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Costly Tax Plan Advances in Kansas

May 1, 2012

Kansas lawmakers are moving forward with a costly plan to make deep cuts to income taxes — with the biggest benefits going to wealthy individuals and profitable corporations — and to help pay for it with higher taxes on the working poor.  The plan also could very well lead to more cuts to an already underfunded school system.

The plan, which a House-Senate conference committee approved...

States Slashing Income Taxes Will Find There’s No Free Lunch

March 23, 2012

Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma are considering sharply reducing their income taxes or phasing them out entirely.  But there is no free lunch, as our analysis of the nine states without an income tax (AK, FL, NV, NH, SD,...

The Downside of Cutting Taxes at All Costs

February 16, 2012

A new tax plan from leaders in the Kansas House of Representatives is a prime example of how a misguided focus on cutting taxes at all costs can lead to bad fiscal policy that threatens to weaken a state’s economy.

The proposal would:

  • Cut income taxes virtually every year, and eventually repeal the individual and corporate income tax. The bill would require
  • ...

Child Poverty Up in Most States, with Damaging Consequences

September 26, 2011

We reported last week that, in 40 states, the share of the population below half the poverty line increased between 2007 (when the recession hit) and 2010. Today, we note that child poverty is also up in the vast majority of states. Census data released last week show that:

A Lost Decade in the Fight Against Poverty

September 14, 2011

The poverty rate rose by a statistically significant amount in 32 states over the past decade and didn’t fall by such an amount in any state, according to preliminary state figures the Census Bureau released yesterday (see map).

Few Cheers for New State Budget Year

July 26, 2011

Most states rang in fiscal year 2012 on a sour note this month, enacting unnecessarily deep spending cuts that will harm residents ranging from schoolchildren to seniors and weaken economic growth.

State Budget Cuts’ Trickle-Down Effect

May 26, 2011

Yesterday, Washington State lawmakers passed a budget that cuts $4.5 billion from state services to address a $5 billion shortfall (the rest of the savings come from funds set aside for capital projects and other designations). They could have made smaller cuts if they had also raised revenue, such as by closing tax loopholes and ending unnecessary tax expenditures. But they didn’t, and residents will pay the price — often literally.

Connecticut Creates EITC as Michigan Lawmakers Move to Preserve Theirs

May 11, 2011

Connecticut took a major step forward on behalf of low-income working families last week, enacting an Earned Income Tax Credit worth 30 percent of the federal EITC. Hundreds of thousands of residents will benefit, and local businesses will get a boost as those families spend that money to meet basic needs. The new credit will lift an estimated 9,000 people out of poverty and ease poverty for over 100,000 more.

Republicans in Some States Back Off Their Party’s Longstanding Support for EITC

April 29, 2011

When President Reagan signed sweeping tax overhaul legislation that included a major expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, he proclaimed that “millions of working poor would be dropped from the tax rolls altogether” and called the legislation “the best anti-poverty bill” to come out of Congress. Both parties strongly favored the EITC, and bipartisan understanding of the struggles of working poor families spread to the states. Nearly half of them enacted a state EITC to complement the federal credit. But, today, the EITC no longer enjoys bipartisan support in some states, as Republicans seek to roll back or block improvements to state credits.

State EITCs Offer Low-Income Working Families a Hand Up

April 19, 2011

As we pointed out recently, roughly half the states have Earned Income Tax Credits to help low-income working families make ends meet (see map), and nearly all of them are preserving their EITCs even in the face of severe budgetary challenges. Our new report discusses how state EITCs, in concert with the federal EITC, are providing much-needed support to working families with low earnings. State EITCs play a particularly important role in the current economic climate, as many families have seen their wages or hours cut back or have lost a wage earner due to the recession. As we explain, state EITCs: