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Tax Pandemic Spreads to 10 States, 23 More At Risk

Leonard Gilroy
May 7, 2009, 8:47am

   "Now my advice for those who die, declare the pennies on your eyes. 'Cause I'm the taxman."
   —George Harrison

Following up on my post on state budgets and taxes last week, State Net Capitol Journal (May 4th edition) offers a useful, albeit depressing, review of the current tax and fee landscape in the states in this new article. Here's a snapshot:

Not too long ago, current Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin quipped that "[o]ne of the best ways to find funds is to look in other people's pockets." Apparently, governors and legislators in California, New York, Kentucky and a number of other states have bought into this advice and are trying to avoid at all costs (literally) the real spending reforms that desperately need to occur.

Unfortunately, the taxpayers that get stuck with the final bill for policymakers' perpetual spending bender don't have any other pockets to pick but their own.

There is at least some silver lining to this story: the Heartland Institute reports that taxpayer advocates in both Maine and Florida are taking tax and spending limitation measures to the ballot. Hopefully activists in other states will follow suit.

To keep track of the ever-changing world of state revenues, be sure to check out the National Conference of State Legislatures' handy "State Measures to Balance FY 2010 Budgets" web resource, which links to a variety of tables that break down state tax and fee hike actions/proposals by category.

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform

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