Reports by Nicholas Johnson

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  • State Revenues Plummet
    Nicholas Johnson and Andrew Nicholas
    Updated November 12, 2008

    Newly available data compiled by the Rockefeller Institute of Government show conclusively that state revenue dropped sharply in the July-September 2008 quarter, creating large, additional state budget shortfalls.[1] All indications are that revenue collections will worsen further in coming months. Of the 42 states for which …
  • States Face Two Immediate Financial Issues: Short-Term Borrowing and Big Budget Deficits
    Nicholas Johnson
    Updated October 10, 2008

    States face two distinct financial problems right now.  First, California and Massachusetts officials last week raised concerns about their states’ ability to access credit markets for short-term borrowing.  Second, most states have been facing budget deficits that have forced, or …
  • North Dakota's Measure 2 is Imbalanced and Would Harm Efforts to Secures State's Economic Future
    Elizabeth Hudgins and Nicholas Johnson
    September 18, 2008

    North Dakota’s proposed Measure 2, a major change to the state’s income tax that will appear on the November ballot, would be detrimental to the state for three principal reasons: Measure 2 is risky and short-sighted.  Measure 2 would cost the state a very large amount of revenue — some $400 million per …
  • Caution: the Tax Foundation's State and Local Tax Rankings are Unreliable
    Nicholas Johnson
    Revised August 13, 2008

    As it has annually for several years, the Tax Foundation has attempted to measure the current impact of state and local taxation on the residents of each of the 50 states.  And once again, the results are very different from the Tax Foundation’s own previous attempts to do this calculation.  The Tax Foundations figures — both the …
  • Property Tax Limitation in the Senate Housing Bill is Unnecessary, Impractical, and Likely to Cause Harm
    Iris J. Lav and Nicholas Johnson
    June 23, 2008

    Legislation that the Senate is considering in response to the ongoing foreclosure crisis (H.R. 3221) includes a provision that would allow non-itemizers to deduct property taxes up to an amount of $500 for an individual and $1,000 for a couple.[1] It would deny the deduction, however, to residents of any locality that raises its …
  • Fiscal Stimulus at the State Level?
    Nicholas Johnson
    February 29, 2008

    Policymakers in many states are proposing tax cuts or rebates that they hope will “stimulate” their economies. Such proposals have been issued by governors and/or leading legislators in Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, among others. The proposals vary, but many are modeled at …
  • Idaho is the Only State to Exclude Low-Income Families From Its Grocery Tax Credit
    Nicholas Johnson and Phil Oliff
    February 28, 2008

    Idaho is one of seven states that taxes groceries at the same rate as other goods. It is one of five states that offer a credit or rebate to mitigate the tax. But even though the tax falls most heavily on low-income families, Idaho—unlike any other state—excludes many poor families (mostly working families) from …
  • New Federal Law Could Worsen State Budget Problems
    Nicholas Johnson
    Revised February 28, 2008

    The federal “economic stimulus” package enacted on February 13 not only cuts federal taxes, but also threatens to reduce many states’ corporate and personal income tax revenue this year and next year. The potential revenue loss comes at a particularly problematic time for states, because about half the states …
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