Dylan joined ITEP in 2016. Prior to joining ITEP, he worked as a Fiscal Policy Analyst at OpenSky Policy Institute, which provides research, analysis, education, and leadership around budget and tax policy debates in the state of Nebraska. Before OpenSky, he worked as a Research Associate at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C., focusing on a range of state fiscal policy issues. He holds a BA in Political Science from Arizona State University and an MA in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University. He lives and works in lovely Lincoln, Neb.dylan at itep.org
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Lawmakers in Bismarck were treated last weekend to the largest single day of snowfall the city has ever seen. As state senators begin weighing a bill recently passed by the House that would replace the state's income taxes with oil revenue, they might want to reflect on how similar oil revenue is to the snow: although both are in extreme abundance right now, both are volatile and unpredictable and will melt away sooner than later. Lawmakers should also consider how eliminating the state's income taxes might warm the hearts of wealthier North Dakotans but would leave most North Dakota families out in the cold.
In our last update on state responses to the federal tax cut (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or TCJA), we noted that several states were waiting until 2019 to make their final decisions, giving them additional time to (hopefully) respond in ways that improve their fiscal situations and upside-down tax codes. The TCJA is affecting the 2018 federal taxes people are filing now, in some cases adding urgency and/or confusion to these debates.