Saturday, December 10, 2005

The "flatter" tax appears to be the plan.

The governor released his proposed budget on Friday. "This budget is a lot more Santa than Scrooge," Huntsman said. The budget includes a much needed pay hike for state workers (my mother works for the state and the last time they saw a cost of living raise was in the 1990's) a raise for teachers, and a raise for law enforcement. There was also a sum of 176 million dollars set aside for Medicaid, an initiative the governer has set forth to make get all Utahns insured. All of these spending increases paired with the record 60 million dollar tax "cut" (I'm still sceptical about the "flatter" tax) is giving the governor a jolly Ole' Saint Nick attitude about the state.

I appreciate the removal of the tax cut on food greatly, it is a truely repressive tax. However, I'm very hesitant to embrace a system that on the surface appears to be of benefit to the wealthy first and foremost. As I demonstrated in a previous post, the flat tax will be a hike to a great deal of people. Unless the proposed credits are far more substantial that the original proposal demonsrated (a flash calculator on the Gov.'s website when the governor originally announced the flat tax that I can't find anymore), I doubt that this will be a cut to the average wage earner. If anyone has seen a concrete explanation of the proposed credits, I'd like to hear about it before I can give the flat tax a strong vote of confidence.

Other than my rant about the flat tax, Bravo Mr Huntsman! The pay increases for state law enforcement/general employees, and the raises for public and college educators is very much needed. The other spending will be beneficial as well, I'm sure.

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