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Top 5 (+1) State Tax Charts

April 14, 2015

As we approach Tax Day, these six charts put state taxes — and the programs those taxes fund — into context.

More than half of state tax dollars go to fund education (K-12 and higher education) and health care, as the chart below shows.  State tax dollars also fund other critical services such as transportation, corrections, public assistance, care for residents with disabilities,...

A Diminished Future: Tax-Cut States Shortchanging Education

March 12, 2015

Legislation is on a fast track in Kansas — poster child of the “slash income taxes for the wealthy and everything will be great” approach — that would replace the time-tested way of supporting schools with an arbitrary one that would fall far short of meeting growing needs. And...

States Reaping Consequences of Tax Decisions

March 6, 2015

In Minnesota, which raised income taxes on wealthy residents two years ago, revenues are surging beyond expectations, according to the state’s latest forecast.  In contrast, Kansas, Wisconsin, and North Carolina — which cut income taxes in recent years — face serious fiscal problems, despite the promises of tax-cut supporters.

Minnesota...

State and Local Jobs Fell in January

February 6, 2015

While today’s jobs report shows that the economy added jobs at a healthy pace in January, job growth could have been even stronger if states and localities hadn’t cut 4,000 positions.

About a third of the lost jobs were for teachers and others working in K-12 schools, preliminary data suggest.  The rest were non-education jobs at the state level, a category that...

5 Pieces of Context for the New Kansas Budget

January 16, 2015

With Kansas Governor Sam Brownback releasing his budget this morning, it’s a good time for a refresher about what’s happened since Kansas enacted one of the largest state income tax cuts in history two years ago.

  1. Kansas’ finances are a mess.
  2. ...

State and Local Tax Systems Hit Lower-Income Families the Hardest

January 15, 2015

In nearly every state, low- and middle-income families pay a bigger share of their income in state and local taxes than wealthy families, a new report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) finds.  As the New York Times’ Patricia Cohen...

School Jobs Up in December But Still Far From Recovered

January 9, 2015

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Local school districts added 2,000 jobs for teachers, principals, and other employees in December, today’s jobs report shows, continuing schools’ painfully slow recovery from the recession.

Yet schools still have a long way to go before they leave the recession...

More Bad News for Backers of Kansas Tax Cuts

November 21, 2014

The latest projections from Kansas’ nonpartisan Legislative Research Department bring more bad news for those who hoped Kansas’ massive tax cuts would generate an economic surge.

The department predicts that personal incomes will grow more slowly in Kansas than in the nation as a whole...

How Has State K-12 Funding Fared in Your State?

November 5, 2014

This interactive map shows the change — in both dollars and percent — in state general K-12 funding per student since 2008. As our recent report explains, funding is below pre-recession levels in at least 30 states, after adjusting for inflation; in 14 states, the decline exceeds 10 percent. While most states are providing...

State K-12 Funding in 80 Seconds

November 4, 2014

Most states continue to spend less — often far less — per student in general funding for kindergarten through 12th grade than they did before the recession began seven years ago, as our latest analysis shows.  These cuts have serious consequences for students, schools, and jobs.  This short video explains what...

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