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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.

State and Local Job Cuts Continue, Especially in Education

September 2, 2011

Today’s jobs report shows that in August, cuts by states and local governments — especially school districts — wiped out private-sector job gains.

Debt Limit Deal Will Hit States and Localities, Too

August 15, 2011

As Americans return from vacation to find shrunken state and local services — from fewer teachers in their children’s classrooms to less help for elderly and disabled residents to tuition hikes at public universities — we hope they’ll connect the dots as well as yesterday’s New York Times editorial did:

Public Employment Job Losses Continue to Slow the Recovery

August 5, 2011

July’s employment report included more bad news from states and localities: job losses are continuing. Since August 2008, state and local governments have slashed 611,000 positions, and the cuts have been getting worse — 340,000 of those jobs were lost in the last 12 months. July was the ninth consecutive month, and the 29th out of the last 35, in which total state and local employment shrank.

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