The Tax Policy Blog

January 02, 2009

Phil Kerpen, Director of Policy at Americans for Prosperity, penned an op-ed in today's Washington Times on a potential reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) being funded by a 156% increase...

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January 01, 2009

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter (R) in December ordered state agencies to cut 3% from their budgets, on top of a 1% reduction ordered in September, and plan for a 6% cut in 2010. The $82 million savings, in addition to $22 million of other cuts, balances ...

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January 01, 2009

Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle (R) recently unveiled a $22.4 billion 2010-11 biennial budget that reduces discretionary funding by 14%, draw down $75 million from the state's rainy day fund (leaving it at $15 million in 2011), and borrow from bottle/can deposits and...

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January 01, 2009

State officials say that Georgia faces a $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion shortfall in its current $21 billion budget. Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) has ordered agencies to cut spending by 8% and plan for cuts in their 2010 budget requests. Perdue has unveiled plans for...

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December 31, 2008

After announcing that the current $13.3 billion 2009-11 biennial budget faced a shortfall of $763 million, Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) proposed a 3% cut in executive agency budgets (on top of a 7% cut earlier imposed), a 3% reduction in grants and subsidies, a ban on out-of-state travel unless approved by budget officials, spending and hiring restrictions, and a pay freeze for 2009. Daniels promised...

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December 31, 2008

Embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) pulled a "Washington Monument" stunt in August when he announced the closure of 12 state historic sites and seven parks to save $2 million, along with layoffs in the Department of Children and Family Services and other agencies (including 85 state employees fired over...

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December 31, 2008

Two days ago, BusinessWeek featured the Tax Foundation's State Business Tax Climate Index in an article from small business reporter John Tozzi entitled "Where to Locate Your Business." He argues that "choosing the right place can mean the difference between success and failure for entrepreneurs."

Aside from the labor...

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December 31, 2008

Beginning tomorrow (2009), the federal estate tax will have a rate of 45 percent combined with a generous exemption level of $3.5 million. That's until Dec. 31, 2009. 

On Jan. 1, 2010, the federal estate tax rate is scheduled to be zero. That's until Dec. 31, 2010.

On Jan. 1, 2011, the federal estate tax rate is scheduled to be 55 percent with an exemption level of only $1 million.

(Note in 2010 the unlimited step-up-in basis will also cease as there will...

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December 31, 2008

New regulations from the California State Board of Equalization (BOE) are supposed to clarify how grocers should tally their tax-exempt sales. Instead they inadvertently make a good argument for abolishing the tax exemption entirely.

Grocery tax exemptions have been sweeping the country on the flimsy argument that state sales taxes applied to groceries are unfair to the poor. In fact, the poor's groceries, when purchased...

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December 31, 2008

In yesterday's Los Angeles Times, the editorial board rails against Grover Norquist and his famous "pledge" that elected officials often take, promising not to raise taxes.

Republican members of the Assembly and state Senate signed pledges to oppose any tax increase, and so far they have...

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December 31, 2008

During times of economic hardship, is it better to put money toward necessities and savings or to risk some in the hopes of winning more, e.g. playing the lottery?

Lottery agencies have recently been hoping customers would choose the latter, and it seemed at first that they would get their wish. In a 1994 study, Prof. John L. Mikesell of Indiana University found that...

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December 31, 2008

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) announced recently that the state's budget this year faces a $211 million shortfall, and the 2010 budget faces a shortfall of over $1 billion (out of $10 billion total). In addition to ordering...

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December 31, 2008

In December, Gov. Chet Culver (D) outlined $75 million in spending cuts to cover a $38 million drop in expected revenue and unexpected spending on disaster relief (a total $100 million shortfall in the $6.05 billion budget). The largest items are the cancellation of a $37 million office building for state...

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December 30, 2008

William McGurn, a former Newscorp executive and former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, penned his "Main Street" column in the Wall Street Journal this morning, urging President-Elect Obama to make a specific New Year's resolution: "I will not allow America to become New Jersey."

Providing his thoughts on the consequences...

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Subscribe to Tax Foundation - Tax Foundation's Tax Policy Blog The Tax Policy Blog is the official blog of the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization that has monitored tax policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937. Our economists welcome your feedback. If you would like to send an e-mail to the author of a blog post, please click on that person's name to locate his or her e-mail address or visit our staff page here.

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