Candidates for State Representative Position 2, Question 3 Budget Shortfall

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The State Representative Position No 2 seat is currently held by Ruth Kagi, who is running for re-election. Two additional candidates have filed for this position but one did not respond to us. This is our third question to the candidates: 3. What should the legislature do about the projected budget shortfall? Would your solution include increased property, sales, car tab taxes, or possibly an income tax?

Stan Lippmann
Did not respond

Gary Gagliardi
Increasing taxes in our state would decrease revenue by slowing hiring and driving out more businesses. Like all individuals and businesses, the state must decrease its spending when it money is tight. Taking more money from our people when times are tough is either hurts their ability to spend or their ability to hire employees, both of which hurt our local economy. The worst of all possible choices is a state income tax, which would destroy the biggest competitive advantage we have for attracting more business to our state.

Ruth Kagi
K-12 education makes up 42% of the state budget. If we cut another $2-3 billion from the state budget, education funding will be impacted as will all other services provided by the state. The lay off of thousands of teachers, professors, health care and child care workers will create higher unemployment, and a shortage of critically needed services.

I support an income tax to help us address the chronic shortfall of funding for education and health care. We are 44th in the nation on K-12 per pupil spending and 46th on student-teacher ratios. We must address the need to increase education funding.

Regarding other revenue sources, we need to look again at the tax loopholes that we did not close last year, and pass reforms that make our operations more efficient and reduce budget demands in future years.

Thank your for the opportunity to share my perspective with the voters of the 32nd District.


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