Despite being flush with cash from several federal COVID-19 pandemic recovery bills passed into law, Democratic run states are nixing Republican legislators’ attempts to provide relief to taxpayers.
According to a December 2021 CNBC report, the federal government passed more than $5 trillion in spending to battle the pandemic since it began in March 2020, with billions going to individual states to offset enhanced unemployment benefits, the reopening schools, and other compensation for expenses during the pandemic.
Many states, however, only spent a fraction of their allocations, leaving state budgets in surplus territory.
Republican legislators in several "blue states" have been trying to pass tax relief bills, using the funds to return some money to taxpayers in those states, but the efforts are actively being blocked by Democrats, according to a press release from the Republican State Leadership Committee.
"Americans are struggling right now with record inflation and skyrocketing gas prices because of the failed policies of Joe Biden and his liberal allies in Washington D.C.," RSLC Deputy Communications Director Mason Di Palma said in the statement.
"While Republicans are looking to ease the financial pain for their constituents by introducing tax reform bills, Democrats in Colorado, Maryland, New Mexico, Vermont, and Washington would rather block these proposals. At a time where Americans could use a little relief, Democrats are playing politics with people’s lives and would rather continue to stand behind a failing President Biden rather than work with Republicans to deliver relief."
The organization cited a poll it sponsored that found 74% of voters in battleground states supported a tax cut in those states.
The poll, conducted by market research firm Cygnal, surveyed 2,217 likely voters in the battleground states of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin, from Jan. 19-20, 2022, and has a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points.
It found that 95% of voters said that the high cost of living and inflation is an important issue to them and will help determine who they will vote for in the upcoming elections.
Democratic-majority legislatures in several key states, however, are blocking GOP sponsored legislation that would reduce taxes, the RSLC statement said.
In Colorado, "HB 1021 would have reduced both individual and corporate state income tax rates from 4.55% to 4.4%. By Fiscal Year 2023-2024, this bill would put $420.4 million back in the pockets of Coloradans and save a family making $77,0000, Colorado’s median household income, $115 in income taxes," but Democrats voted in March to block the bill from leaving its committee, the RSLC said.
According to the organization, Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott proposed the Earned Income Tax Credit to 45% of the federal credit, increase the Social Security exemption from $45,000 to $75,000, and also increase child and dependent care credits, but it was rejected by a key state house committee.
Other tax-reducing measures have stalled in Maryland, New Mexico, and Washington state as well, according to the RSLC.
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