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Closing tax loopholes/incentives: A new issues or an old issue with new life?

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on May 17, 2011 at 3:26 pm with 1 Comment »
May 17, 2011 3:26 pm

Jason Mercier of the Washington Policy Center came across a debate from an old voters’ pamphlet that could have been written today (and might be if some initiatives make the ballot this fall).

Here’s his blog post but I’ll summarize enough to tease you but not steal his thunder.

In 1972 voters were asked to approve or reject House Joint Resolution 1, a constitutional amendment that would have created a process to sunset and review all tax preferences.

It failed 45 percent to 55 percent.

Said supporters: “Passage will create more equity and spread the tax burden to include those who now enjoy unjustifiable tax loopholes.”

Said opponents: “HJR 1 affects YOU, the taxpayer, as well as charities, businesses, schools, libraries, hospitals, nursing homes, colleges, labor unions, private and fraternal clubs, agriculture, credit unions, veterans organizations, cities and counties, fisherman, loggers, etc. The list is long. Senior citizens could be particularly hard hit.”

Take a look to get a rear-view mirror look at our political future.

Leave a comment Comments → 1
  1. That’s an important point. There are a lot of useful and smart tax exemptions. One of them being the exemption for small businesses from B&O tax. That’s why using a BRAC type process is a pretty good idea. But there are many other absurd loopholes.

    My free advice: Roll out a “Loophole of the Week” campaign highlighting the most absurd and wasteful exemptions. That’s essentially how earmarks went away.

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