States find ways to raise taxes without saying so

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — If Pennsylvania’s Republican Gov. Tom Corbett gets his way, the state will pay for $1.8 billion in transportation improvements largely by raising a wholesale gasoline tax, yet his spokesman says it’s not an increase.

In New York, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Senate Republicans boast that they have balanced the budget without raising taxes — even though it required extending an income tax on high earners that both sides campaigned against.

Governors and lawmakers in states including Delaware, Georgia and Connecticut are increasing taxes but calling them by other names as they struggle to reconcile demand for services with sluggish revenues.

Matthew Brouillette of the conservative Commonwealth Foundation says any alternative to “the ‘T’ word” is explored, but ultimately it means more money is coming out of taxpayers’ pockets.

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