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Friday, May 29, 2009

Sunset the hikes: Brief fix for a brief problem

Ronald Reagan used to say that there is nothing so permanent as a temporary government program. The Union Leader editorializes that temporary tax increases shouldn't be permanent either:
Gov. John Lynch and legislative leaders have told us for about a year now that fee and tax increases are necessary to cover revenue lost to the recession. When some House members were agitating for a sales or income tax, Lynch warned them not to propose a permanent solution to this temporary loss of revenue. That was good advice then, and it is good advice now.

Any fee increases and tax hikes approved this year need to sunset in two years. If the governor and legislators are right that these increases are necessary to balance the budget because of an extraordinary and temporary reduction in revenue caused by the recession, then they should have no problem making the increases expire at the end of that recession, or at least at the end of the budget cycle.

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