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Your Views: State legislature's tax cheats should face prosecution
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I read with interest Dick Yarbrough's article March 14 in The Times, "Some spend tax dollars or don't pay them," in which he noted that 22 (or 10 percent) of our legislators in the Georgia General Assembly are delinquent in paying their taxes.

This should be the ultimate insult to any hard-working citizen who now struggles to provide their family with the basic necessities, plus pay all other taxes imposed by local, state and federal agencies in a timely manner. It is apparent these 22 legislators are convinced that the tax laws do not apply to them, that they are above this law and therefore they are not subject to any penalties or punishment for choosing not to pay their taxes. It was further brought out that both Republicans and Democrats are repeat offenders some for more than six years.

Just recently there was a case involving Daniel Edward Turner, who was convicted by a federal jury in Gainesville for tax problems. It was stated that he didn't believe in the federal tax system and went to great lengths to avoid paying the IRS. Also named in the article was Eddie Kahn, who is serving a 10-year federal prison sentence after his conviction for conspiracy to defraud the government over his tax problems.

Let's talk about a double standard. These are just two recently publicized cases of individuals who disagreed with the tax system and therefore decided not to pay their taxes. Both of these individuals will be punished by serving years in federal prison and I assume both individuals will also be levied stiff penalties and fines.

Will these 22 legislators or government officials who fail to pay their taxes be held to the same standard and subject to the same punishment? Or will they be allowed to simply walk away and claim it was a mistake, after all, everyone makes mistakes? Right?

Reginael D. McDaniel, a criminal investigation agent with the IRS, said "The law is crystal clear: People must pay their taxes, there is no gray area on this issue." With that said, does this apply to the 22 Georgia legislators who have failed to pay their taxes, with some being repeat offenders? Will they face a criminal investigation from the IRS or other government agencies and be brought to trial before a federal court as these other individuals?

All legislators or government officials should be held to the same standards of following all laws, (yes, tax laws included) as the rest of us peons. The problem is these legislators, with all of their arrogance, think they are above abiding by the laws they do not agree with, so therefore they choose to ignore them.

These 22 legislators need to be exposed and expelled from office. We do not need these tax evaders and tax cheats in the Georgia General Assembly handling our business or voting on laws for the rest of us to obey.

Larry H. Clark
Flowery Branch

Boat ramp extensions a big help
Due to the severe drought conditions on Lake Lanier, I was forced to close my bait and tackle shop in October 2008 after the boat ramps serving the Hall County area were shut down. Thanks to action by the Hall County Board of Commissioners, a cofferdam allowed the extension of the Balus Creek boat ramp. We have reopened our bait shop, and business is even better than last year.

Thank you to the Hall County Board of Commissioners, Hall County Parks and Recreation, Hall County Engineering Division, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and everyone involved in making the decision to extend these boat ramps.

John Bowen