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  • State “Income Migration” Claims Are Deeply Flawed
    Michael Mazerov
    October 20, 2014

    Some proponents of state income tax cuts are making highly inaccurate claims about the impact of interstate migration patterns on states with relatively high income taxes based on a misleading reading of Internal Revenue Service data. Those making these arguments claim that many of the people who leave states with relatively …
  • Most States Still Funding Schools Less Than Before the Recession
    Michael Leachman and Chris Mai[1]
    October 16, 2014

    States are providing less per-pupil funding for kindergarten through 12th grade than they did seven years ago — often far less.  The reduced levels reflect primarily the lingering effects of the 2007-09 recession.  At a time when states and the nation need workers with the skills to master new technologies and …
  • K-12 Funding Still Below Pre-Recession Levels in Most States
    October 16, 2014

    At least 30 states are spending less per K-12 student — often far less — than before the Great Recession hit seven years ago, a new CBPP report finds.  The cuts undermine education reform and hinder schools’ ability to deliver high-quality education, harming the nation’s economic competitiveness over the long term.  “At …
  • Improving State Revenue Forecasting: Best Practices for a More Trusted and Reliable Revenue Estimate
    Elizabeth McNichol
    Updated September 4, 2014

    Every state estimates how much revenue it will collect in the upcoming fiscal year.  A reliable estimate is essential to building a fiscally responsible budget and sets a benchmark for how much funding the state will be able to provide to schools and other public services.  Yet some states forecast revenues using faulty …
  • State Earned Income Tax Credits and Minimum Wages Work Best Together
    Erica Williams and Chris Mai
    Updated September 3, 2014

    As states continue to recover from the recession, state lawmakers should look to help working families recover, too.  They can do this effectively by strengthening their states’ earned income tax credits (EITCs) and minimum wages.  EITCs and the minimum wage are twin pillars of making work pay for families that earn …
  • States Likely Could Not Control Constitutional Convention on Balanced Budget Amendment or Other Issues
    Michael Leachman and David A. Super[1]
    July 16, 2014

    In the coming months, a number of states are likely to consider resolutions that call for a convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution to require a balanced federal budget, and possibly to shrink federal authority in other, often unspecified, ways.  Proponents of these resolutions claim that 24 of the 34 states …
  • Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment Poses Serious Risks
    Richard Kogan
    July 16, 2014

    A balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution would be a highly ill-advised way to address the nation’s long-term fiscal problems.  It would threaten significant economic harm while raising a host of problems for the operation of Social Security and other vital federal functions. The economic problems are the …
  • Congress Considering Extending Harmful Ban on State Taxation of Internet Access Charges
    July 10, 2014

    The House is expected to vote next week on a bill that would cost states as much as $7 billion in potential annual revenue by permanently extending a moratorium on new state and local sales taxes on monthly Internet access fees and banning existing taxes, a new Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report explains.  The seven states that have these taxes …
  • Congress Should End – Not Extend – the Ban on State and Local Taxation of Internet Access Subscriptions
    Michael Mazerov
    July 10, 2014

    The Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA), enacted in 1998 and temporarily renewed in 2001, 2004, and 2007, imposed a moratorium on new state and local taxes on monthly Internet access fees while preserving (“grandfathering”) existing Internet access taxes.  The House Judiciary Committee recently approved a bill to …
  • A Guide to State Fiscal Policies for a Stronger Economy
    Erica Williams
    Updated June 24, 2014

    Building stronger state economies that create jobs and expand opportunity will require sensible, forward-looking state fiscal policies.  States need to invest adequately in education, health care, transportation, and workforce development.  To do that, they need to make decisions about how to raise and spend revenues with …
  • State Taxes Have a Negligible Impact on Americans' Interstate Moves
    Michael Mazerov
    Revised May 21, 2014

    Differences in tax levels among states have little to no effect on whether and where people move, contrary to claims by some conservative economists and elected officials.  For decades, Americans have been moving away from the Northeast, the industrial Midwest, and the Great Plains to most of the southern and southwestern …
  • Most States Funding Schools Less Than Before the Recession
    Michael Leachman and Chris Mai[1]
    Revised May 20, 2014

    States’ new budgets are providing less per-pupil funding for kindergarten through 12th grade than they did six years ago — often far less.  The reduced levels reflect not only the lingering effects of the 2007-09 recession but also continued austerity in many states; indeed, despite some improvements in overall state revenues, …
  • States Are Still Funding Higher Education Below Pre-Recession Levels
    Michael Mitchell, Vincent Palacios, and Michael Leachman
    May 1, 2014

    Most states have begun in the past year to restore some of the cuts they made to higher education funding after the recession hit.  Eight states, though, are still cutting, and in almost all states — including those that are have boosted their support — higher education funding remains well below pre-recession …
  • State Higher Education Funding Remains Below Pre-Recession Levels
    May 1, 2014

    Higher education funding remains well below pre-recession levels in almost all states, a new CBPP report shows.  As a result, colleges and universities have had to raise tuition and make spending cuts that may diminish the quality of education available to students at a time when a highly educated workforce is more crucial than ever to the nation’s …
  • Media Briefing: Examining States' Dramatic Higher Education Cuts and Tuition Increases
    April 30, 2014

    The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities held a conference call briefing to discuss a new report that documents the deep cuts almost every state has made to funding for public universities and colleges, and explains how those cuts hurt students and state economies.
  • CBO Finds Health Reform's Medicaid Expansion Is an Even Better Deal for States
    Edwin Park
    April 22, 2014

    Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates released last week show that health reform’s Medicaid expansion, which many opponents wrongly claim will cripple state budgets, is an even better deal for states than previously thought.[1]  CBO has sharply lowered its estimates of the costs to states of adopting the Medicaid …
  • When and How States Should Strengthen Their Rainy Day Funds
    Elizabeth McNichol
    April 16, 2014

    With the budget challenges of the Great Recession and its aftermath still fresh in their minds, state policymakers are considering ways to strengthen their “rainy day funds” — budget reserves for use when recessions or other unexpected events cause revenue declines or spending increases.  It is still …
  • Tax Foundation Figures Do Not Represent Typical Households' Tax Burdens
    Chuck Marr and Chye-Ching Huang
    April 7, 2014

    The Tax Foundation released its annual “Tax Freedom Day” report today that, once again, can leave a strikingly misleading impression of tax burdens — showing an average federal tax rate across the United States that’s likely higher than the tax rate that 80 percent of U.S. households actually pay. To project the day when “the …
  • Policy Basics: Where Do Our State Tax Dollars Go?
    Updated March 27, 2014

    As state revenues recover from the recession and some states face unexpected surpluses, policymakers continue to confront major choices about how to pay for important services now and in the future. To inform this crucial decision making, it is useful to examine where state tax dollars go as …
  • Media Briefing: Impact of Kansas’ Massive Tax Cuts Should Be a Warning to Other States
    March 26, 2014

    The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities held a conference call briefing to discuss a new report that examines the impact of Kansas’ large 2012 tax cuts and offers lessons for states considering similar policies. Michael Leachman, director of state fiscal research, discussed large revenue …
  • Proponents' Case for a Federally-Imposed Business Activity Tax Nexus Threshold Has Little Merit
    Michael Mazerov
    Updated February 28, 2014

    A bill under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives would strip states of their current authority to tax a fair share of the profits of many corporations that are based out-of-state but do business within their borders.  The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the “Business Activity Tax Simplification Act of …
  • Proposed “Business Activity Tax Nexus” Legislation Would Seriously Undermine State Taxes on Corporate Profits And Harm the Economy
    Michael Mazerov
    Updated February 26, 2014

    A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would strip states and localities of their current authority to tax a fair share of the profits of many corporations that are based out-of-state but do business within their borders.  It would reduce state and local governments’ revenues by at least $2 billion in the very first …
  • What Really Is the Evidence on Taxes and Growth?
    Chye-Ching Huang and Nathaniel Frentz[1]
    February 18, 2014

    A 2012 Tax Foundation report asserted that “nearly every empirical study of taxes and economic growth published in a peer-reviewed academic journal finds that tax increases harm economic growth.”[2]  The report cited 26 studies (19 on the impact of federal or national taxes on national growth and seven on the …
  • Media Briefing: Budgeting for the Future: Are States Planning for the Long Run?
    February 4, 2014

    The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities held a conference call briefing to discuss a new report that examines the extent to which states conduct long-term budget planning. The report ranks the states on the degree to which they use key tools that can help states chart their fiscal course …
  • State Fact Sheets: Budgeting for the Future - Fiscal Planning Tools Can Show the Way
    February 4, 2014

    Budgeting for the Future: Fiscal Planning Tools Can Show the Way describes the ten key tools that can help states chart their fiscal course accurately and make corrections when needed; it also surveys the 50 states and the District of Columbia on the degree to which they use these tools.  Below are links to state fact sheets summarizing the survey findings for …
  • Budgeting for the Future: Fiscal Planning Tools Can Show the Way
    Elizabeth McNichol, Vincent Palacios, and Nicholas Johnson
    February 4, 2014

    Links: PDF of Full Report State Fact Sheets Spreadsheet of Table 1 Spreadsheet of Appendix Tables Executive Summary When state policymakers are writing a budget, they should be mindful of the future, not just the present.  The state budget is the single most important document that a state government produces each year, and it receives close public scrutiny.  It serves as both a financial plan and a policy document — that is, a description of the policies the state intends to pursue in the future.…
  • Most States Fall Short on Long-Term Budget Planning
    February 4, 2014

    Almost every state should adopt a much more rigorous approach to their long-term budget planning, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.  The report ranks the states on the degree to which they use ten proven tools to help states chart their fiscal course accurately and make mid-course corrections when needed.  …
  • States Can Adopt or Expand Earned Income Tax Credits to Build a Stronger Future Economy
    Erica Williams and Michael Leachman
    January 30, 2014

    Half of all states plus the District of Columbia have enacted their own version of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to help working families earning low wages meet basic needs.  State EITCs build on the success of the federal credit by keeping working parents on the job and families and children out of poverty.…
  • Policy Basics: State Earned Income Tax Credits
    Updated January 2, 2014

    Twenty-six states (counting the District of Columbia) have created earned income tax credits (EITCs) to help families struggling to get by on low wages, make ends meet, and provide basic necessities for their children. These credits build on the benefits of the federal EITC, offering a hand up to …
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