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“Skin in the Game” No Excuse for Taxing the Incomes of Poor Families

April 5, 2012

I explained yesterday that, like the federal government, most states exempt the incomes of working-poor families from taxation, but that states’ progress in eliminating the income taxes of working poor families largely ground to a halt in 2011.  In recent years, a range of policymakers, political...

Bipartisan Effort to Help Low-Income Families Work Toward Middle Class Falters

April 4, 2012

As the income tax filing deadline approaches, working-poor families in too many states continue to owe state income taxes.  Worse, decades of bipartisan progress in easing taxes on such families is in danger of sliding backwards, our latest survey finds.

Taxing the income of working-poor families makes...

Another Downside of a Cuts-Only Approach to State Shortfalls

March 2, 2012

We’ve noted that states’ cuts-only approach to their budgets has resulted in tuition hikes for public higher education that make college less accessible and pose risks to long-term economic growth.  The New York Times today...

The Latest on State Budgets

February 27, 2012

Our newly updated survey of state budget shortfalls suggests that states continue to face a long and uncertain recovery:

  • States’ budget challenges remain considerable. Twenty-nine states have projected or addressed budget gaps totaling $47 billion
  • ...

Protecting Low-Income Families from Regressive Tax Increases

February 17, 2012

A smart proposal in Maryland would expand the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to help offset the impact on low-income families of several proposed tax increases.

The proposed increases, in the state’s gas tax, water and sewer fees, and electricity rates, would help maintain roads, bridges, and public...

Governors’ Rhetoric, Budgets Don’t Match on Education Funding

February 13, 2012

Governors in some states that have made deep cuts to K-12 education funding since the recession started are proposing to restore some of that funding next year.  The proposals are a welcome departure from the relentless cuts of recent years.  But, in a number of states, they would leave funding well below pre-recession levels...

Will States Help Keep College Affordable?

February 7, 2012

In Florida, where in-state tuition at public, four-year colleges has jumped by more than 60 percent over the last four years, a key legislative committee last week passed a no-new taxes budget that includes another 8 percent increase.

Meanwhile, the University of Missouri is...

Missouri Governor Shows How Not to Balance a Budget

January 19, 2012

“In a global economy with constantly evolving technology, training and education can never stop,” Missouri governor Jay Nixon said in announcing his budget earlier this week.  Unfortunately, his proposed deep cuts to higher education will make it harder to train the skilled workforce that...

Long and Uncertain Recovery for State Budgets

January 9, 2012

Our latest update on state budget shortfalls shows that states continue to face a long and uncertain recovery.

The report finds that:

  • States’ budget challenges remain considerable. Twenty-nine states have projected or
  • ...

Florida Proposes Small Step Out of Big Education Funding Hole

December 13, 2011

The budget proposal that Florida Governor Rick Scott laid out last week — one of many governors’ proposals coming in the next few weeks — illustrates the enormous challenge that states face as they seek to restore funding for education and other services that they cut deeply in the wake of the recession.

Florida’s revenues...