Here they come again, pandering to the people who hate taxes — which, of course, is most of us. But this idea is big on pandering and too short on considering long-term consequences.

Some General Assembly lawmakers are proposing a constitutional amendment that will cap the state income tax rate at 5.5 percent. The constitution currently caps it at 10 percent. The actual rate will drop to 5.25 percent next year.

Capping it at the already-low level will be attractive to a lot of voters, and it may win passage if it lands on the November ballot. But be careful what you wish for. Watch out if we have another recession that rivals the 2008 economic setback that rocked our economy — and the state's cash flow. Plunging revenue led to deep cuts in education, public safety and other state services, and many of our institutions still haven't recovered. Tax rates were higher than they are now.

If this constitutional cap is put in place, lawmakers will have nowhere to turn to raise revenue while we await recovery, and there will be more deep damage to key government services.

Let's leave the cap where it is and not tie legislators' hands when the next big economic downturn comes along.

The Fayetteville Observer