; although with the state facing a $600 million budget shortfall for 2003-2004, some mix of budget cuts and tax increases appears inevitable.

Sanders said that while he has a good idea what the governor plans to propose during the special session, he will let Riley make the announcement in his own time. &uot;I want to respect his leadership,&uot; Sanders said. &uot;We don’t want to pre-empt him.&uot;

Sanders did say that Alabamians should prepares themselves for the very real possibility that the governor’s proposal will include tax increases.

Sanders blamed the budget shortfall largely on a sluggish economy. But he laid at least part of the blame on Alabama’s continued unwillingness to adequately fund state government.