I am referring to the sales tax on food. I live in Anniston, where we now pay 10 percent sales tax on everything we buy, including milk and bread. Every time this issue comes up, one party or the other thinks more about how to replace the funds than the burden it brings to low-income Alabamians. They seem more concerned about money than about the welfare of our residents.
Here is a novel idea — a state lottery. At least a lottery is a voluntary tax and only those choosing to play pay that tax. Plus, look at all the additional income it brings in for states like Georgia, which has the top retailer of Georgia lottery sales right across the Alabama state line.
Since its inception, the Georgia lottery has transferred more than $14 billion to the State Treasury’s Lottery for Education Account. It would be interesting to know how much of that came from Alabama residents. Oregon spreads its lottery funds around, plus it has no state sales tax. More than $50 billion has gone to fish hatcheries, which keep its lakes and rivers stocked, thereby drawing millions in revenue through tourism.
If you truly have a religious objection to a lottery, yet have no problem with taxing poor people on food items, that is no religion I want any part of. You also seem to have no problem operating liquor stores statewide. I ask you, what’s the bigger sin, taxing my food that I need to survive or allowing adults the choice to give additional tax revenues to the state via a lottery? Are you just another politician who wants more from your constituents, or are you truly concerned about our well-being and quality of life?
J. Scott Hightower