Republican states look to tax cuts

(Reuters) – Hopes for overhauling the federal tax system are fading in Washington, but in some state capitals, tax reform experiments – some far-reaching – are fast taking shape.

Across the South and Midwest, Republicans have consolidated control of state legislatures and governorships, giving them the power to test long-debated tax ideas.

Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal, for instance, called on Thursday for ending the state’s income tax and corporate taxes, with sales taxes compensating for lost revenue.

A similar plan is being pushed by Republicans in North Carolina. Kansas, which cut its income tax significantly last year, may trim further. Oklahoma, which tried to cut income taxes last year, is expected to try again.

“When it comes to getting pro-growth tax reform done this year, the only real opportunities are at the state level,” said Patrick Gleason, director of state affairs for Americans for Tax Reform, the Washington-based anti-tax lobbying group headed by small-government conservative activist Grover Norquist.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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