Tug on taxpayer purse strings is gentler in many states this year
(Page 2 of 2)
The proposal, filed by Gov. Mark White, includes raising the sales tax from 4 to 5 percent and doubling the gasoline tax from 5 to 10 cents a gallon.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Texas was one of but 11 states that made it through last year without a levy boost.
Besides Louisiana and Oklahoma, only Tennessee has raised its sales tax since January. By contrast 18 states boosted their sales taxes during 1983. The Tennessee increase from 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent is accompanied by a four-year phase-out of sales tax on food.
Other 1984 state levy increases include gasoline taxes from 11 to 13 cents a gallon in Alabama, from 14 to 15 cents in Connecticut, and 13 to 14 cents in Utah; cigarette tax hikes from 16 to 16.5 cents a pack in Alabama and 13 to 15 cents in Arizona, and subjecting cigarettes in Maine to the sales tax as well as the state cigarette tax; and a rise in the personal income tax from 16 percent to 26.5 percent of the taxpayers' federal income tax liability in Vermont.
Arizona and Idaho have made permanent their 1983 temporary boosts in their sales tax. The Arizona levy now stays at 5 percent instead of expiring on June 30. In Idaho the rate, which went from 3 percent to 4.5 percent last year, now drops to a fixed 4 percent.
Colorado lawmakers, who similarly boosted their sales tax 0.5 percent for a year, scheduled to end June 30, have postponed until July 31 the rollback to 3 percent.
South Dakota, whose gasoline tax was to have dropped back to 12 cents a gallon on April 30 with expiration of a temporary 1-cent boost imposed two years ago, froze the rate at 13 cents.
Most of this year's levy reductions and those in the works involve personal income taxes.
Rhode Island lawmakers, for example, lowered the rate from 26 percent of taxpayers' federal income tax liability to 24.9 percent.
Minnesota and Wisconsin legislators phased out temporary 10 percent income-tax boosts, imposed last year, that had been scheduled to run until 1985.
The Illinois, corporate income tax automatically rolls back to 4 percent, from 4.9 percent, and the personal income tax 3 percent to 2.5 percent, on June 30.
A phase-down of the Pennsylvania personal income tax, from 2.45 percent to 2. 35 percent, is scheduled July 1, and if Gov. Richard L. Thornburgh has his way, a reduction in the state's corporate income tax from 10.5 percent to 9.5 percent will be on the way, too.
Michigan's personal income tax, raised last year from 5.35 percent to 6.1 percent, is scheduled to drop to the former rate on Oct. 1. But Gov. James Blanchard is seeking to speed the rollback to July 1.
In Delaware, Gov. Pierre S. du Pont IV is seeking a 10 percent across-the-board cut in the state's personal income tax and an increase in personal exemptions plus a drop in the top levy rate from 19.8 percent to 14 percent.
A temporary 0.5 percent hike in the Nebraska sales tax expired on March 1, when the the rate returned to 3.5 percent.
The latest tax-reduction move is here in Massachusetts where the state senate June 5 overwhelmingly approved a series of personal income-tax trims totaling $ 82 million.
But Gov. Michael S. Dukakis has indicated he is unwilling to go along with such a measure, which the Massachusetts Taxpayers' Foundation has blasted as something the state cannot afford.