Skip to content

All Related Articles

Virginia local option sales tax

April 24th Afternoon State Tax Update

Virginia enacted a biennial budget, which includes a new excise tax on “skill games.” Meanwhile, Arizona and Connecticut announced plans to convene in special sessions later this year while Oklahoma gets the green light to use rainy day fund money to close budget gaps.

4 min read
windfall profits tax windfall tax excess profits tax windfall taxes definition oil prices

Historic Oil Price Burns Hole in State Budgets

Alaska and North Dakota collect revenue primarily from oil-related taxes. These states must start thinking about how to plan for an era of reduced oil revenue.

5 min read

The Weird Way Taxes Impact Behavior

Learn about how taxes can influence human behavior through the power of incentives. See how different tax policies have impacted everything around us, including the buildings we live in, the cars we drive, and even what we eat and wear. Gain a deeper appreciation for the importance of designing tax policies that encourage positive economic behaviors.

The Three Basic Tax Types

Discover the three basic tax types—taxes on what you earn, taxes on what you buy, and taxes on what you own. Learn about 12 specific taxes, four within each main category. Develop a basic understanding of how these taxes fit together, how they impact government revenues and the economy, and where you may encounter them in your daily life.

Not All Taxes Are Created Equal

Discover why there are better and worse ways for governments to raise a dollar of revenue. Compare the economic impact of the three basic tax types—taxes on what you earn, buy, and own—including three specific taxes within each category. Learn about the basics of “dynamic scoring,” one tool economists can use to compare the economic and revenue impact of different tax policies.

payroll tax cut, payroll taxes

Can States Close Budget Deficits with Excise Tax Hikes?

We examine whether excise taxes are a solution to budget deficits, and while the short answer to that question is no, there are of course nuances. Excise taxes can play a role in state revenues even as policymakers appreciate that excise taxes are not viable long-term revenue tools for general spending priorities.

21 min read

Tracking State Legislative Responses to COVID-19

Many states are racing to pass budgets, emergency COVID-19 supplemental appropriations, and other must-pass legislation as quickly as possible. We’re tracking the latest state legislative responses to the coronavirus crisis.

66 min read
Fewer people driving means fewer people buying gasoline, which could be detrimental to motor fuel excise tax revenue for federal and state governments. The coronavirus pandemic is affecting most aspects of the economy, and motor fuel consumption is no exception. As social distancing recommendations, shelter-in-place-orders, and quarantines have upended American life in an effort to slow the spread of the virus, road traffic has declined dramatically around the country. Traffic drops means less motor fuel excise revenue

Gas Tax Revenue to Decline as Traffic Drops 38 Percent

Fewer people driving means fewer people buying gasoline, which may have positive effects on air pollution but could be detrimental to motor fuel excise tax revenue for federal and state governments.

4 min read
How high are vapor taxes in your state? State nicotine tax rates, state taxes on nicotine products

Excise Taxes on Vapor Products Are Trending

While lawmakers are working through the design of vapor tax proposals, they must thread the needle between protecting adult smokers’ ability to switch and barring minors’ access to nicotine products. A good first step is creating appropriate definitions for the new nicotine products to avoid unintended disproportionate taxation based on design differences or bundling.

7 min read
Maryland digital advertising tax litigation internet tax, Maryland digital ad tax, Maryland tax increases and Maryland tax proposals 2021

Maryland Legislature Seeks Revenue with Risky Proposals

One notable consequence of high state tobacco excise tax rates is increased smuggling as people procure discounted products from low-tax states and sell them in high-tax states. Smugglers wouldn’t have to look far to find cheaper smokes. All of Maryland’s neighboring states have rates lower than $4 per pack, including Virginia ($1.20) and West Virginia ($0.30). Such an increase would impact the many small business owners operating vape shops around the state and convenience stores relying heavily on vapers as well as tobacco sales.

7 min read