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By Expanding Wealth Taxes, States Can Expand Opportunity

December 12, 2018

The nation’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few (see graphic), and state tax systems have contributed to that concentration as wealthy individuals and corporations used their power to shape state tax policies to benefit themselves. But better state tax policies could help build...

Wealth Heavily Concentrated at the Top

States Can Still Prepare for Next Recession

October 30, 2018

Most states have most or all of the “rainy day” funds — reserves to use when recessions or other unexpected events cause revenue declines or spending increases — needed to weather a moderate recession, but they still face many risks, according to the bond rating agencies...

One-Third of States Unprepared for Moderate Recession

School Infrastructure Needs a Funding Infusion

April 17, 2018

As this week’s New York Times vignettes from teachers themselves show, school funding debates in states across the country must include an important piece of the funding puzzle: money to build new — and repair old — schools. Improving the schools in which children learn is one key to...

Capital Spending for K-12 Schools Well Below 2008 Levels

New Infrastructure Plan Would Boost Economy

March 14, 2018

Senate Democrats’ new Jobs & Infrastructure Plan for America’s Workers would invest roughly $1 trillion in public transit, roads, schools, water treatment plants, housing, and other critical infrastructure to create better-paid jobs, boost broadly shared economic growth...

Man Building House

Weaker Unions Could Mean More Income Inequality in States

March 6, 2018

The Supreme Court is considering whether public sector unions can require non-members to pay fees to cover certain union expenses and, if it decides they can’t, that likely will mean that such unions will lose members, hurting their ability to bargain collectively with employers. That, in turn, could worsen income inequality, which has been growing across the country and in individual states...

Public Workers in States That Allow Fair Share Fees Are Twice As Likely to Join a Union

Trump Plan to Cut Federal Infrastructure Funding Puts Needed Improvements at Risk

February 15, 2018

President Trump’s infrastructure plan is a disappointment to states and localities looking for significant help from the federal government to address the country’s crumbling infrastructure. As my colleague Jacob Leibenluft explained, the plan is a mirage that would cut federal support for infrastructure...

Transportation dock

Time for States to Invest in Schools

January 31, 2018

State cuts in K-12 education funding over the past decade, which we’ve detailed, have affected more than schools’ operating budgets for teacher salaries, textbooks, and so on. Capital spending — to, for example, build new schools, renovate and expand facilities, and equip schools with more...

Capital Spending for K-12 Schools Well Below 2008 Levels

States Should Take Initiative on Infrastructure to Boost Economic Growth

August 10, 2017

The condition of roads, bridges, schools, water treatment plants, and other physical assets greatly influences the economy’s ability to function and grow. Commerce requires well-maintained roads, railroads, airports, and ports. Growing communities rely on well-functioning water and sewer systems and uncrowded, safe schools. Every state needs infrastructure improvements that have the potential...

State and Local Spending on Infrastructure Is at 30-Year Low

Harmful Tax Cuts Helped Fuel Oklahoma’s Budget Woes

March 7, 2017

The bond rating agency Standard & Poor’s has lowered Oklahoma’s bond rating due to two years of budget shortfalls and the state’s use of one-time funds to address them. Some of the budget stress is due to volatile energy sector revenues, but ill-advised tax cuts pose at least as big a problem.


Harmful Tax Cuts Helped Fuel Oklahoma's Budget Woes

States Shouldn’t Wait to Invest in Infrastructure

February 24, 2017

States are awaiting details of a promised federal plan to invest more in roads, bridges, and other public infrastructure. More federal help would be welcome, but states would be wise to move ahead on their own.

The need to invest in America’s roads, bridges, schools, water treatment plants, and other physical assets is well-documented. ...

Public Infrastructure Has Been Neglected