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    Entries in inequality (3)


    The Week in Public Finance: Most States' Tax Systems Worsen Income Inequality

    A new report ranks the most and least fair tax systems.
    BY  OCTOBER 19, 2018


    Some people pay more than their fair share of taxes -- and it’s not the rich.

    According to a new report by the progressive-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), the lowest-income households pay 50 percent more, on average, of their income in state and local taxes than the wealthiest. That leads to worsening inequality in four out of every five states.

    “While state and local taxes can’t eliminate income inequality, well-designed systems can help lessen the problem,” says Meg Wiehe, ITEP’s deputy director. “Meanwhile, it’s clear that steeply regressive systems only make it worse.”

    A regressive tax takes a proportionally larger share of income from lower- and middle-income residents than from wealthier taxpayers. When factoring incomes in, ITEP found the national average effective state and local tax rate is 11.4 percent for the poorest 20 percent, 9.9 percent for the middle 20 percent and 7.4 percent for the richest 1 percent.

    The state where tax inequality is the

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    The Week in Public Finance: A Demand for Diversity in the Board Room, Bad Credit News and More

    A roundup of money (and other) news governments can use.
    BY  JUNE 3, 2016

    A Demand for Diversity in the Board Room

    State and local finance officers across the country got together this week to pressure corporations about the lack of diversity on their governing boards. The group, made up of 14 pension fund fiduciaries -- six of whom are women or minorities -- said boards “should cast wide nets in their search for the best talent and include nominees who are diverse in terms of race, gender and LGBT status.”

    Board diversification in recent years has been slow -- or even nonexistent. In fact, the percentage of all-white boards has actually increased over the past decade from 10 to 14 percent. Overall, white directors hold 85 percent of the board seats at the 200 largest S&P 500 companies, and men occupy 80 percent.

    “Maintaining leadership that is primarily white and male means these companies are potentially missing out on the many benefits diversity can bring to the board room," said San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister.

    The Takeaway: This isn't the first time public finance officials have used their power to advocate for change.

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    Term Limits Don't Lead to More Women in Politics

    Term limits were billed as a way to get more women to run for office. It hasn't worked out that way.
    BY  APRIL 22, 2016

    In Oklahoma, half of its women legislators aren’t running for re-election this year because they're term-limited out. That rate may seem high, but in a state that ranks 49th for the percentage of women currently serving in the state legislature, it doesn’t take a lot to get there.

    “Our numbers to begin with are very low,” said Cindy Simon Rosenthal, director of Oklahoma University’s Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center. “This is a major turnover of women in the legislature.”

    In total, eight women are leaving -- seven because their terms are up and one because she is running for another office and would vacate her seat if successful.

    When term limits were implemented in the early 1990s, the policy was billed, among other things, as a way to get more women elected to the legislature. The idea was that term limits would periodically force open races, where women candidates have historically fared better.

    But in the early 2000s, it became clear that term limits were not the panacea for increasing women’s representation in politics. Since they were passed in Oklahoma and a number of other states in the 1990s, the level of female representation in state legislatures has stayed at roughly 25 percent.

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