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Alabama State Senator Calls Citizens’ Bluff on Taxes

Alabama State Senator Paul Sanford had a novel idea for illuminating the age-old truth that people will vote for additional taxes as long as they don’t have to pay them, creating a GoFundMe page to pay off the state’s deficit.

On August 6, Sanford, from Madison County, Alabama, posted the page, with its financial goal stated as $300 million. Sanford wrote:

The State of Alabama is experiencing tight financial times and needs your help. Legislators are debating possible financial solutions but are finding that Raising Taxes are not wanted by the citizens of Alabama. Rather than have the Government come after your hard earned money you can now send an amount that fits your budget, even request where your money be used. You can determine what functions of Government are a priority to you.

On Friday, Sanford tweeted:


The page has elicited many negative responses, such as:

“You already have a crowdsourced fund of money. It’s called taxes. Why would you possibly deserve more?”

“This is almost as embarrassing as having our governor campaign on ‘no new taxes’ and immediately screaming for taxes upon reelection… ”

“I would donate the money I saved up over the last year for (fun money) but I spent it last month in Mississippi at the casino.. Sorry it couldn’t stay in Alabama.”

Sanford replied:

I do appreciate the comments but please realize this was to prove a point that most people do not want to pay more taxes but are for taxes when the other guy is to be taxed. Also, even the few donations that have been received reflect our ability to budget State functions (earmarked for education a rate of 8 to 2 (education to other govt services). It is easy to get support for education but not so easy for he [sic] remaining rolls of Government.

Alabama’s constitution requires the state to have a balanced budget. Governor Robert Bentley acknowledged last November that the state’s General Fund Deficit could climb as high as $265 million.

By Tuesday night, the GoFundMe account had only raised a total of $995 from 59 people.

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