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Tax Foundation’s State “Tax Freedom Days” No More Valid than the Federal Version

April 2, 2012

Today the Tax Foundation released its list of when “Tax Freedom Day” allegedly arrives in each state.  It’s a deeply flawed and misleading exercise for a host of reasons.

Each state’s Tax Freedom Day – just like the federal version -- sharply overstates middle-class tax levels.  As my colleagues...

Education Job Losses Finally Ending?

March 9, 2012

After several years of bad employment news in the education sector, today’s jobs report suggests that school districts are starting to hire again.  But, this good news for students, teachers, communities, and the economy comes with several caveats, as I explain below.

3-9-12sfp.jpgNew and newly...

The False Claim That State Income Taxes Impede Growth

February 10, 2012

My list of “dos and don’ts to improve state economies” earlier this week advised states to ignore wild-eyed claims that broad-based tax cuts would strengthen state economies.

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) has a new report...

Dos and Don’ts to Improve State Economies

February 8, 2012

Our new guide to state fiscal policies that can create jobs now and prepare states for long-term prosperity has four main recommendations:

  1. Boost revenues and target investments to strengthen the economy. The deep cuts in education, health, human services, and other areas that states have imposed
  2. ...

Local Governments Still a Drag on the Economy

February 3, 2012

Today’s encouraging jobs report would have been even more encouraging if local governments weren’t still...

New GDP Numbers Show Historic Drop in State and Local Spending

January 27, 2012

State and local government spending on goods and services fell at a faster rate — and hence had a bigger negative impact on economic growth — in 2011 than in any year in the last six decades,  Commerce Department data released today show (see graph).

When states and localities cut...

Taking a Pass on “Pass-Through” Income Would Cost Kansas

January 24, 2012

Owners of large corporations, well-heeled law firms, and big investment funds would pay no taxes on millions of dollars in income under Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s plan to abolish the income tax on business earnings that are “passed through” to owners, rather than taxed at the corporate level.

1-23-12sfp.jpgThe plan would make Kansas the first state in...

More States Propose Reverse-Robin-Hood Tax Policy

January 13, 2012

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and a legislatively appointed task force in Oklahoma have proposed raising taxes on working-poor families with children and impoverished seniors in order to help finance large tax cuts that mostly benefit the well-to-do.

The new proposals would eliminate each state’s Earned Income Tax Credit...

State Tax Hikes on the Rich Back on the Table

December 9, 2011

State policymakers are seriously considering an important policy option:  Income tax increases on the wealthiest families in their states.

New York is about to impose higher taxes on individual taxpayers with annual incomes over $1 million and couples with incomes over $2 million. California’s governor and others in the Golden State have issued proposals for new tax rates on their...

Adding Up States’ K-12 Funding Cuts

October 11, 2011

We reported last week that 30 states are spending less per pupil on K-12 education this year than in the 2007-08 school year, before the recession started to take its toll on state budgets. We’ve tallied those funding cuts and found that, in aggregate, those 30 states are sending $25.5 billion less to school districts under their basic education funding formulas than they did in 2008.