Legislature convenes on budget and taxes

As the Legislature convenes for another legislative session – this one focusing on fiscal matters – there will be a great deal of discussion about taxes, but it appears the state budget will once again end up being issue number one.

That’s despite the fact that over more special sessions than most would want to remember, lawmakers renewed a portion of an expiring sales tax with the intention of bringing stability to the budget for an additional seven years.

The fact that two competing budget bills have been filed and neither is the traditional House Bill 1 says it all. So, with the Revenue Estimating Conference at a stalemate over how much money it will say the state has to spend, it looks like lawmakers have again found something to fight about with the budget.

In the meantime, there have been a lot of tax bills filed. Many of them seek to make structural improvements that would make our tax system more competitive. Some head off into a direction we probably shouldn’t go. And others seek to allow for taxation of things we haven’t really done before. Click link for the rundown.