State taxes pay for essential public services, from education to health care. But the ideal design of a tax system is complicated. ITEP’s state policy resources offer insights into central issues, including the impact of state tax systems on individuals, families, and businesses. Its work also analyzes the sustainability of revenue sources over time.
Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax experiment in Kansas was a failure.
His radical tax cuts for the rich eventually had to be partly paid for through tax hikes on low- and middle-income families and also failed to deliver on promises of economic growth. Meanwhile, the tax cuts decimated the state’s budget, diminished its credit rating, and compromised its ability to meet the state’s constitutional standard of adequacy for public education.
Sitting in the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, hidden in the jumble of Americana like Thomas Jefferson’s desk, Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown and the ruby slippers worn in the Wizard of Oz, is a napkin with a drawing on it. Probably one of the least known exhibits in the museum, this napkin, quietly hiding behind glass lest some child wandering from a school group wipe his nose on it, has on several occasions destroyed the finances of the federal government and several state governments, most recently in Kansas.
This week, special legislative sessions featuring tax and budget debates are underway or in the works in Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, and West Virginia, as lawmakers are also running up against regular session deadlines in Illinois, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Meanwhile, a legislative study in Wyoming and an independent analysis in New Jersey are both calling for tax increases to overcome budget shortfalls.
Since 2013, state lawmakers have passed significant income tax cuts that largely benefit the state’s highest income earners and profitable corporations. These costly tax cuts have made the state’s tax…
This week, Kansas lawmakers continued work on fixing the fiscal mess created by tax cuts in recent years, as legislators in Louisiana, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and West Virginia attempted to wrap up difficult budget negotiations before their sessions come to an end, and Delaware lawmakers advanced a corporate tax increase as one piece of a plan to close that state’s budget shortfall. Our “what we’re reading” section this week is also packed with articles about state and local effects of the Trump budget, new 50-state research on property taxes, and more.
As ITEP has detailed, undocumented immigrants are taxpayers, contributing close to $12 billion a year in state and local taxes while also paying federal payroll, income, and excise taxes. In spite of these facts, Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s budget director, has spread erroneous information to validate the administration’s cruel proposal to strip a proven anti-poverty benefit from undocumented immigrants and their children.
This week saw tax debates heat up in many states. Late-session discovered revenue shortfalls, for example, are creating friction in Delaware, New Jersey, and Oklahoma, while special sessions featuring tax debates continue in Louisiana, New Mexico, and West Virginia. Meanwhile the effort to revive Alaska’s personal income tax has cooled off.
One of the most important functions of government is to maintain a high-quality public education system. In many states, however, this objective is being undermined by tax policies that redirect public dollars for K-12 education toward private schools.
This post was updated July 12, 2017 to reflect recent gas tax increases in Oregon and West Virginia.
As expected, 2017 has brought a flurry of action relating to state gasoline taxes. As of this writing, eight states (California, Indiana, Montana, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia) have enacted gas tax increases this year, bringing the total number of states that have raised or reformed their gas taxes to 26 since 2013.
It is unclear, as of now, whether the Trump administration will choose to end protections for young adults who came to the U.S. as children and have legal status through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. If the administration elects to end the program, thousands of Marylanders could lose their jobs and ability to attend college, many business could lose valued workers, and Maryland could lose nearly $14 million annually in state and local tax revenue.
Young immigrants eligible for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) annually contribute $2 billion in state and local taxes, according to new analysis from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The ITEP report finds that this number would drop by nearly half without DACA protection at a time when the Trump Administration has sent mixed signals on whether it intends to honor the DACA executive order in the long term.
With many states currently facing budget shortfalls—whether due to weak economic recovery after the Great Recession, struggling commodity prices, or self-inflicted tax cuts—and all states bracing for possible federal budget cuts in areas from education to health care to infrastructure, states are unlikely to be able to continue providing high-quality services to their residents without raising new revenue. In this context, states must find ways to generate additional revenue without increasing taxes on individuals and families who are already struggling to make ends meet and may bear the biggest brunt of federal funding cuts.
The Effective State Tax Rate Paid by Profitable Fortune 500 Corporations Is Declining,Yet States Continue to Actively Dismantle Their Corporate Income Taxes (Washington, D.C.) As states struggle with tough budget…
The trend is clear: states are experiencing a rapid decline in state corporate income tax revenue. Despite rebounding and even booming bottom lines for many corporations, this downward trend has become increasingly apparent in recent years. Since our last analysis of these data, in 2014, the state effective corporate tax rate paid by profitable Fortune 500 corporations has declined, dropping from 3.1 percent to 2.9 percent of their U.S. profits. A number of factors are driving this decline, including: a race to the bottom by states providing significant “incentives” for specific companies to relocate or stay put; blatant manipulation of loopholes in state tax systems by corporate accountants; significant cuts in state corporate tax rates; and the erosion of state corporate tax bases, largely due to ill-advised state-level linkages to the federal system.
States are experiencing a rapid decline in state corporate income tax revenue, and the downward trend has become increasingly pronounced in recent years. Despite rebounding bottom lines for many corporations,…
Guest Blogger; Josue Chavarin, Program Associate at the California Endowment California’s counties gain hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues from undocumented residents— collectively over $1.53 billion according to…
This week, transportation funding debates finally concluded with gas tax updates in Indiana, Montana, and Tennessee, and appear to be nearing an end in South Carolina. Meanwhile, Louisiana and Oregon lawmakers debated new Gross Receipts Taxes, and Texas legislators considered eliminating…
This report specifically examines the state and local tax contributions of undocumented immigrants who are currently enrolled or immediately eligible for DACA and the fiscal implications of various policy changes. The report includes information on the national impact (Table 1) and provides a state-by-state breakdown (Appendix 1).
The report, conducted by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and co-released in New York by the Fiscal Policy Institute, focuses on the executive order known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. The executive order first went into effect in 2012, and in New York State, of the estimated 820,000 undocumented immigrants, about 76,000 are eligible for DACA.
New Jersey’s young immigrants eligible for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) contribute $66 million in state and local taxes each year, the seventh highest level of all the states. And those annual contributions would increase by $27 million – the sixth most of all states – under comprehensive immigration reform.
Alaska is facing a significant budget gap because of a sharp decline in the oil tax and royalty revenue that has traditionally been relied upon to fund government. This report examines five approaches for replacing some of the oil revenue that is no longer available: enacting a broad personal income tax, state sales tax, payroll tax, investment income tax, or cutting the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD). Any of the options examined in this report could make a meaningful contribution toward closing Alaska’s budget gap. To allow for comparisons across options, this report examines policy changes designed to generate $500 million annually. This amount would be insufficient to close Alaska’s $3 billion budget gap, but any of these options could be modified to raise additional revenue, or could be incorporated into a larger package of changes designed to close the gap.
Public debates in California over immigrants, specifically around undocumented immigrants, often suffer from insufficient and inaccurate information about the contributions of undocumented immigrants, particularly their tax contributions at the local and state level. The fact of the matter is undocumented immigrants living in the California pay millions of dollars each year in local taxes to the counties where they live (estimated to be more than $1.5 billion) and collectively an estimated $3 billion combined in state and local taxes. A little more than half of the total state and local taxes undocumented immigrants in California pay flow to local governments.
Corporate income taxes in the United States as a share of the economy are well below the average among developed nations, according to an analysis of the most recent data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Data from the OECD show that U.S. corporate taxes as a percentage of GDP are 2.2 percent, which is 24 percent less than the 2.9 percent weighted average among the 34 other OECD countries for which data were available.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify on the changes House Bill 36 would make to Alaska’s tax treatment of pass-through income. The taxation of pass-through business entities has been a focal point of state and federal tax reform debates for over a quarter century, with a dual focus on minimizing the role of tax laws in determining the choice of business entity and on ensuring that the income of all business entities is subject to at least a minimal tax. My testimony makes two main points:
1. Alaska is one of a small number of states that do not currently impose either an entity-level tax or a personal income tax on the income generated by pass-through businesses. 2. But Alaska fully taxes the income of traditional C corporations, creating a clear incentive for businesses to structure as pass-throughs to avoid income tax.
In the absence of a statewide personal income tax, imposing an entity-level tax on the net income of pass-through businesses, as HB36 would do, is a straightforward approach to leveling the playing field between different types of business entities, while ensuring these businesses help to fund public investments.
This report contains ITEP’s analysis of the distributional and revenue consequences of the revised version of House Bill 115 (Version L) as proposed on March 23, 2017. This proposal would reduce Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) payout and implement a personal income tax based on a modified version of Federal Adjusted Gross Income, with rates ranging from 0 to 7 percent. The analysis was produced using ITEP’s Microsimulation Tax Model.
U.S. corporations now hold a record $2.6 trillion offshore, a sum that ballooned by more than $200 billion over the last year as companies moved more aggressively to shift their profits offshore, according to a new report, Fortune 500 Companies Hold a Record $2.6 Trillion Offshore, released today by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).