Is it time for a temporary sales tax hike?

Posted Dec. 21, 2009, at 2:55 p.m.

In light of a state budget shortfall estimated at $438 million, is it time to consider a temporary one-cent hike to the sales tax? Republican Gov. John McKernan signed such an increase into law in the early 1990s, increasing the sales tax from 5 percent to 6

percent. The McKernan-era tax had a date certain expiration. Would such a plan work today? Proponents say the added revenue can help the economy because it saves jobs, and the alternative is that property taxes will be raised when school funding is cut. Or is any

tax hike the wrong move in a recession? Will the shortfall help purge state government of waste?

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