Just Taxes Blog by ITEP

State Rundown 9/28: Wisconsin Budget Finalized, Oklahoma Special Session Underway

September 28, 2017

This week, Wisconsin’s leaders finalized the state budget at last, while those in Oklahoma began a special session to close their state’s revenue shortfall. Soda tax fights made news in Illinois and Pennsylvania. And New Jersey offered Amazon $5 billion in tax subsidies.

— Meg Wiehe, ITEP Deputy Director, @megwiehe

  • Oklahoma lawmakers have begun their special session to close the state’s budget gap, with many bills to consider, including some revenue solutions.
  • The Wisconsin budget has been finalized with 99 partial vetoes by Gov. Walker. Several tax changes didn’t make the final cut, which saved the low-income Working Families Credit, restricted a tax credit for historic buildings, and repealed a provision that would have allowed low-revenue school districts to enact property tax increases. In other news, parts of the recently approved Foxconn tax incentive legislation may face legal challenge due to concerns about the constitutionality of expedited appeals processes.
  • Despite surviving a legal challenge earlier this year, the fight against the soda tax in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, continues with warring parties spending over $5 million in advertising this year. In Illinois, sugar daddies Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper are helping fund campaign efforts against the Cook County soda tax, which is expected to hear a measure to repeal the recently enacted tax on Oct. 10. Meanwhile, it’s rumored that Speaker of the House Madigan is also considering getting involved in the Illinois debate via legislative preemption.
  • Offers are already pouring in from policymakers attempting to convince Amazon to build its new headquarters in their states, including an offer totaling $5 billion in tax subsidies over 10 years from New Jersey Chris Christie.
  • In the second year of its expanded program, California gave out $339 million in tax breaks to film and television programs—almost double the tax cuts given the first year of the expanded tax credit.
  • A new sales tax in Los Angeles County California to help fund homeless services and prevention goes into effect Oct. 1, 2017. Voters approved the 0.25 percent tax this past March.
  • California lawmakers approved a bill requiring presidential candidates to release five years of tax returns to appear on the California ballot. The bill faces an uncertain fate, as it is unclear what Gov. Brown’s position may be.
  • Nebraska lawmakers may consider eliminating local property taxes on business equipment, though a $10,000 exemption was already enacted recently and such a move would shift more property taxes onto homeowners.

What We’re Reading…

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