I want to follow up on a post by MN Central about the Arizona referendum. Looking over a report from the Progressive States Network, it’s hard not to notice that Governor Pawlenty’s counterparts in much redder states than Minnesota have used a much different approach to budget balancing.
As MN Central points out, Arizona (certainly no bastion of liberal thought) enacted Proposition 100 to at least temporarily increase the sales tax.
Another state recently approved a one cent sales tax increase that will take effect July 1 and bring in over $3 million in revenue to avoid cuts in school programs. Wisconsin? Maybe New York? Nope…Kansas.
Another shocker comes from South Carolina. The House recently voted to override Gov. Mark Sanford’s veto of HB 3584 and approved an increase of the state’s cigarette tax by 50 cents.
And lo and behold, there is another state which saw a health care need and thought about increasing provider fees. Very similar to the idea that Governor Pawlenty has blocked by not signing on. Surely, this must be a Massachusetts thing or Rhode Island….maybe the District of Columbia? Wrong again. In vocally anti-tax Georgia, the Legislature imposed a temporary 1.45 percent hospital fee and raised other fees to cut the budget deficit. Good heavens, Georgia!
So, as you readily see, Minnesota is behind the curve on solving budget problems with revenue. State after state has reached a rational and expedient method of balancing their budget. These states didn’t come to these tax decisions lightly. Several waves of budget cutting proceeded each one, but most of the US uses a balanced approach.
Minnesota stands out as one of the few states that does not.