Taxes are emerging as a key issue as state legislative sessions open around the country, with many Republican governors pressing for deeper tax cuts and Democratic governors looking for more ways to increase revenues.
According to Stateline.org
, the online news and research arm of the nonprofit Pew Center on the States, at least half a dozen GOP governors are proposing “sweeping tax cuts” while “just as many Democrats” are calling for tax increases.
Two of the biggest battles, Stateline reported Friday, are likely to unfold in New Jersey and in Maryland, where the budget situations are dramatically different.
In New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie is pushing for passage of a 10 percent across-the-board cut in the state income tax.
“This will send a loud signal,” Stateline quoted Christie as saying in his State of the State speech last week. “The New Jersey comeback has begun.”
The state’s Democratic lawmakers, however, are balking at the governor’s tax-cut plan even though they supported his call last year for pension and other reforms that have put the state on sounder economic footing.
In Maryland, meanwhile, Stateline reported that Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley is calling for a tax increase on state residents who earn six-figure incomes to help close what he believes will be a $1 billion budget shortfall this year.
“I don’t like doing this,” O’Malley was reported to have said, arguing that it was necessary step “to get us through this recession.”
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