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Some States Taxing Wealth Better, But More Progress Needed

January 27, 2020

Amid lots of recent talk about the federal government’s need to tax large concentrations of wealth more heavily, state policymakers also should tax wealth better as state budget season begins.

State tax systems have helped drive the nation’s extreme wealth concentration, as wealthy individuals and corporations used their political power to shape state tax policies to their benefit. In...


States Expanding Opportunity Through Wealth Taxes

July 9, 2019

States from Hawaii to Connecticut responded to extreme wealth concentration this year by expanding taxes on the assets of the very wealthy — such as stocks, bonds, real estate, boats, and jewelry — while closing loopholes and ending other special tax benefits that shield many of these assets from state and local taxes.

These taxes are important because America’s wealth is concentrated...

Luxurious home with pool, at night

Connecticut Capital Gains Surcharge Would Raise Needed Revenue, Narrow Inequality

May 29, 2019

To their credit, Connecticut lawmakers are considering a proposal to levy a modest 2 percent surcharge on capital gains of the wealthiest taxpayers, which would raise needed revenue, reduce inequality, and help the state’s economy.

Relatively few, mostly white, families hold an overwhelming share of the nation’s wealth, leaving millions of others, including those of color, with less...

Incomes of Wealthiest 1% in Connecticut Far Outpace Remaining 99%

States Look to Expand Opportunity by Boosting Capital Gains Taxes

May 22, 2019

Lawmakers in Connecticut, Minnesota, and Vermont are considering raising taxes on capital gains —profits from selling an asset that has gained value, such as stock, real estate, or artwork — while New Mexico this year scaled back a tax break for capital gains. Historically, wealthy (mainly white) individuals used their political power to shape state tax policies in ways that largely benefit...

Capital Gains Go Overwhelmingly to Wealthy Families

With Federal Funding Unreliable, States Must Invest in School Buildings

May 1, 2019

Summer is often a time to repair and improve school buildings or finish building new ones, but the nation’s K-12 schools — especially in low-income neighborhoods — have been neglected for years. The coming onset of summer provides a timely reminder that states should move more forcefully to help address the need.

State cuts to K-12 education over the past decade have affected more than...

Capital Spending for K-12 Schools Well Below 2008 Levels

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