Just Taxes Blog by ITEP

State Rundown 10/13: Soda Taxes, Business Subsidies, and Gas Taxes Considered in Several States

October 13, 2017

A comprehensive tax study is underway in Arkansas this week as other states hone in on more specific issues. Soda taxes hit setbacks in Illinois and Michigan, business tax subsidies faced scrutiny in Iowa and Missouri, and gas tax update efforts are underway in Mississippi and North Dakota.

— Meg Wiehe, ITEP Deputy Director, @megwiehe

  • Arkansas’ legislative tax overhaul committee is getting started with their work—revealing a range of priorities. Income and sales tax rate cuts and sales tax base expansion are among the ideas expected to be discussed.
  • The Chicago, Illinois soda tax will be short-lived following the Cook County Commissioner’s vote to repeal the tax on Wednesday. Commissioners have until the end of November to finalize the budget that will now require $200 million in cuts to balance.
  • Lawmakers in Michigan passed legislation to preempt the enactment of soda and other taxes on sugary or artificially labeled items by municipalities.
  • An effort to repeal recent transportation tax increases in California may not have the public support previously suspected, given the results of a new poll.
  • Talk of a special session to address the state’s shortfall is afloat in Montana, and lawmakers have mixed opinions regarding desirability and effectiveness.
  • Oregon made its first distribution of marijuana revenues on Wednesday since legalizing recreational sales in 2016. Cities and counties not imposing their own taxes won’t receive a cut.
  • Controversy over business tax subsidies in Iowa continues, as some decry their high costs and uncertain returns while others insist they are necessary to compete for projects.
  • Business tax breaks are also under scrutiny in Missouri, where an auditor is calling for better tracking of their impacts.
  • Pennsylvania voters will decide in November whether or not to allow the state’s property tax homestead exemption to be expanded in the future, which if passed may spur further debate over how schools are funded.
  • North Dakota county officials may get behind a state gas tax increase to improve the condition of the state’s roads and bridges.
  • Mississippi residents may have a chance to vote on the needed gas tax update the legislature has so far failed to pass, if one lawmaker is able to get the measure onto the ballot.

What We’re Reading…

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