WASHINGTON — In Kansas, the Democratic governor has been pushing to slash the state’s grocery sales tax. Last month, New Mexico lawmakers provided $1,000 tax rebates to households hobbled by high gas prices. Legislatures in Iowa, Indiana and Idaho have all cut state income taxes this year.
A combination of flush state budget coffers and rapid inflation has lawmakers across the country looking for ways to ease the pain of rising prices, with nearly three dozen states enacting or considering some form of tax relief, according to the Tax Foundation, a right-leaning think tank.
The efforts are blurring typical party lines when it comes to tax policy. In many cases, Democrats are joining Republicans in supporting permanently lower taxes or temporary cuts, including for high earners.
But while the policies are aimed at helping Americans weather the fastest pace of inflation in 40 years, economists warn that, paradoxically, cutting taxes could exacerbate the very problem lawmakers are trying to address. By putting more money in people’s pockets, policymakers risk further stimulating already rampant consumer demand, pushing prices higher nationally.