Taxes could be the session’s sleeper issue

The upcoming regular session will partly be defined by the massive piles of federal money and surplus cash lawmakers will get to spend. The session will also be noted by issues from the right side of the political spectrum, like those involving transgender athletes, critical race theory, abortion and vaccines.

But there’s one more factor that could shape the mood of the non-fiscal session that convenes March 14 — fiscal issues.

During even-numbered years like this one, lawmakers are prohibited from filing instruments that would create new taxes or increase existing ones. Legislators are also expected to steer clear of state tax exemptions, exclusions, deductions and credits.

However, there is a gray area in these Constitutional guidelines. Lawmakers can still tinker with certain elements of tax law just as long as the end product doesn’t boost revenues for the state. It’s within that gray area lawmakers expect to work this year.

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