Impact Update 3.16

Washington: 150 CSE Activists Storm the Capitol

More than 150 activists from around the state took the President’s Day holiday to attend Washington CSE’s third annual “Day at the Capitol,” and lobby their state legislators for lower taxes, less government, and more freedom. Prior to storming the Capitol building, the activists attended educational seminars on the state’s budget deficit and its lack of accountability, presented by Lynn Harsh of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation; on transportation issues, sponsored by Eric Montague of the Cascade Policy Institute; and on federal issues including energy security. A number of elected officials were also in attendance, including State House Minority Leader Clyde Ballard and State Senator Jim West, recipients of CSE’s Legislative Excellence Awards, who addressed the importance of citizen activism and the state’s current budget crises. CSE will also host a “Day at the Capitol,” in North Carolina, and is in the process of planning CSE similar events in several other states.

Oregon: CSE Activists Testify Against Kitzhaber’s Tax Increases

More than 60 Oregon CSE activists attended public hearings held by Governor John Kitzhaber last week on the state budget deficit to voice their opposition to the Governor’s proposed tax increases. Like many other states across the nation, Oregon is facing a budget deficit, which nears $800 million. The state legislature convened in a special session February 8 –11, which resulted in legislation that sought to balance the budget without raising taxes. Governor Kitzhaber has since vetoed the legislature’s plan in part, and has proposed that legislature balance the budget by increasing taxes on a range of products and services. The legislature is scheduled to re-convene in a second special session on February 25.

Florida: CSE Activists Lead House to Reject the McKay Tax Plan

Less than a week after nearly 100 activists from across the state stormed Tallahassee to take part in Florida CSE’s fourth annual “CSE Day at the Capitol,” the Florida House of Representatives overwhelmingly rejected the McKay tax plan, which would have lowered the state sales tax from 6 to 4 percent, while broadening the tax base by ending exemptions on many items and services. Florida CSE has been on the ground and in the media, letting citizens know that the McKay tax plan is the wrong solution to the state’s budget deficit. In a letter, Speaker Tom Feeney thanked CSE for our efforts on the issue, saying:

“I applaud Citizens for a Sound Economy for their fight for our Free Enterprise System, tort reform and, most recently, for their ability to see this “tax reform” for what it really is – a tax hike… In addition to the public testimony heard by the committee, we have received over a thousand e-mails, phone calls and written correspondence. The message is very clear – Florida’s citizens do not want this new plan.”

North Carolina: 200 Activists Attend Town Hall Meeting with Representative Robin Hayes

On Tuesday, February 19, North Carolina CSE, in conjunction with Concerned Citizens of Scotland County, sponsored a town hall meeting with Representative Robin Hayes to discuss the economy, as well as state and local government and tax issues, including the school floor tax.

Texas: CSE Co-Sponsor’s the Texas Women’s Alliance Conference

Texas CSE will co-sponsor the Texas Women’s Alliance 2002 Conference on February 23, in Austin. The conference’s focus is America’s security challenges post-September 11. The event will feature panel discussions with prominent public policy officials, as well as a keynote address by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson on domestic, economic, and energy security.

Capitol Hill: CSE Supports the Permanent Repeal of the Death Tax

CSE President and CEO Paul Beckner sent a letter to Senator John Kyl, and the U.S. Senate, in favor of his amendment to make the Death Tax repeal permanent. In his letter, Paul writes:

“The Death Tax needs to be buried. It is anti-job, anti-family, and anti-American. It stifles entrepreneurship and is the leading cause of dissolution for most small businesses… We strongly support your amendment to make the Death Tax repeal permanent. It is a step for sensible economic policy and it makes the tax code fairer and less complicated. Your efforts represent a step towards fundamental tax reform. We urge all Senators to support your amendment.”