Reading the fine print: how details matter in tax and expenditure limitations
At least 30 states, including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, operate under “tax and expenditure limitations” (TELs): formula-based budgeting requirements that apply specific limits to expenditures, appropriations, or revenue collections by state or local government. More than a dozen states considered TELs in 2006. Legislation proposing a new TEL to further limit General Fund appropriations in Rhode Island was introduced; Maine citizens will vote on a more restrictive TEL this November. ; Several factors, including a desire for lower taxes and a belief that additional measures are needed to keep government spending in check, drive this interest in TELs. This paper discusses such arguments.
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