In a little over a week, Georgia voters will decide whether to raise local sales taxes to better fund transportation. The state’s business community supports the effort, but Jay Bookman at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reminds readers businesses are one reason the state’s transportation spending is 49th in the nation. “In an effort to keep their own tax burdens as low as possible, Georgia business leaders have a long history of preaching that taxes are always destructive, government is always incompetent and untrustworthy and there is no problem that can’t be solved by cutting taxes even lower.”
Ohio Gov. John Kasich isn’t backing down from his plan to cut the state’s income tax, and pay for it with higher taxes on natural gas and oil. All signs are that he’ll continue to push for that plan after the November election, but House Democratic Leader Armond Budish wants to go a different route, saying that: “Gov. Kasich’s proposal to modestly increase the severance tax on oil and gas companies is a step in the right direction … But we should be protecting local property taxpayers and prioritizing our communities, not passing more tax cuts that disproportionately benefit wealthy Ohioans.”
The Wall Street Journal writes about the trend toward more Republican governors embracing the enforcement of sales taxes on online purchases. The trend has been so pronounced that Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) says the federal government will enact legislation granting states sales tax enforcement powers “if not this year, then definitely by next year.”
Arizona voters may have a chance to vote on extending the temporary sales tax increase they approved in May 2010. The Arizona Secretary of State initially blocked the measure from appearing on the ballot for technical reasons, but a Superior Court judge rejected that move, saying that 290,000 voter signatures should not be thrown out because of what amounts to “a photocopy error.” It remains to be seen whether that decision will be appealed to the state Supreme Court.