and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Not Born Last Night

Citizens for Limited Taxation, which, new reporters should be aware, partnered with former Governor Paul Cellucci in placing the income tax rollback on the 2000 ballot, is not celebrating victory today.

The "temporary" income tax hike of 1989 is seventeen years old next month. On the 2000 ballot, the voters ordered the rate to be returned to 5% by 2003. The House budget says it will return there over two years after the Department of Revenue does a study, the intent of which no doubt was to delay the rollback but in fact, could have happened fairly quickly if the Senate passed the same language.

Instead, the Senate budget used the ploy of delaying a three year phasedown the rollback until a certain level of local aid is reached. Taxpayers lost ground yesterday.

We'll see what comes out of the budget conference committee. We remind everyone that one of the two versions or a combination of the two must be part of the final budget; they cannot add anything new or drag out the rollback schedule any further.

We suspect that advocates of local aid shouldn't be celebrating either. They have actually hurt their chances for an increase because legislative leaders will make sure that the amount to municipalities that triggers the rollback is never reached.

Once again, voters have been slapped in the face; this time without dissent, with a unanimous 39-0 vote of the Senate.


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