Bringing the Economy Home

Otter One of “At Least a Dozen” Republican Governors Proposing Tax Cuts

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Gov. Otter delivered his State of the State speech at the Capitol earlier this month.

Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter is not alone among governors in pushing for tax cuts as states’ budget crunches begin to ease.  This story on NPR’s Morning Edition highlighted Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s push for reductions in the state’s tax on food and the estate tax.  According to the story, that plan is drawing criticism from the state’s employees association, since state workers haven’t seen raises in years.

Here in Idaho, Gov. Otter last week said he might reverse course on his earlier view that the state should make $45 million in tax cuts, but provide $41 million in one-time, merit-based bonuses for state employees only if revenue meets projections.

According to a this piece from Stateline today, “at least a dozen…Republican governors this year have proposed cutting taxes.”  The piece goes on:

The debate is a microcosm of the one that has been playing out recently in Washington, where Republicans say tax cuts would help turn around the economy and Democrats say public works spending from the economic stimulus package made the recession less deep than it could have been. — Stateline

In his State of the State and Budget Address, Gov. Otter couched tax cuts as necessary for job creation.  “[T]here’s…broad consensus on the need to reduce the burden both on our hard-working taxpayers and on those employers who are looking for opportunities to grow our economy while creating careers and livelihoods,” he said.

We should note that despite Otter’s anti-tax stance, he today came out in favor of an Internet sales tax.


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