Tax Analysts Blog

Tuesday, October 12, 2010
The states continue to face large deficits. Many experts blame either the Great Recession or structural deficiencies in our tax system for the bleak fiscal picture. High unemployment, a crashing real estate market, and the inane way we tax have certainly contributed to the crisis. But we have seen...
Thursday, September 30, 2010
With the recession lingering and poverty on the rise, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) released a study this week explaining how states can help out their poorest citizens. ITEP says that states should offer refundable earned income tax credits (currently only 24 states have EIT...
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
The Washington Post ran a terrific article on Sunday highlighting a big difference among the candidates for governor in Maryland. The Republican challenger (and former governor) Bob Ehrlich promises to roll back the state's sales tax rate to where it was when he left office. The incumbent, Democrat...
Thursday, September 23, 2010
The state has offered Harley-Davidson Inc. $25 million in tax credits for keeping its factories in Wisconsin, a deal aimed at protecting about 1,000 blue-collar jobs in the state. But Wisconsinites should ask themselves if the incentives were necessary.The company just reached a seven year labor co...
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Conservatives in general and the Tea Party folks in particular are not known for their support of tax reform. You see, tax reform usually means broadening the tax base, i.e., taxing more stuff, and lowering rates. But broadening the base is often seen as a tax increase and off the conservative rada...
Thursday, September 16, 2010
As many practitioners and policy makers know, I am no fan of the state corporate income tax. I simply do not think that the tax is an effective or efficient way to raise revenue. But more troubling are the politicians who claim that repealing or lowering the state corporate income tax will magicall...
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
The Kansas State Department of Education is running out of money. So understandably, it is making cuts in aid to local school districts. The department announced last week that it will no longer fund high school journalism programs. The department says it doesn't have the money and that journalism...
Thursday, September 9, 2010
As most people are aware, President Obama has proposed significant tax incentives to help the business community. The president's goal is to spur investment and hiring. I suspect most Democrats are going to get behind the president's proposal. But what about Republicans? Michigan is a state which d...
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Some of us believe that the sales tax should be imposed on all final personal consumption, lest all kinds of ridiculous distinctions appear. In New York, bagels purchased for "takeout" are not subject to sales tax. They are designated as food for home consumption and exempt. If you eat your bagel i...
Thursday, September 2, 2010
On the lighter side of the news, Australian tax authorities are preventing actor Paul Hogan from leaving the country. Hogan of course is the star of those lovable Crocodile Dundee movies. So Hogan lives in Los Angeles with all the other beautiful people, but goes back home to attend the funeral of...
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
New Hampshire is considering allowing corporations to "sponsor" its state parks. Basically, a corporation would buy the naming rights to a park in a similar fashion to sports stadiums. For example, the Washington Redskins play at FedEx Field. The Pittsburgh Pirates play at PNC Park. The Seattle Mar...
Thursday, August 26, 2010
The Tax Foundation recently released a report on average combined state and local tax rates. Tennessee has the highest combined state and local rate at 9.44 percent. The single highest combined rate can be found in Birmingham, Alabama where the municipal, county, and state rates total 10 percent. A...
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
There is an old saw that unlike the federal government, states must balance their budgets. It is true that all states -- except Vermont -- have balanced budget requirements. But those rules are for annual operating budgets and usually exclude long term capital spending and pension and retirement ob...
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I have always been a big believer in localism, particularly with respect to education. I think local governments are more efficient, democratically responsive, and effective at providing services within a limited jurisdiction. But I also believe that many states need to rethink the wisdom of having...
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
South Carolina GOP gubernatorial nominee Nikki Haley has proposed eliminating the state's corporate income tax to stimulate the economy. I am no fan of the corporate income tax. It raises relatively little revenue. It consumes an inordinate amount of administrative and compliance resources. And, wi...
Thursday, August 12, 2010
The Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act was signed into law on Tuesday. The new law, designed to prevent teachers from being laid off and the poor from being denied healthcare, is terrible policy, but not for the reasons you may think. The law will funnel billions of dollars to states for K-...
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett is running for the Democratic nomination to be governor. Next year, Pennsylvania expects a $5 billion budget shortfall. Corbett has promised however that he would not raise taxes if elected. Such "no tax pledges" are common among GOP candidates, misguided b...
Thursday, August 5, 2010
President Obama promised during the election, and often afterwards, that he would not raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year. Conservatives, particularly the Americans for Tax Reform, have been blasting the president for failing to keep his promise. The president and his supporters...
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
After a little vacation, I am back with some hard hitting celebrity tax news which I admit I am borrowing from my friends at TaxProfBlog. Celebrity Number One is Chris Tucker, the cool actor who was in all the Rush Hour movies. He owes the IRS $11.6 million and the state of California another $3.6...
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Film and television notables have been lobbying the administration of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to retain the tax credit for production companies. Everyone thinks that New Jersey, which is bleeding deficits, will eliminate the film and television production credits, which Christie recommended...