On the Map
March 7, 2023
Which States Have Tax Cut Triggers or Phase-ins?In recent years, lawmakers have been quick to push for phased-in tax cuts or cuts attached to trigger mechanisms. These policy tools push the implementation of tax cuts outside of the current budget window with a predetermined phase-in schedule or a mathematical formula tied to state revenue trends.
January 18, 2023
How Many States Have a Flat Income Tax?Two-thirds of states with broad-based personal income tax structures have a graduated rate, while one-third have flat taxes.
November 16, 2022
State Child Tax Credits and Child Poverty: A 50-State AnalysisRegardless of future Child Tax Credit developments at the federal level, state policies can supplement the federal credit to deliver additional benefits to children and families. State credits can be specifically tailored to meet the needs of local populations while also producing long-term benefits for society as a whole
October 18, 2022
Extreme Wealth by State, 2022More than one in four dollars of wealth in the U.S. is held by a tiny fraction of households with net worth over $30 million. This extreme wealth is geographically concentrated, with the top 10 states accounting for more than 70 percent of nationwide extreme wealth and with New York and California alone accounting for nearly a third.
States continued their recent trend of advancing EITCs in 2022, with nine states plus the District of Columbia either creating or improving their credits. Utah enacted a 15 percent nonrefundable EITC, while the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Vermont and Virginia expanded existing credits. Meanwhile, Connecticut, New York and Oregon provided one-time boosts to their EITC-eligible populations.
September 15, 2022
More States are Boosting Economic Security with Child Tax Credits in 2022After years of being limited in reach, there is increasing momentum at the state level to adopt and expand Child Tax Credits. Today ten states are lifting the household incomes of families with children through yearly multi-million-dollar investments in the form of targeted, and usually refundable, CTCs.
April 20, 2022
How Is Recreational Cannabis Taxed in Your State?Eighteen states have legalized the sale of cannabis for general adult use and sales are already underway in 10 of those states. Every state allowing legal sales applies an excise tax to cannabis based on the product’s quantity, its price, or both. Quantity taxes are typically based on weight, though New York measures quantity by the amount of THC sold. ITEP research indicates that taxes based on quantity will be more sustainable over time because prices are widely expected to fall as the cannabis industry matures. Most states allowing for legal cannabis sales apply their general sales taxes to the product and local sales taxes also typically apply where such taxes exist.
A proposal from Sen. Rick Scott would increase taxes for more than 35% of Americans, with the poorest fifth of Americans paying 34% of the tax increase.
During his presidential campaign, Joe Biden proposed to change the tax code to raise revenue directly from households with income exceeding $400,000. More precisely, Biden proposed to raise personal income taxes on unmarried individuals and married couples with taxable income exceeding $400,000, and he also proposed to raise payroll taxes on individual workers with earnings exceeding $400,000. Just 2 percent of taxpayers would see a direct tax hike (an increase in either personal income taxes, payroll taxes, or both) if Biden’s campaign proposals were in effect in 2022. The share of taxpayers affected in each state would vary from a low of 0.6 percent in West Virginia to a high of 3.5 percent in New Jersey.
10 states to have gone two decades or more without a gas tax increase.
January 26, 2021
Child Tax Credit Enhancements Under the American Rescue PlanPresident Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief package, the American Rescue Plan, includes a significant expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC). The president’s proposal provides a $125 billion boost in funding for the program, which would essentially double the size of the existing federal credit for households with children. Combined with existing law, the CTC provisions in Biden's plan would provide a 37.4 percent income boost to the poorest 20 percent of families with children who make $21,300 or less a year.
With the victory of Senators-elect Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in Georgia, Democrats now control all three branches of government. New leaders should seize this moment to create a tax code that does much more to reduce inequality and to resource long-overdue investments in climate, health, education and other essentials. Most immediately, the historic election shifts power, making it easier to deliver on the promise to increase the recently enacted $600 cash payments to $2,000 per person.
December 23, 2020
A Visual History of Sales Tax Collection at Amazon.comToday, Amazon is collecting state-level sales taxes on all its direct sales but it still usually fails to collect sales tax on the large volume of sales it makes through the Amazon Marketplace. This points to a broader problem in state tax enforcement that lawmakers in many states are moving quickly to address with laws and administrative action requiring tax collection by Amazon and other large online marketplaces such as Etsy and eBay.
December 21, 2020
National and State-by-State Estimates of New $600 Cash PaymentsThe House and Senate are about to pass the first COVID-19 relief legislation since the CARES Act was enacted in March. The new relief package includes, among other provisions, cash payments of $600 per person, which is half as large as the payments provided under the CARES Act, but also extends payments to spouses and children of certain undocumented immigrants who were left out of the previous payments.
October 16, 2019
What is the Gas Tax Rate Per Gallon in Your State?Every state levies excise taxes on motor fuel, including gasoline, to pay for transportation infrastructure. People who drive far distances or heavy vehicles tend to pay more tax, which helps offset the wear-and-tear they inflict on the roads.
September 16, 2019
Cannabis Tax Revenue, Per Capita, April – June 2019Seven states currently allow for the legal, taxable sale of recreational cannabis. The above map shows per capita revenue collections from excise and sales taxes on cannabis during the second quarter of 2019, the most recent period for which data are available in every state. The most lucrative cannabis market in the country, from a tax revenue perspective, is in Washington State where the 46 percent combined tax rate applied to cannabis is the highest in the country. Collections in California and Massachusetts, by contrast, remain low as these states are still in the early stages of establishing their legal markets. ITEP has issued in-depth analyses of cannabis taxes in general and of California’s market in particular.
September 6, 2019
How Do State Tax Sales of Over-the-Counter Medication?While most states levy general sales taxes on items that consumers purchase every day, those taxes often contain carveouts for some necessities such as rent, groceries, and medicine. Prescription drugs, for instance, are currently exempt from state sales tax in 44 of the 45 states levying such taxes (Illinois is the only exception, charging a […]
August 30, 2019
Where Does Your State Fall on the ITEP Tax Inequality Index?The vast majority of state and local tax systems exacerbate the economic divide by taxing low- and middle-income families at higher rates than the wealthy. This map distills an exhaustive analysis of state and local tax codes into one key number, the ITEP Tax Inequality Index, to show the degree to which each state’s tax […]
August 16, 2019
Which States Allow Deductions for Federal Income Taxes Paid?Six states allow an unusual income tax deduction for federal income taxes paid. These deductions are detrimental to state income tax systems on many fronts, as they offer large benefits to high-income earners and undercut the adequacy and stability of state income tax systems.
No two state tax systems are the same, but 45 states have one thing in common: Low-income residents are taxed at a higher rate than the top 1 percent. Effective tax rates for the lowest 20 percent of families range from a high of 17.8 percent in Washington State to a low of 5.5 percent in Delaware.
"Combined reporting" lessens the effectiveness of a tax avoidance scheme known as income shifting, in which large multi-state corporations dubiously claim that their income was earned in states with little or no corporate income tax.
July 17, 2019
Is Your State Holding Sales Tax Holidays in 2019?Lawmakers in many states have enacted “sales tax holidays” (16 states will hold them in 2019), to provide a temporary break on paying the tax on purchases of clothing, school supplies, and other items. While these holidays may seem to lessen the regressive impacts of the sales tax, their benefits are minimal. ITEP’s policy brief […]
July 12, 2019
Does Your State Levy Estate and Inheritance Taxes?States have been repealing estate taxes since the early 2000s. Now, just 17 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) levy estate and/or inheritance taxes. Twelve states and D.C. levy estate taxes while six states levy inheritance taxes (Maryland levies both). These taxes have long been used not just to raise revenue for vital public services, but to promote equality of opportunity and reduce the transfer of concentrated wealth from one generation to the next.
No two state tax systems are the same, but 45 states have one thing in common: Low-income residents are taxed at a higher rate than the top 1 percent. This map shows the effective tax rates for the lowest-income 20 percent in each state--ranging from a high of 17.8 percent in Washington to a low of 5.5 percent in Delaware.
June 27, 2019
Has Your State Enacted Gas Tax Reform Recently?Gas taxes are the most important revenue source that states have available to pay for transportation infrastructure. In recent years, state lawmakers across the country have increasingly agreed that gas taxes must be increased to fund the maintenance and improvement of their infrastructure networks.
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