Just Taxes Blog by ITEP

State Rundown 8/29: August or Ugh-ust Summer Tax Debates?

State Rundown 8/29: August or Ugh-ust Summer Tax Debates?

August 29, 2019

Meg Wiehe
Meg Wiehe
Deputy Director

The hottest, stickiest month of the year has left a grimy feeling on several state tax debates, as Idaho lawmakers find themselves unable to fund the state’s priorities after years of cutting taxes, Alaskans express their support for public investments to their governor’s polling office and then watch the governor slash them anyway, New Jersey lawmakers go to bat for ineffective and corrupt business tax subsidies, and residents of North Carolina watch their representatives pursue cheap political points over sound investments and thoughtful policy. Nonetheless, residents and advocates on the other side of these and other debates have fought long and hard for better policy choices, and will undoubtedly continue to do so.

— MEG WIEHE, ITEP Deputy Director, @megwiehe

Major State Tax Proposals and Developments

State Roundup

What We’re Reading

  • Binyamin Applebaum writes in the New York Times that we made a major mistake by relying so much on economists and orthodox economics to set our policy course and, in many ways, be our moral compass as well. “Why,” he asks, did we ever “listen to the people who thought we needed ‘more millionaires and more bankrupts?’.”
  • Governing has a major new report out on local governments turning increasingly to punitive and regressive fines and fees to finance their activities, largely because state-imposed policies and funding cuts give them no choice.
  • Amid concerns that the country is plunging into a national recession, Stateline explains how state-level recessions are different beasts, and that some states may already be in recession.
  • Stateline also covers trends in states regulating and taxing electronic cigarettes and other vaping products.
  • The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) writes in a blog and full report that states can and should adopt inclusive policies toward immigrants. Such policies can promote racial equity, fairness in pay, more educated workforces, and generate revenue for shared priorities.
  • CBPP also reports that state investments in school facilities and equipment have declined and represent another area where improved policy can yield many positive results.
  • Governing covers a recent trend of states considering an old but seldom implemented idea of “land value taxes” rather than traditional property taxes.
  • The Denver Post explores if COLORADO is missing out by not having a permanent mineral trust fund?

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