Beacon responds to Democrats’ budget proposal

April 20, 2012 4:14PM

Beacon CEO Justin Owen talks to about the House Democrats’ alternative budget proposal unveiled this week. While Owen criticizes their plan to spend excess revenue, he does support their call to further reduce taxes.

Justin Owen, president of the free-market Beacon Center of Tennessee in Nashville, said his organization is primarily interested in finding creative and sustainable ways to “cut government spending, not enhance it,” so they don’t find the Democrats’ proposals for increased program funding all that appetizing. “When government collects more revenues than projected, it should return it to taxpayers, not spend it,” he said. And as far as the debate over what kind of tax cut ultimately provides the state with greater economic benefit, “a food tax cut will not make anywhere near the economic impact as eliminating the death tax or rolling back the Hall tax (on stock income and dividends),” Owen said. But the Democrats’ idea of increasing the size of the food-tax cut certainly ought to be considered seriously, he said. “Cutting the tax on food to be competitive with bordering states is a worthy endeavor,” Owen said. “A lower food tax could potentially lead to other states’ residents shopping for groceries in Tennessee rather than the other way around.”

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