by Max Brantley
"This is so much better than last time." Thus did Sen. Gilbert Baker thank the House Revenue and Tax Committee for endorsing his used car sales tax reduction. Vehicles up to $4,000 would be exempt, up from the current $2,500. His bill got tabled last go-round as the House and Senate squabbled on competing legislation. Baker huffed and puffed about his treatment at the time, criticizing fellow Republicans for forsaking him.
This is the playout of the tax cut deal reached by the governor, Democrats and Republicans. In short order, the House committee also approved the tax break for manufacturers on utilities and the reduction in the grocery sales tax by a half-cent. The House has some tax cuts — a sales tax holiday on school clothing and supplies, continuation of a tourism tax break and an income tax break for poor single parents — pending in the Senate.