Posted: Feb 6, 2010 6:23 AM by Associated Press
Steel workers and Coke and Pepsi bottlers have lined up to oppose a package of tax hikes to balance the state budget, saying the cuts will lead to layoffs. Also worried about their livelihoods are farmers who would have to pay sales tax on pesticides, and small home-based Internet businesses that link people to online retailers like Amazon.
Meanwhile, education groups and advocates for the developmentally disabled and low-income people who rely on government programs are urging lawmakers to pass the tax hikes. They say the increases - which the Senate began debating Friday - would avoid teacher layoffs and cuts to safety net spending.
The tax increases are on the table because lawmakers must find a way to close a $1.5 billion budget shortfall.