Super-Majority Act

Super-Majority Act 

Summary

Super-majority requirements are based on the premise that tax increases fuel excessive government spending. Therefore, to more effectively control the budgetary process, the ability to raise taxes or enact new taxes should be made as politically difficult as possible, require broad consensus, and be held to a high standard of accountability. This Act calls for a constitutional provision requiring all tax and license fee impositions and increases to be approved by two-thirds of all members of each House. It provides for an exemption if there are insufficient revenues to pay interest on the state’s debt.

Model Policy

“An Act concurring in a proposed amendment to the Constitution of the State relating to the imposition of taxes or license fees.”

WHEREAS, an amendment to the Constitution of the State was proposed in the (session number) Legislature, being Chapter (number), Volume (number), as follows:

This Act may be cited as an amendment to the State Constitution relating to the imposition of taxes or license fees.

Be it enacted by the Legislature (two-thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend Article (number) of the Constitution of the state by adding a new Section thereto as follows:

(A) Imposition or levy of new taxes or license fee.

(1) No tax or license fee may be imposed or levied except pursuant to an act of the legislature adopted with the concurrence of two-thirds of all members of each House.

(2) This amendment shall not apply to any tax or license fee authorized by an act of the legislature which has not taken full effect upon the effective date of this bill.

(B) Limitation on increase of rate of taxes and license fees.

(1) The effective rate of any tax levied or license fee imposed may not be increased except pursuant to an act of the legislature adopted with the concurrence of two-thirds of all members of each House.

(C) Exemption to meet obligation under faith and credit pledge; allocation of public monies to meet such an obligation if revenues are not sufficient to meet such pledge.

(1)  Prior to the beginning of each fiscal year of the state, the legislature shall appropriate revenues to pay interest on its debt to which it has pledged its faith and credit and which interest is payable in the year for which such appropriation is made and to pay the principal of such debt, payable in such year, whether at maturity or otherwise. To the extent that insufficient revenues are provided to pay the principal and interest on such debt when due and payable, the first monies thereafter received by the state shall be set aside and applied to the payment of the principal and interest on such debt. To make up for such insufficient revenues, the legislature may increase the rate of taxes and fees without regard to the limitations of Subsection (A) and Subsection (B) of Section 1, hereof after the failure to pay when due the principal of and interest on such debt; and

WHEREAS the said proposed amendment was adopted by two-thirds of all members elected to each House of the (session number) legislature;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE (two-thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein) said proposed amendment is hereby adopted, and shall forthwith become a part of the Constitution of the state.

Section 2. {Severability clause.}

Section 3. {Repealer clause.}

Section 4. {Effective date.}

 

 

Reapproved by the ALEC Board of Directors on January 29, 2013.

 

Keyword Tags: Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force

Task Forces