by Jeff Woods
After a new round of negative publicity, House Democratic Leader Gary Odom has finally deigned to explain why he stopped the governor from closing a fat tax loophole for rich developers in the last legislative session. And it's a really creative explanation. If we still gave out our Whopper of the Month awards, Odom would win hands down.
Odom has refused to talk to Pith since we first reported on his tireless fight to save rich people's money. He chose instead to defend himself in an email to the City Paper in which he whines again about the governor's calling him a shifty character. Adopting the Republican mantra, Odom refers to the tax loophole's beneficiaries as "family owned businesses." Sounds better than "fabulously wealthy real-estate tycoons who give out tons of campaign cash."
"This tax increase, according to the Tennessee Department of Revenue, would have raised $45 million in new taxes," Odom stated. "Others have indicated it could raise much more than the Department's estimate. The Administration requested this tax increase be included in legislation referred to as the 'technical corrections bill.' The 'technical corrections bill' is introduced annually to address provisions in the tax laws that are vague or unclear to taxpayers. This legislation is not a vehicle to implement a new tax increase in the last days of the legislature. To have done otherwise would have circumvented the proper legislative process. That is why I opposed the Administration's effort."
So there you have it. Odom opposed closing the loophole because it would have circumvented the proper legislative process. Why didn't you just say so in the first place, Gary? We would have understood.