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Unless you're holed up on Gobbler's Knob with Punxsutawney Phil, you know that a new law will limit to $10,000 the amount you can deduct on your federal return for state and local taxes. This is terrible for high-tax politicians in high-tax states. We're thinking of one place with a struggling, jobs-challenged economy where citizens pay some of the nation's most egregious property taxes, yet taxaholic lawmakers just raised the personal income tax rate by 32 percent. A place that's losing population at an accelerating rate. Clue: Starts with "I," rhymes with "unemploy."

In the past, politicians could increase these state and local taxes to high heaven, then tell angry taxpayers to stop squealing: Hey, the IRS lets you deduct everything you give us. Those rubes in low-tax Idaho, South Dakota and Maine will subsidize you. Sweet!

Now, though, the limit on this deduction makes citizens in high-tax states likelier to rebel over the amount of Other People's Money the pols collect. But never underestimate the yearning of the tax-and-spenders to defend their right to more revenue. Hence news stories about blue-state officials grasping for ways to game the new law.

Note what you're not reading here. That is, quotations from state officials nationwide who understand that they have another option: lowering state and local taxes.

We know, crazy talk. There are public employee unions to reward for the money and muscle they devote to re-electing friendly pols. There are interest groups that want higher taxes and more spending, not lower and less.

We've not yet heard serious talk in starts-with-"I"-rhymes-with-"unemploy" of gaming the new law. Do this state's politicians want to tell voters, Trust me, I'll go to any length so I can keep raising your taxes?

Editorial on 01/13/2018

Print Headline: Or, they could just lower taxes

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