Tuesday, January 27, 2009

NH state income tax sneaking in the back door

First on the NH House list of bills is constitutional amendment CACR1, "relating to taxes. Providing that all revenues raised by a state income tax shall be dedicated to funding public education."
Sponsored by three Democrats, Charles Weed, Jessie Osbourne, and Barbara Richardson.
Last time I looked, I thought an NH state income tax was off the table. They fooled me, this is a back door way of slipping an income tax thru.
Since we don't have a state income tax (yet!) this bill to earmark income tax revenues for school funding is clearly an attempt to make a state income tax look virtuous, and perhaps over come some of the opposition to such a tax.
This is a bad bill and ought to be defeated for several reasons.
1. It encourages Concord to slap us with an income tax.
2. It gives school spending priority over the other responsibilities of the state. As incomes rise, income tax receipts rise, and education funding automatically rises. This earmark will channel more and more money into schools, without requiring the educators to justify their expenses. Nice work if you can get it, I'm sure the teacher's unions approve. But it is undemocratic. Democratic means we vote appropriations every so often, and the Legislature can allocate money where it is needed most. This amendment favors schools over everything. Schools are important, but they are not THAT important.
3. Earmarks don't belong in the state constitution. The constitution states general principles and assigns powers. This amendment is an attempt to lock in a priority for schooling and deny the Legislature the power to allocate state funds.

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