Reports by Iris J. Lav

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  • State Budgets: On the Edge?
    Elizabeth C. McNichol and Iris J. Lav
    Revised November 8, 2006

    States are in considerably better fiscal shape than they have been since 2001. State revenues have grown rapidly over the last year, in marked contrast to the sluggish growth or declines in revenues between 2001 and 2004. For many states, however, a return to budget deficits may not be long in coming. Fiscal conditions appear unstable in at least 24 …
  • Double Jeopardy for Local Services Under TABOR
    Karen Lyons and Iris J. Lav
    Revised October 5, 2006

    Proponents of Maine’s TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights) — a ballot initiative that would place strict spending limits on state and local governments — have been marketing this proposal as a property tax relief package.[1] This is false advertising: TABOR would not create a sustainable reduction in property taxes. …
  • States Still Playing "Catch-Up" in New Budgets
    Elizabeth C. McNichol, Iris J. Lav, and Ifie Okwuje
    August 2, 2006

    A new survey by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities of recently adopted state budgets provides the first 50-state data on spending for fiscal year (FY) 2007, which began July 1 in most states. The survey shows: For the second year in a row, state spending will grow at above-average rates. This recent growth, …
  • SOS (TABOR) Will Not Jumpstart Michigan's Economy
    Karen Lyons and Iris J. Lav
    July 18, 2006

    Michigan’s economy is in dire straits. Between 2000 and 2005, Michigan’s six percent decline in employment was the lowest employment growth in the nation and its personal income growth was second lowest among the states. Proponents of the Stop Overspending (SOS) initiative — a constitutional amendment modeled after Colorado’s …
  • A Taxpayer Bill of Rights by Any Other Name
    Karen Lyons and Iris J. Lav
    April 21, 2006

    A proposed ballot initiative in Montana to limitstate spending — “Stop OverSpending” or SOS — is similar in its basic structureand effect to Colorado’s TABOR. Montana’s SOS proposal includes all threefactors that make Colorado’s TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights) the most severestate budget …
  • Tax Foundation Estimates of State and Local Tax Burdens are not Reliable
    Nicholas Johnson, Iris J. Lav and Joseph Llobrera
    April 10, 2006

    In April 2006, the Tax Foundation is expected to release its annual report on “Tax Freedom Day,” which it describes as the day when “Americans will finally have earned enough money to pay off their total tax bill for the [current] year.” For each state, the report will show the Tax Foundation’s …
  • The Same Old TABOR: Maine's "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" Proposal Fails To Fix Flaws of Colorado's TABOR
    Iris J. Lav and Karen Lyons
    March 16, 2006

    A ballot initiative proposal in Maine — “An Act to Create a Taxpayer Bill of Rights” — would impose tight limits on state expenditures that would shrink available public services such as education and health care in the same way that Colorado’s TABOR has led to a deterioration in that state.[1] …
  • Tax Cuts Proposed in President's Budget Would Ultimately Cause Large State Revenue Loses
    Iris J. Lav
    March 16, 2006

    When the federal government cuts taxes, those tax cuts sometimes cause reductions in state revenue as well. This occurs because most states with individual and/or corporate income taxes use the federal definitions of adjusted gross income and corporate income as the basis for their own income taxes. When a tax cut reduces the …
  • Federal Grants to States and Localities Cut Deeply in Fiscal Year 2007 Federal Budget
    Iris J. Lav
    February 7, 2006

    Grants to state and local governments have long been an important way in which the federal government supports and administers programs efficiently. The new budget, however, continues to significantly erode those grants. This leaves states and localities the option of either curtailing services or increasing their own taxes to …
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