A series of short phone and e-informationals discussing Lib tools with over 400 US & Canadian mid-level and above Lib-interested conservatives in activism or public office has resulted in a consensus to increase study for tax elimination at the state/provincial and local level.
Attendees were contacted a few at a time and then invited colleagues in a naturally growing process.
Focus will be on lowering or just eliminating first income, then sales and eventually creating homestead exemptions as a bridge to ending real estate taxes, coupled with increased use of both public and personal endowments, cerian lotteries, and privatizations; and ending redundant programs along with undirected and other minor taxes aiding tax simplification. Florida was cited as a model along with the Alaskan Permanent Fund ( http://libertariansmile.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/how-libertarians-are-abolishing-taxes-increasing-services-creating-guaranteed-income-the-gilson-plan/ ) as an a example of what was possible.
It was emphasized that the goal was elimination and movement to a voluntary system, and rejecting the concept that tax cuts must be ‘paid for’ by various means.
There was a also some interest in tax decriminalization. The workshops were sponsored by LIO Fellows interested in the subject and took place late 2011 and early 2012. Attendees agreed to increase study of successful tax elimination or rate reduction and share insights with colleagues, and monitor the Libertarian Institute site for additional items of information. Several urged continued efforts towards direct democracy to provide a better means of building public information and consensus.
The effort continues the momentum of many GOP leaders working to these ends. See :http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/01/30/emboldened-gop-wants-to-abolish-state-income-taxes/
… after Republicans swept into office across the country, many have trained their sights on what has long been a fiscal conservative’s dream: the steep reduction or even outright elimination of state income taxes.
The idea has circulated among academics and think-tank researchers for years. But it’s moving quietly into mainstream political discourse, despite the fact that such sweeping changes would almost certainly mean a total rewiring of tax systems at a time when most states are still struggling in the aftermath of the recession.
“I think there’s going to be more action that way,” especially as Republican governors release their budget plans, said Kim Rueben, an expert on state taxation at the Brookings Urban Tax Policy Center.
Last year, GOP lawmakers in many states quickly went to work on a new conservative agenda: restricting abortion, cracking down on illegal immigration, expanding gun rights and taking aim at public-employee unions.
Emboldened by that success, the party has launched income tax efforts in Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Carolina. But it’s not clear how all those states would make up for the lost revenue, and Rueben said she’s not aware of any state in modern history that has eliminated an income tax.
Nine states already get by without an income tax, mostly by tapping other sources of revenue. Nevada and Florida rely on sales taxes that target the tourism industry. Alaska has taxes on natural resources, and Texas imposes substantial property taxes. The other five states are: New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington and Wyoming.
But in the rest of the country, income taxes pay for bedrock government services, including roads and bridges and schools and prison systems.
In Oklahoma, Republican Gov. Mary Fallin says gradually cutting the top income-tax rate of 5.25 percent will make the state more attractive to businesses, help spur economic growth and ensure Oklahoma is competitive against neighboring states such as Texas. Although the personal income tax does not apply to corporate earnings, supporters say company executives and employees will prefer to live in a state that doesn’t tax personal income.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is pushing this year to consolidate four personal income tax brackets and to phase out corporate income taxes. She promises to seek more tax cuts in the future.
Missouri has a bill to reduce income taxes and offset the lost revenue by raising the cigarette tax.
And Maine’s GOP-controlled Legislature voted last year to lower the income tax from 8.5 to 7.95 percent, taking 70,000 low-income citizens off the income-tax rolls.
Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has suggested reducing the individual income tax rate from 7.8 percent to 7.6 percent, the same as the corporate income tax rate, and then gradually lowering both to 7 percent. But business groups have said they would rather get help eliminating the personal property tax businesses pay on their equipment.
In Ohio, Gov. John Kasich’s 2010 campaign included a pledge to phase out the state’s personal income tax, though without a timetable for doing so. Thus far, the state’s fiscal situation has stymied the governor’s efforts to achieve his goal, other than implementing a previously scheduled income tax cut.