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Posts by Jon Shure

Time for States to Shift Away from Tax Breaks to Lure Companies

March 18, 2016

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley sounded an alarm recently about the state’s underinvestment in its people — an alarm that Alabama and other states should heed.

“While we rank number one in football teams and economic development accolades, our state consistently falls dead last in virtually every quality of life ranking from infant mortality to obesity,” Gov. Bentley said in his February 2...


Alaska Income Tax a Sensible Step

December 16, 2015

As some governors contemplate cutting or eliminating their income taxes, the leader of the only state ever to abandon its income tax wants to bring it back. 

“[W]e have to decide what kind of state we want to have,” Alaska’s Independent governor, Bill Walker, said in proposing a...

State Legislative Chamber

#1 State Tax Ranking Is Highly Misleading

November 19, 2015

Wyoming gets the number one ranking in the Tax Foundation’s “2016 State Business Tax Climate Index” — the group’s misleading gauge of state tax systems — largely because of what the state doesn’t have: an income tax on either people or businesses.  In the Tax Foundation’s view, that’s a good thing....

Tax Calculator

Tax Hike Won’t Drive Millionaires from California

February 7, 2013

History suggests that a new radio ad from Texas Governor Rick Perry trying to lure business people out of California — which recently raised taxes on incomes over $1 million, as the New York Times points out today —...

Migration Myth Strikes Again

April 16, 2012

Proponents of the migration myth are at it again, trying to sell the idea that if states with lower taxes gain more population than states with higher taxes, taxes must be the reason.

To prove that people migrate from state to state in search of lower taxes, the latest edition of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) “...

Rankings Say Little About States’ Real Business Climate

January 31, 2012

If someone told you a city’s average temperature but not how much it rains there, how would you know whether you liked its climate?  The Tax Foundation’s annual ranking of states’ “business tax climate” is similarly lacking.

In the Tax Foundation’s scale, how a state compares to other states starts and ends with its...

Millions Not Moving

May 13, 2011

A recent Reuters article headlined, “Americans try to outrun state, local tax hikes,” suggested that people are fleeing their place of residence to avoid higher state and local taxes. It’s as if places like Stamford, Ct. and Far Hills, NJ are about to become ghost towns.

Small Business Group Needs to See the Big Picture

April 22, 2011

The chief economist of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council complained this week that states have raised taxes in the recession — which he says hurts the economy. The commentary was far off the mark in ways that could threaten states’ ability to make the investments needed to create jobs and promote economic recovery.

Exposing the Migration Myth … Again

April 7, 2011

Between now and “tax day” on April 18, we’re going to see a lot of misinformation about the impact of taxes on people’s lives — like the oft-repeated myth that state tax policies cause great numbers of people to flee one state for another. In reality, people move for lots of reasons, and taxes make almost no difference at all.

Tax-Flight Arguments (Still) Don’t Add Up

February 15, 2011

Two governors are proposing this week to raise taxes on their state’s wealthiest residents. Today, Minnesota’s Mark Dayton proposed higher income tax rates on taxable incomes above $150,000 and a surtax on incomes over $500,000; tomorrow, Connecticut’s Daniel P. Malloy is expected to propose a higher rate on incomes over $1 million.