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Posts by Wesley Tharpe

Arizona Voters Improved State’s Tax Code, Advanced Critical Funding for Schools

November 5, 2020

Arizona voters approved a ballot measure this week that will make the state’s tax code more equitable while raising hundreds of millions of dollars in badly needed revenue for schools. Two other sound, high-profile ballot measures — in Illinois and California — either failed or remain too close to call, but the Arizona victory joins New Jersey’s...

Young person in graduation attire looking away from the camera

Arizona Ballot Measure: Fairer Taxes, Better Schools, Stronger Economy

October 15, 2020

Arizona voters will decide this fall whether to enact a targeted tax increase on high-income residents through Proposition 208 (the Invest in Education Initiative), which could deliver a sizable boost to the state’s finances, make its tax system fairer, provide big benefits to children and schools, and boost the state economy’s long-term potential.

The ballot measure calls for a 3.5...

Arizona's Tax System Asks the Most From Those Least Able to Pay

New Jersey Budget Deal Advances Equity With Millionaires’ Tax and More

October 7, 2020

The budget deal between Governor Phil Murphy and lawmakers will make New Jersey more equitable by raising taxes on the wealthiest families and profitable corporations, providing targeted cash assistance, and expanding the state earned income tax credit (EITC) for working families — and it also will...

New Jersey state house

Needed: Federal Aid to Reverse Deep Public-Sector Job Cuts, Including in Education

September 10, 2020

The harsh recession and deep state budget crisis triggered by COVID-19 are causing sizable public-sector job losses, especially in K-12 and higher education, the latest jobs data show. More large, flexible federal fiscal aid — which stalled in Congress even as the crisis intensified — is needed to reverse as many of these losses as possible and prevent new ones.

As of August, about 1.1...

State and Local Education Jobs Down Sharply Nationwide

Trump Executive Actions Won’t Alleviate, and Could Worsen, States’ Budget Woes

August 11, 2020

President Trump’s executive actions of last weekend do nothing to alleviate the enormous budget crisis that’s battering states and localities nationwide, and one of them — extending unemployment benefits — could make the crisis worse, depending partly on how details shake out in the coming days. More generally, as we have said, his actions are...

Empty Classroom

Surging Virus, Fragile Economy Could Worsen State Budget Crisis

August 7, 2020

As the President and Congress consider more economic relief for families and businesses, more fiscal aid to states, localities, tribal nations, and territories remains in doubt. Without a sizable amount of new aid, however, the twin pressures of a resurgent virus and a fragile...

State and Local Government Jobs Still Far Below Pre-Pandemic Levels

States, Localities Need More Federal Aid to Avert Deepening Budget Crisis

July 21, 2020

As states revisit their spending plans for the 2021 budget year, which began July 1 in most states, they are making deep budget cuts to offset huge revenue shortfalls triggered by COVID-19 and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The initial state and local cuts enacted in spring and early summer...

Federal Aid to Date and State Rainy Day Funds Won’t Close Large State Shortfalls

For Tax Day 2020, 6 Charts on State Taxes and Spending

July 13, 2020

Tax Day, which is July 15 this year due to COVID-19, marks an opportunity to look at the pandemic’s impact on state budgets and consider the crucial role that state tax and spending choices play in people’s lives — such as helping keep residents healthy, providing basic shelter and quality schools, and reducing barriers that block some people, particularly people of color and other...

In Focus: COVID-19 State Budget Shortfalls Could Be Largest on Record

Harmful State Cuts Loom Without More Federal Aid

June 25, 2020

As COVID-19’s health and economic impacts intensify, creating huge state budget shortfalls, states and local governments are laying off workers and slashing support for schools and other services, harming working families — especially in communities of color — and delaying the...

Empty playground behind school building

Risky Tax Plans Threaten Harm to Georgia Families, Core Services

February 18, 2020

Georgia started its legislative session facing possible cuts in key services due to a budget crisis, but lawmakers are nevertheless considering a pair of risky tax plans that would make the crisis even worse. The legislature should reject both tax packages to avoid any further harm to essential services and the families they serve.

Most states began 2020 able to adequately fund...

Georgia Among States with Weakest Revenues