WRAL’s Mark Binker writes about the prospect of a Taxpayer Bill of Rights getting serious consideration under the new legislature (and governor) in 2013.
While ballot measures are never a sure thing, this does give Republicans a chance to lock in some ideas and policies that could reverberate into future General Assemblies. Even if Republicans lose their grip on power down the line, amending the state constitution could ensure that future lawmakers would have to work within certain parameters.
Among the potential amendments almost certain to get some discussion is something that falls under the general heading of TABOR, or taxpayer bill of rights. There are many different flavors of TABOR, but the idea is the same: the growth in the state’s tax rate is limited to some calculation of inflation and population growth unless some extra hurdle is met by lawmakers or the citizens. In some cases, this is a vote of the people; in others, it is a super-majority of the legislature.
Measures to rein in the out of control growth in state spending should be among the highest priorities for lawmakers in the coming session. I wrote about what a TABOR could mean to North Carolina in this article. I also exposed the misleading and disingenuous criticisms of Colorado’s TABOR here.
With so many priorities on the agenda – including tax reform, school choice, regulatory reform, and transportation – will lawmakers fit a TABOR on to the list? Let’s hope so.