The time is now for tax reform

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 18, 2003

With that simple phrase, the phrase of betting a political career, Gov. Bob Riley sets forth on a mission that could determine his legacy as governor, and potentially the future legacy of Alabama.

In the period of 90 days, roughly three months, Riley must explain to the voters of Alabama why they should vote for a reform and tax package, which would raise certain taxes.

He must explain and convince the voters, the effort he and his administration have put forth to cut every possible expense, trim every inch of fat they possibly could in the first few months of their administration.

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Even Riley himself has admitted there is still room to go in the cost-cutting department, but time has run out &045;&045; a solution must be found now.

The time is now.

It took 18 months for Riley to prove himself to Alabama voters during his run for governor, he must now hope that in three months he can get the votes to fix Alabama’s problems and assure a future for all Alabama’s children.

The first part to Riley’s latest campaign will begin Monday night with a televised speech to the people of Alabama. Never before has a governor opened a special session with a speech from the governor’s office rather than addressing the full Legislature.

Then again, never before has Alabama faced the peril it is facing today.

The setting for the speech alone should prove to Alabamians the importance placed on their upcoming vote &045;&045; a vote set for early September.

Riley must prove that Band-Aid fixes are no longer an option if Alabama is to move from the nation’s cellar &045;&045; only &uot;once-and-for-all&uot; fixes are needed and demanded.

Alabama voters now, more than ever, hold the future of their state in their hands. Never before in recent history has a vote seemed so important and demanded such attention.

For the next three months Alabamians better decide for themselves if they are willing to reform the way Alabama does business, generate new revenue and move forward or if the current system of bankrupting Alabama’s future will continue. It is a tough choice.

We encourage the initiative Gov. Riley has put forward, but hope he and his staff are aware of the task they are about to undertake.

For Alabama’s future, let’s hope so.