Archive for the ‘State and Local Taxes’ Category

Why Legal Marijuana is a Good Argument for Tax Reform

“Marijuana Industry Eager to Pay Taxes – and Cash in on Deductions” That was the headline for a story written by Rob Hotakainen of McClatchy Newspapers the other day. In less than a dozen words, it describes much of what’s wrong with the federal tax system.  And in an odd way it helps explain why […]

Same-Sex Couples after DOMA

It’s been less than two months since the Supreme Court ruled part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional and the fallout has only begun to settle. Nowhere is there more uncertainty about the effects of the ruling than regarding federal taxes. The court struck down Section 3 of DOMA, which denied federal recognition […]

A New TPC Resource on State Economic Conditions

It isn’t easy to get up-to-date information about state and local economic conditions. Now, a new one-stop resource from The Tax Policy Center’s State and Local Finance Initiative is available to help. The Initiative published its first quarterly State Economic Monitor today. It’s filled with useful information about state labor markets, housing, tax revenues, and overall […]

Kansas Sets the Stage for a Perpetual Budget Crisis

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (R) and the GOP-controlled legislature are struggling to accomplish two goals: They want to repeal the state income tax but need to balance a budget that, despite substantial spending cuts, faces a $700 million shortfall. It is no easy trick. Their solution: new net short-term revenue increases accompanied by a promise […]

What Changes in the Mortgage Deduction Would Mean for Home Prices

Tax preferences for housing are under fire, with mounting evidence that these preferences are inefficient, unequal, and too expensive to warrant a place in the tax code. Critics of proposed changes in the tax treatment of home ownership argue that these reforms would slash home prices at the very time they are showing signs of […]

Why State and Local Governments are Hurting the Recovery

Until the Great Recession, state and local governments played a remarkably constant role through down business cycles. For four decades, when the economy turned sour, state and local governments boosted their spending—mitigating the depths of recessions and adding to growth when the economy revived. (Of course, this growth was partially offset by the negative effect […]

Update: Senate Will Consider State Remote Sales Tax Today

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) plans to bring the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 to the floor today for a preliminary vote.  The measure would give states authority to require on-line sellers to collect sales tax on the products they sell to consumers within their jurisdictions. This is big news.  Two years ago, Senate […]

Automatic Retirement Saving Inches Forward

Automatic enrollment is slowly gaining steam as the choice strategy to encourage retirement saving.  A bold plan in California would eventually make the practice widespread and could revolutionize the state’s saving landscape. Last September, the California legislature approved a framework for automatically enrolling private-sector workers in a retirement savings plan.  Employers with more than five […]

A New Congressional Push to Let States Collect Tax Online Sales

How many tax bills introduced have bipartisan support in today’s hyper-partisan Congress? Not very many but last week identical bills were introduced in the House and Senate that enjoyed rare bipartisan support. Twenty senators and 37 members of the House from both parties signed on to the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 (MFA)—legislation that would […]

The Downside of States as Laboratories for Tax Reform

With state finances gradually improving, some Republican governors are turning their attention to fundamental tax reform.  Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has proposed replacing his state’s personal and corporate income taxes with higher sales taxes.  Nebraska’s Dave Heineman and North Carolina’s Pat McCrory would do something similar, broadening the sales tax base and perhaps including some […]