Lunch Links: States Could Raise $5 Billion from Marijuana Taxes, Colorado Universal Health Care, Popular Governors

May 13, 2016

Today is May 13, the birthday of John Kasich, the only 2016 presidential candidate who never released a detailed tax plan.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

  • States Could Raise Over $5 Billion a Year from Marijuana Taxes: Our new report released yesterday breaks down state-by-state totals (Table 2) and explains lessons learned by Colorado and Washington for future states to know. We also put out a report estimating the feds could raise over $12 billion a year from legal marijuana. (Tax Foundation)
  • Colorado to Vote on Large Tax Increase for Universal Health Care: Amendment 69 on the November 8 ballot would raise the income tax by 10 percentage points, raising $25 billion. That would be more than tripling the current 4.63 percent income tax, and doubling the state budget. Supporters say it would be a savings since people wouldn’t have to pay insurance premiums anymore. (Ballotpedia / Colorado Health Institute)
  • Most and Least Popular Governors: Morning Consult compiles the approval ratings. Most popular are Gov. Charlie Baker (R-MA) with 72% approval and Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD) with 71% approval; least popular are Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) with 26% approval and Gov. Dan Malloy (D-CT) with 29% approval. (Morning Consult)
  • Kansas-Missouri Cease-Fire Less Likely: Kansas City straddles the border, and the two states have used tax incentives to shift jobs a few miles across it. In 2014, Missouri proposed a cease-fire ending all incentives, with their offer expiring this coming August 28. Kansas last month countered to cancel incentives where moving costs were less than $10 million, which Missouri says isn’t enough. (Governing)
  • Perils and Promises of Tax Increment Financing (TIFs): “Intended to eliminate blight in the poorest neighborhoods, TIF projects are often criticized for funneling money away from core services and to neighborhoods that are neither blighted nor poor.” (Governing)
  • Kentucky Reviews Farm Preservation Tax Break Abuse: Lower property tax rates were approved for farmland beginning in 1969, but a Lexington Herald-Leader investigation discovered that quite a few of the “farms” were lawns, under development, or unrelated to crops or livestock. Legislators are studying this issue and weighing limits to it. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
  • Dangers of Using Volatile Taxes to Fund Education: My colleague Jared Walczak has an op-ed today in the Tri-City Herald on the Washington state proposal to impose a capital gains tax to fund education. (Tri-City Herald)
  • No Vote on San Francisco Soda Tax: Initiative supporters missed the signature deadline by one day. Across the Bay, Oakland will vote on a soda tax and decide whether it joins neighboring Berkeley with a 1-cent-per-ounce tax. (Tax Foundation)
  • Senate Budget Committee Lists Process Reform Ideas: The ideas include automatic continuing resolutions, biennial budgets, better accounting for long-term budget impacts, and many more. (Senate Committee on the Budget)

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