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Providing tax exemptions for one group over another is a violation of our limited government principle. Special exemptions for preferred classes pick winners and losers in the tax system and shrink the tax base leaving ever fewer people shouldering the full freight of property taxes and making it less likely they will see property tax relief in the future. Our property tax system should be low rate, broad based, and equitable for all taxpayers.
It is worth noting that so many special tax exemptions have been passed in previous sessions that some counties, particularly those with high populations of military veterans who have been the beneficiaries of many of these exemptions, are now having major budget problems. The unintended consequence of these exemptions has been to crash county budgets so that now those counties are coming to the legislature asking to have their budgets back-filled with state subsidies - essentially requiring other counties to make up for their tax losses.
For these reasons we oppose HB 1591.