The Juneau City Assembly opposes the House plan to levy a state-wide 3% sales tax because the city would then levy an 8% local option and state-wide combined sales tax. The City Assembly apparently fears that Juneau residents will not renew their local option if the state-wide tax goes into effect (Juneau Empire, 4/4).
Governor Don Siegelman tried to give local school boards more authority to raise taxes this week by proposing the elimination of the constitutional requirement that the Legislature must approve all local ballot measures on raising taxes (Anniston Star, 4/4).
Senate Democrats sponsored legislation to impose a 5% tax on satellite TV. The tax is supported by cable TV lobbyists (Arizona Daily Star, 4/4).
Governor John Rowland\\\’s salary will double in 2003 and thereafter will rank 3rd highest among U.S. Governors (www.stateline.org, 4/1).
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $4.7 million local pork spending bill, despite falling state tax receipts. The bill includes spending on furniture for a library, renovations for a college apartment building, and the repair of a peanut monument (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 4/2).
Republicans pushed a zero-growth budget through the Senate 4/2; Democrats say that Governor Tom Vilsack will veto the $2.7 billion budget and that the Governor is prepared to call a special session this spring (Des Moines Register, 4/3).
The House and Senate cannot agree on whether Gubernatorial campaigns should be publicly financed, an argument that continues to stall the budget process.
The House and Senate are divided on how to spend the recently-approved 34 cents per-pack cigarette tax increase (Baltimore Sun, 4/1).
A referendum considered by the Legislature would shift funding responsibility for public schools from property taxes to the sales and services tax, and broaden the sales/services tax by replacing it with a gross receipts tax (Kennebec Journal, 4/1).
House Budget Committee Chairman Tim Green introduced a resolution to govern all appropriations bills. The resolution would require an proposal to increase spending to include a matching proposal to cut spending elsewhere in the budget and also require a 2/3 supermajority vote to dip into budget reserves. The same day that Chairman Green introduced his resolution, his committee approved a $75 million dip into state reserve funds (Kansas City Star, 4/3).