More Taxes is the New Mantra

Article by Pamela M. Prah.

Five governors are proposing hefty tax increases to bankroll ambitious new health-care and education programs. Proposals to raise cigarette taxes are on the table in even more states, with the increased revenue going primarily to cover some of the nation’s 46.6 million without health insurance.

Interest in raising taxes is strikingly different from the situation just a few years ago, when legislatures facing a fiscal crisis bent over backwards to avoid major tax hikes, instead raiding rainy day funds, borrowing money or expanding gambling to raise more revenue. Then, the aim was to keep the state budget out of the red. Now, the aim is to expand the reach of state government — often to provide health coverage for more citizens.

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