State Budget Issues

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Both sides in efforts to solve the state's budget problems are venting frustration. Democratic legislators want Republicans to shelve their pledges to cut taxes. Governor Owens and other Republicans insist they can't go as far as Democrats want.

At issue is the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights -- which limits government taxing and spending. The state has to issue rebates to taxpayers if revenue exceeds the caps or get voters' permission to keep the money.

Democrats argue TA-BOR has forced spending cuts even while revenue has declined.

Owens and Democratic leaders agree on a proposal to cut the state income tax -- but part ways on tax rebates. Owens worries that the Democrats' plan will eliminate them forever and wants assurances that refunds will resume.