Limited Taxation
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CLT Update
Tuesday, June 15, 1999

We finished up at the National Taxpayers Union Conference ‘99 and 30th Anniversary Gala on Sunday and are now in western Pennsylvania taking a few days of R&R to visit Barbara's mother. I finally have the time to dig out the laptop and a phone connection, so here's the latest news.

First, as I mentioned in my last Update before heading down to Washington, DC -- CLT received some great news -- great recognitions from taxpayers around the nation. As longtime director of CLT, Barbara was honored at the NTU conference with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Lifetime Taxfighter Award!

This award was presented by Jonathan Coupal, the new president of the largest taxpayer organization in California (200,000 members!), founded by the late and famous Howard Jarvis of Proposition 13 fame. Proposition 13 ignited the imaginations of taxpayers and the grassroots tax revolt that swept the country in the late 1970s -‘80s.

Since the early ‘80s there have been only four recipients -- with Ronald Reagan being the first (his now resides in the Reagan Library) -- so Barbara's certainly in good company! (I told her all she needs now is her own library!)

The brass plaque on the lifesize (about 30 solid pounds!) bronze bust of Howard Jarvis reads:

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
Lifetime Taxfighter Award
Presented To
Massachusetts Citizens for Limited Taxation
June 1999

There were a lot of good speakers and forums, but perhaps the one I personally most enjoyed was by Saturday's luncheon speaker, Virginia Governor James Gilmore, a Republican who recently won election on the promise to eliminate the car tax in Virginia. He had us all standing in applause after his stirring speech about the only way of controlling the growth of the government beast is to cut off its money supply at all levels and by all means.

Gov. Gilmore can give a rousing speech with the best of them, but we'd better never get too complacent blindly following slick-talking politicians, even the best of them. When Q&A time arrived, I asked him what he planned to do with his state's share of the "Tobacco Settlement" taxpayer reimbursement. It went like this:

"Set up a fund for the tobacco growers, invest in economic development ... "

"But Governor, that money was intended as a taxpayer reimbursement; if the taxpayers don't get it returned, isn't this just another bait-and-switch scam? Won't this just ‘feed the insatiable beast of government'?"

"Hmm, yes, that's something consider, I suppose ... by the way, I'm good friends with your governor!"

"Yes, so am I Governor. Paul Cellucci wants to spend our reimbursement too. But our organization's fighting to get it back to our taxpayers."

"Yes, that's something that could be considered ..."

Chip Ford --

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