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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Reforming Tax Reform

By Curtis S. Bramble
State Senator, District 15

"Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

- Utah Tax Reform, 2006
We need tax reform, but first we need to reform how we obtain and analyze the numbers.

We need to re-work how we forecast state revenue and predict the fiscal impact of proposed policy.

One thing we can, and should, do immediately is implement an effective peer-review process among our economists and fiscal analysts. The Governor has agreed to add a bill to next week’s Special Session agenda that would give legislative economists and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget access to essential data that is currently only available to the Tax Comission.

More eyes on the numbers should cut down on error.

The purpose of tax reform is stable, predictable long term funding that will rescue our education system over the next few decades. We still need to do it. The discussion continues, but no one will be trying to close the deal until the legislature, the Governor, and the general public can trust the numbers.

Glen Warchol got it right again in today’s article.

I appreciate the vision, and the blood, sweat and political capital, that has been spent by so many in the reform effort. A dual system is the latest innovation, and it may have some promise. I have concerns, but I’m also intrigued. I think it’s worthy of discussion.

At the very least it shows that good minds continue to experiment to find a workable solution.

We'll talk more about this in tomorrow's Revenue and Taxation Interim Committee meeting. Stop by, if you can, or listen live on-line. We'd appreciate your input.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buy those folks at the State Tax Commission a calculator that works. If a business owner missed 35 cents on their sales tax report, the tax commission would have them up on charges and penalized. The toal error on forecasted income is over two hundred million.....DUH!

5/17/2006 11:55 AM  

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