Riley Plan Opposed by Unlikely Group

A vote "No" sign in front of a mansion might be expected, Governor Riley's tax and accountability plan will cost rich people more money. But "No" signs are also visible at mobile home parks. "Every time you turn around it's just tax on tax on tax. It's just taxing us to death. What money you earn you don't get none of it," says Don Hudgens, who resides in an East Montgomery mobile home.

His viewpoint is shared by 58 percent of low income voters. It's the strongest opposition to the Riley plan. Hudgens says he doesn't trust politicians, we've heard the same comment for months. Montgomery resident Princella Henderson says, "Riley is for the rich people, he's not for the poor."

Supporters of the plan make it sound like Robin Hood, by saying it will take from the rich and give to the poor. Ironically, experts say it's not uncommon for low income people to vote against measures that could help them. "What you find across different countries, different states is that low income voters are also the least educated. So they may be fearful of a new initiative, or referendum which they're not really sure about, they've not really heard much about," says Dr. Jeremy Lewis in Huntingdon College's political science department.

The plan's supporters say it will lower state income taxes for 67 percent of Alabamians, primarily those on the low end of the salary scale. "How could it (my tax burden) go down? I don't see how it would go down if you vote yes; because that's when they're going to tax you," says Hudgens.

He feels even if his income and property taxes fall, higher business taxes will be passed onto him and other consumers.

Dr. Lewis says for the Riley plan to have any chance the governor has to connect with people like Tommie Sanders of Montgomery. She says she doesn't know how she'll vote on September 9th, "I just have to think it over."

The group supporting the tax and accountability plan says the new sales tax on labor and services will not apply to work done on real property, like roofing repairs on your home. But it will be levied on what's called tangible property, like repairs on cars or appliances. It's one of the most unpopular parts of the plan with a negative rating of 78 percent.

Our poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

Reported by: Michael Briddell