Back in February the House passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Craig Headland which would have reduced the state’s corporate and personal income taxes by more than $500 million.
“The question now is, how much will the Senate water these cuts down?” I asked in a post at the time. Flash forward to May and we have our answer.
The Senate watered down the tax cuts by 50%, to the obvious disappointment of Rep. Headland. “I’d be remiss if I didn’t express some disappointment,” he said just before the House approved the Senate’s package on a 89-1 vote. “We passed a better tax bill.”
This really is an inadequate amount of tax relief. With the state awash in revenues, taxpayers simply deserve more.
But here’s a silver lining: In 2008 conservatives in the state backed an initiated measure to reduce the personal income tax rates by 50% and the corporate income tax rates by 15%. The measure was opposed, and called extreme, by no less than John Hoeven himself (then the state’s governor). Yet, with the passage of these income tax rate reductions, we’re down below where that measure would have put us.
That’s progress, but it would be nice if our state’s Republican majorities were more aggressive with tax reductions and less aggressive with spending increases.