More privately than publicly, some Republican lawmakers at the Gold Dome are starting to get nervous about what they see as an out-of-hand habit of awarding sales and other tax breaks to mostly businesses. And the fact that the practice has become routine is part of the problem. This year the total future lost revenue could run well in excess of $200 million.

The idea in most cases, of course, is to spur economic growth, often in rural or poorer regions of the state. And no one expects this bedrock Republican principle to undergo significant change anytime soon.

But there have been murmurings of concern within the GOP caucus that the party is simply performing its own version of what Democrats are often accused of doing – distributing taxpayer money to its loyal political constituencies; the Democrats by granting appropriations to theirs, and the Republicans by giving tax discounts to theirs.

Look for this issue to break into the clear in the 2015 session of the General Assembly. That’s when the issue of fundamental tax reform will shine a spotlight on the messiness and the inequities of piecemeal tax breaks.

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