off the charts
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
Why Smart States Are Raising Revenues, in One Graph
Five years after the start of the Great Recession, state revenues remain 5 percent below pre-recession levels, after adjusting for inflation, even as the number of people needing state services has grown. So, it’s not surprising that more than a dozen states have enacted or are seriously considering revenue increases to begin reinvesting in schools, roads, and other important services and to make new investments in future economic growth.
- Minnesota recently raised income taxes and modernized its outdated sales tax, which will enable the state to expand investments in early childhood education and hold public college tuition steady.
- California voters last November approved a measure to raise personal income taxes on high-income people and boost the sales tax. The new revenue will help fund schools and community colleges — both of which have seen big cuts in recent years.
- Colorado raised pre-school and kindergarten funding as part of a broader school reform plan that is contingent on voters approving a tax increase in November.
- In Washington, a special session of the legislature is debating raising revenues by closing loopholes in business and sales taxes and by extending a temporary business tax. Washington needs the revenue in part to meet its obligations under a court order to raise K-12 funding, which the state has cut in recent years.
- And at least ten states are considering — or already have enacted — gas tax increases or other revenue-raising proposals to finance transportation investments. They are: Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.
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