Tuesday, October 23, 2007

At least it wasn't billed as a "no tax increase" budget!

Get a load of these goodies in the new state budget deal:

  • $20 birth certificates (up from $12).
  • $53 for a car title (up from $28.50).
  • $75 for car license plates (up from $55).

(Read more about it: http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=677498)

Of course the working poor have no clout and these increases will hit them the hardest. The possibility of property tax increases seems very real, too.

At least nobody said it was a "no tax increase budget" -- a smoke and mirrors fantasy cooked up by former Gov. Patrick J. Lucey three decades ago which saw no increase in the income tax rates but new and higher user fees and miscellaneous taxes which have been growing ever since.

And some dumb ideas did get tossed -- like the hospital tax (taxing the sick is sick).

But there are reasons for concern:

  • Raiding the patient compensation fund is another sneaky smoke-and-mirrors trick.
  • While I have no qualms with upping the cigarette tax there's a reality check here. When taxes go up, fewer people (thankfully) smoke so don't count on the full projected revenue increase from this tax hike.
  • The budget does nothing to grow the economy.

Growing the economy. What a great idea! Surprised nobody in the State Capitol has moved on it?

1 comment:

Dad29 said...

Cig taxes may also lead to criminal activity like bootlegging--which usually leads to other criminal activity like robberies, shootings...

And of course, cig taxes will also lead to more Internet traffic.

These guys were smoking something when they figured $400 million in increased revenues.