The Palmetto Insider

The blog of the South Carolina Policy Council

State Tax Working Group Looks at Election Results

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The State Tax Working Group had its first meeting since Election Day this Wednesday, November 10th. The majority of the group’s discussion, both in D.C. and via teleconference, centered on the election results. The first speaker was Geoff Pallay, editor for Ballotpedia, a collaborative political encyclopedia. (Geoff is also an associate analyst with SCPC.) Pallay gave a brief breakdown of the election results and anticipated that Republican wins could translate into real progress for tax reform efforts.

John Stevenson of the National Taxpayer’s Union (NTU) continued the discussion by looking at the impact of midterm election results. As Stevenson explained, voters nationwide considered state and local ballot measures with profound impacts on tax and fiscal policy. Overall, there were 93 statewide measures on the ballot with the potential to limit taxes or the size of government. Of those, 71 percent passed – including two in South Carolina (cf. H 3396).

Next, Joe Moser, a policy analyst with the NTU, broke down what the election results mean for American taxpayers in different states. Here are some highlights:

  • A Missouri ballot measure targeting the state earnings tax was repealed;
  • In Colorado, voters turned down, by a two-to-one margin, three sweeping measures that would have had positive impacts on taxpayers;
  • Georgia voters rejected a measure that would have imposed a registration fee on vehicles.

A representative of an Ohio-based tax organization next spoke on what the election results meant for Ohio. As Republicans flipped the 99-member House (and retained control of the Senate), Ohioans can expect a new Speaker of the House, William Batchelder. The speaker explained that Batchelder is a tax pledge signer and has called for major Medicaid cuts. Additionally, the speaker mentioned a study released this year by the Buckeye Institute that predicts a $2.3 billion savings for Ohio if public-sector and private-sector salaries are brought into alignment.

Finally, Joseph Henchman of the Tax Foundation concluded the meeting by calling attention to tax reform efforts in both Georgia and South Carolina (i.e., the Taxation Realignment Commission: see here and here). The next State Tax Working Group meeting will be held December 8th, along with their annual D.C. conference held December 1st through 3rd.


Written by SCPC

November 12, 2010 at 2:43 pm

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