While there are many ways to show how much is collected in taxes by state governments, our Index is designed to show how well states structure their tax systems by focusing on the how more than the how much in recognition of the fact that there are better and worse ways to raise revenue.
Jared Walczak is Vice President of State Projects at the Tax Foundation. He is the lead researcher on the annual State Business Tax Climate Index and Location Matters, and has authored or coauthored tax reform guides on Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Jared’s work is regularly cited in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Politico, AP, and many other prominent national and state outlets.
He previously served as legislative director to a member of the Senate of Virginia and as policy director for a statewide campaign, and consulted on research and policy development for a number of candidates and elected officials. In his free time, Jared enjoys hiking and has a goal of visiting all 63 national parks.
From income tax changes to cannabis legalization and taxation, here’s what voters decided on Election Day.
California is no stranger to high taxes, and the state has enough going for it that its economy can withstand higher tax burdens than would be viable in other parts of the country. But there’s always a tipping point.
West Virginia Amendment 2 would not directly reduce tangible personal property taxes—on cars, inventory, or machinery and equipment. It would, however, empower the legislature to consider such reforms.
When NFL star wide receiver Tyreek Hill weighed offers from the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins, no doubt there was a lot on his mind. But one consideration towered over the rest, at least according to Hill himself: signing with the Jets “was very close to happening,” but “those state taxes man. I had to make a grown-up decision.”
Alaska policymakers are understandably concerned about the long-term viability of the state’s overwhelming reliance on the oil and gas industry for revenue, but the state’s unique economy and geography, and low population density make some of the “traditional” taxes less efficient than they might be elsewhere.
Some tax ballot initiatives will be straightforward, some will be complex, and—let’s be honest—some will be a drafting nightmare.
Will states consider student loan forgiveness a taxable event? In some states, the answer could be yes.
The mix of tax sources states choose can have important implications for both revenue stability and economic growth, and the many variations across states are indicative of the different ways states weigh competing policy goals.
Idaho Ballot initiative would impose an incredibly high top marginal rate that would fall on many small businesses, not just high-income earners.
The Kansas experience is so infamous that “what about Kansas?” is almost guaranteed to be a question—sometimes as a retort, but often a genuine expression of concern—any time any state explores tax relief. But what about the other two dozen states that have cut their income taxes since then?
If Sooner State policymakers want to use a portion of their higher revenues to make the economy work better for all Oklahomans, they should consider repealing the franchise tax, trimming the income tax, or both—paired, if desired, with targeted aid to those in the greatest need—not writing a single round of gimmicky checks.
Tax Foundation comments on the state tax and revenue implications of the proposed tobacco product standard for menthol in cigarettes.
Wyoming’s low taxes are highly attractive, but policymakers are still hard at work helping the state achieve broader economic development goals.
The sales tax is too important a part of states’ revenue toolkits to be permitted further erosion, making sales tax modernization a vital project of the 2020s.
Learn more about the FDA’s proposal to ban the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. Including its effect on revenue & public health measures.
Exempting groceries from the sales tax base reduces economic efficiency without achieving its objective of enhancing tax progressivity.
Tax burdens rose across the country as pandemic-era economic changes caused taxable income, activities, and property values to rise faster than net national product. Tax burdens in 2020, 2021, and 2022 are all higher than in any other year since 1978.
After a whirlwind of cuts and reforms in 2021, it looks like 2022 might be an even bigger year for state tax codes. Republican and Democratic governors alike used their annual State of the State addresses to call for tax reform, and there is already serious momentum from state lawmakers nationwide to get the job done.
States are flush with cash, but taxpayers’ purchasing power is being eroded by high inflation. Tax rebates, gas tax holidays, and other temporary tax expedients have the potential to add to existing inflation—but good intentions do not always make for good policy.