Reports by Iris J. Lav

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  • 13 States Face Total Budget Shortfall of at Least $23 Billion in 2009; 11 Others Expect Budget Problems
    Iris J. Lav and Elizabeth McNichol
    December 18, 2007

    For updated data on states facing budget gaps, please see: New Fiscal Year Brings No Relief From Unprecedented State Budget Problems Summary Thirteen states, including several of the nation’s largest, face a combined budget shortfall of at least $23 billion for fiscal 2009.  Another 11 states expect budget problems next year or the year …
  • Targeted Property Tax Reform: Designing a Circuit Breaker for Florida
    Sarah Farkas and Iris J. Lav
    October 12, 2007

    Property taxes in Florida are, on average, moderate when compared to those in other states.  For example, Florida property taxes as a percent of residents' income ranked 19th in the nation in 2005.[1]  In Florida as in most other states, however, families with lower incomes tend to pay higher property taxes relative to their incomes …
  • The Problems with Property Tax Revenue Caps
    Karen Lyons and Iris J. Lav
    June 21, 2007

    Several states (Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Texas) have recently considered imposing severe caps on property tax revenue.[1]  These caps restrict the amount that property tax revenue can increase from year to year to a low fixed percentage, a formula based on the inflation rate, or some combination of the two.…
  • Illinois' Proposed Gross Receipts Tax
    Elizabeth McNichol and Iris J. Lav
    May 3, 2007

    Governor Blagojevich of Illinois has proposed a new revenue source, a gross receipts tax (GRT), to provide funds for a major health care expansion, public education, property tax relief, and to help address the state’s long-standing budget problems.  A GRT is a low-rate tax on the receipts of all types of businesses.  The …
  • Tax Foundation Estimates of State and Local Tax Burdens Are Not Reliable
    Nicholas Johnson, Iris J. Lav and Joseph Llobrera
    March 27, 2007

    In March 2007, 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 estimate of state and local taxes paid by residents of that …
  • A Frigid Forecast for the Sunshine State: Proposed Revenue Cap as Damaging as Colorado’s TABOR
    Karen Lyons and Iris J. Lav
    March 20, 2007

    Recently, the Speaker and other leaders of Florida’s House of Representatives unveiled details of their comprehensive property tax relief proposal. One component is a constitutional limit on state and local revenue growth.[1] This proposal deserves a great deal of attention because it is almost a carbon copy of Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights …
  • Lower Taxes and Economic Growth: Response to a Flawed Analysis
    Iris J. Lav and Kim S. Rueben
    March 20, 2007

    When the Speaker and other leaders of Florida’s House of Representatives released their plan to roll back property taxes and place a tight growth limit on state and local revenues, they included a report in their release by the firm of Arduin, Laffer & Moore that claims lower taxes will lead to higher economic growth. This report takes an …
  • Federal Grants to States and Localities Cut Deeply in Fiscal Year 2008 Federal Budget
    Iris J. Lav
    February 6, 2007

    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 compensate for declining federal funds. …
  • Maine Could Tax More Services under Its Sales Tax
    Iris J. Lav and Sarah Farkas
    February 1, 2007

    Maine’s sales tax could be modernized to yield more revenue and make the sales tax fairer.  Maine taxes very few services under its sales tax; the sales tax is largely levied on purchases of tangible goods.  Yet production and consumption have been shifting in the U.S. economy — and in Maine’s economy — from goods to services …
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