Betting the legislative session on one big issue

Edgar's picture

This is the kind of column that could have the shelf life of a ripe banana. It’s that time in a legislative session where things are in flux. Everything could change in an instant, with a change in the demeanor of a key senator or representative. And we’re talking about a tax bill in a Legislature that is allergic to tax bills and that considers them as much with emotion as with rationale. They want the money, but they are freaked out about how voters might react — about whether voters will love cuts in one tax enough to forgive lawmakers for raising another tax to pay for it.

That’s not the only politically hazardous piece of this ambitious and precarious package. Lawmakers have taken several tough votes already, and they have more in front of them.

• They’re voting against local government officials, limiting how much those cities and counties can raise property taxes without asking voters for permission. The 3.5 percent limit in their current bills is a mark legislators don’t hit in their own budgeting.



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