Tax and Budget Reform

CA: Don't expect budget resolution any time soon

The Sacramento Bee:

With the ballyhooed July 1 milepost having come and gone, expect slow going on the budget for a while.


IA: Iowa tax collections lowest in 4 years

The Quad-City Times:

Net state tax collections for the 12-month period that ended Wednesday were the lowest in four years and further evidence Iowa struggled through “a really bad recession,” according to a fiscal analyst with the Legislative Services Agency.

US: As states slash budgets, business tax breaks survive

Two months ago, as Missouri lawmakers were wrestling with a $500 million budget gap and their legislative session was winding down, Governor Jay Nixon implored them to pass comprehensive reforms to the state's tax credit programs for businesses and other organizations. 

AZ: Illegal Immigrants Departure Affecting Businesses

Luis Sanchez and Marlen Ramirez, undocumented immigrants from Mexico, packed up and moved to Pennsylvania this month, taking their three U.S. citizen children with them.

Many will cheer their departure, saying it's a sign that Arizona's new immigration law, which hasn't taken effect yet, is driving out illegal immigrants and potentially saving the state money. But not everyone is pleased over the exodus of Latinos, both legal and illegal, saying their flight from Arizona could hurt businesses, schools and neighborhoods.

New Jersey Voters Reject Privatization

On June 15, voters in Trenton, New Jersey, soundly rejected a proposal to sell a majority of Trenton Water Works' infrastructure, including pipes, water towers, and tanks, to a private company. For several years, Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer argued that water privatization would generate immediate revenue for the cash-strapped city and end its obligation to maintain aging infrastructure in surrounding townships. Community activists, unions, and the Stop the Sale campaign, successfully challenged the Mayor's plan. In the weeks leading up to the vote, polling indicated that 95 percent of city residents disapproved of the initiative.

NY: Cigarette Tax Increased to Keep State Running

The New York Times:

New Yorkers who like to smoke will have to dig a little deeper to light up next month, after the Legislature passed a bill on Monday that will give the state the highest cigarette taxes in the country. 

Raising state revenue: The year of the punt

To see the way many cash-strapped states ginned up revenue for the coming fiscal year, Colorado is a good place to look. 

CA: Budget appropriation offers clue to Capitol's true values

The Sacramento Bee:

Members of the two-house legislative committee working on the state budget — especially its dominant Democrats — have spent much of the week lamenting that they don't have enough money to satisfy all demands, including their own.


US: Obama pushes for more state aid

President Obama took up the cause of state and local governments Saturday (June 12), as he urged congressional leaders to boost funding for health care and schools.

NJ: NJ Transit seeks legal advice on privatizing parking lots

The Star Ledger:

NJ Transit is giving new meaning to the adage “spend money to make money.”