Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The State Tax Turmoil

With projections of as many as 4,500 new pieces of legislation headed for the next session of the state's upcoming legislative session, one or two issues are once again getting some discussion including one debate sure to return with renewed energy -- the so-called Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR).

Other states as well are trying to create ways to limit the rapid growth of government spending while coping with growing demand for more increases to handle the ballooning costs of health care and education alone. However, the state has so many court orders on just how to fund these agencies, the legislature is operating under pressures from beyond the ballot box.

Truth is, the state already has language in the law to limit spending growth based on population and revenue growth, however the courts have made decrees about teacher pay and school funding and health care that step outside those boundaries.

And we are hardly alone in this maze of taxation -- Colorado, which has been the poster-boy for TABOR saw voters agree to changes in TABOR for a five year period, essentially limiting any potential state tax refunds in order to insure the state can provide a fully funded budget. The argument that TABOR is in fine shape in Colorado is made here by the Colorado State Treasurer.

Another view of whether or not TABOR is beneficial to states and taxpayers can be found here.

Other states are also in conflict over what to do and how to do it.

If you ask most residents of Tennessee, you'll find there are two key issues on their minds - jobs with better pay and consistent availability, and the nightmare of health care costs. Who should set the priorities of spending and at what levels of funding they receive are being stacked and prepared for the next election-promise cycle, but will any real changes occur?

4 comments:

carpenterjd said...

Change? Better jobs? Higher pay? Nightmarish health care costs? It sounds like an '88 Dukakis ad. . .or a '92 Clinton ad. Asking the government to regulate it's own spending is like asking Halliburton not to steal,umm... bid on anymore government contracts. Oh well, I guess we'll just wait until we are working through November to pay our taxes and we'll all have a wonderful holiday season standing together in fellowship at the local mission's soup line. I like cabbage soup. doesn't everyone?
Really though we already have a bill of rights that was usurped by the Patriot Act. TABOR is just political rhetoric to soothe the savage citizen/taxpayer. It will have no teeth and will be shat upon whenever the need for more Pork arises.

Joe Powell said...

My point exactly - if the state won't follow its own laws now, what"s the point of a new law?

carpenterjd said...

preach on Brother, preach on. . .

The Editor said...

carpenterjd is one sexy bitch! Especially when he's all riled up!
(just sayin...)