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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Union Leader blasts tax increases in state budget

The Union Leader examines the state budget on the editorial page, and finds that both the House and Senate chose to raise taxes rather than control spending:

Each of the proposed state budgets to be reconciled in conference committee in the coming weeks is a patchwork quilt of fee increases, tax increases, new taxes and other "revenue enhancements." Some spending reductions are thrown in here and there to make ends meet on the margins, but each budget is balanced primarily with new revenue.

The excuse our elected officials give is that the economy suddenly sucked away vast amounts of revenue and they had little time to fill the gaps left in the budget. That is not entirely true.

Revenues for this fiscal year are down by about 5 percent. That presented lawmakers and the governor with genuine difficulties. But as columnist Charles Arlinghaus pointed out in these pages last week, legislators propose raising state general fund spending by about 6.7 percent next year.

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