Thursday, June 13, 2013

Surprise, surprise (not): Jack Markell wants $80 million in new (regressive) taxes

So the Governor waits until there are only 2 1/2 weeks left in the legislative session and provides lawmakers a "menu" of new taxes to choose from?

My favorites are a hike in the gas tax and a near doubling of the motor vehicle transfer tax.

Now, of course Libertarians oppose taxes like this almost by reflex, but what's amazing to find is that even our brethren and cistern (yes, I spelled it that way consistently) in the Democratic Party are beginning to discover that this Governor is no particular friend of theirs despite socially "progressive" stands on gun control, marriage equality, and trans-gender rights:

Gov. Jack Markell has offered legislators a selection of more than $80 million in tax and fee increases to spend on roads, beaches, parks and waterways, but already lawmakers are rejecting some of the ideas. 
Markell included a 5-cent increase in the gasoline tax that would raise it to 28 cents along with a range of other options for lawmakers to consider. But Democratic leaders in both chambers said Wednesday that there was little appetite among lawmakers to increase the tax.
Aside from the fact that this is budgetary management failure so bad that you'd think Ruth Ann Minner had just been appointed as Markell's budget advisor, it is particularly ham-handed to introduce new taxes not just this late but after (a) you've already cut taxes for high-income Delawareans this year; and (b) you couldn't have picked two more regressive or economically harmful taxes to pimp for.

With gas averaging around $3.50/gallon, who do you think an additional 5 cents is going to hurt most?

Uh, let's see--people in Greenville or people in Marshallton?

And who do you think is going to be deterred from buying a new car by a massive increase in the transfer tax?

Gee, I don't know?  People buying their second Mercedes, or young people and low income people who just need reliable transportation to their jobs to keep their families afloat?

While I would argue that almost all taxes are by nature regressive, Governor Markell could not have picked out two better examples of taxes that will hurt the poor and middle class in Delaware if he tried.

But, then, his education policy pretty much tells you what he thinks of the poor and middle-class, anyway, so I guess this isn't a big surprise.

1 comment:

tom said...

The General Assembly should respond with $80 million in Spending Cuts.

They could just go for the easy and obvious things like eliminating the Strategic Fund and the Reichssicherheitshauptamt.

Or they could do something creative like cutting $80 million from the salaries & benefits of Markell Administration officials, starting from the top.