More Evidence that Balanced Budget Rules Don’t Work as Well as Spending Caps
July 16, 2016 by Dan Mitchell
If you asked a bunch of Republican politicians for their favorite fiscal policy goals, a balanced budget amendment almost certainly would be high on their list.
This is very unfortunate. Not because a balanced budget amendment is bad, per se, but mostly because it is irrelevant. There’s very little evidence that it produces good policy.
Before branding me as an apologist for big government or some sort of fiscal heretic, consider the fact that balanced budget requirements haven’t prevented states like California, Illinois, Connecticut, and New York from adopting bad policy.
Or look at France, Italy, Greece, and other EU nations that are fiscal basket cases even though there are “Maastricht rules” that basically are akin to balanced budget requirements (though the target is a deficit of 3 percent of economic output rather than zero percent of GDP).
Indeed, it’s possible that balanced budget rules contribute to bad policy since politicians can argue that they are obligated to raise taxes. Continue reading
Update on Lakewood’s de-TABOR
As noted earlier the establishment plan is to put a de-TABOR measure on this November’s ballot.
On Monday, July 18 (starting at 7 pm) there will be a “study session” regarding TABOR (and Council policies & procedures – not sure what they are up to on that). Citizen comments WILL be permitted. Don’t know the specifics of how that will work but I suggest we use this opportunity to demonstrate to Council it is a good idea to have citizens more involved in all study sessions (see my message on study session reform).
I suggest we have a good turnout. The anti-TABOR side has been alerted and will be there in full force.
LAKEWOOD CITY COUNCIL STUDY SESSION
CITY OF LAKEWOOD, COLORADO
LAKEWOOD CIVIC CENTER, 480 SOUTH ALLISON PARKWAY
JULY 18, 2016
ITEM 1 – CALL TO ORDER
ITEM 2 – ROLL CALL
ITEM 3 – DISCUSSION – TABOR
A Public Comment Roster is available immediately inside the Council Chambers.
Anyone who would like to address the Council on TABOR will be given the opportunity
after signing the roster. Speakers should limit their comments to three minutes.
Madison County, Ill., to voters: Want to reduce your property taxes? | Illinois Policy | Illinois’ comeback story starts here
Adopting a taxpayer bill of rights, or TABOR, such as the one found in Colorado’s Constitution, would be another protection for Illinois taxpayers. A TABOR creates a formula that determines how much in taxes a government can collect in a year, based on increases in population and inflation. Any unit of government wanting to raise taxes or create a new tax would be required to seek voter approval first via a ballot referendum.
The Madison County referendum is a small, but positive, step toward reducing the property tax burden on Madison County residents and will provide much-needed relief to the taxpayers’ pocketbooks. Politicians and local officials across the state need to take similar steps to reduce the tax burden on their own residents. And to make sure Illinoisans will have a say in their tax burden in the future, Illinois should adopt a TABOR to the state constitution.