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    Entries in taxes (15)

    Wednesday
    Jan252017

    Despite Budget Shortfalls, Some Governors Call for Tax Cuts

    In addition to new tax breaks, some states are also considering raising gas and sin taxes.

    BY  JANUARY 25, 2017


    Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts speaks during a news conference. (AP/Nati Harnik)

    About half of the states are facing budget shortfalls this fiscal year, but many governors are still pushing to cut taxes in their proposed 2018 budgets.

    The proposals vary in scope but generally fall within two categories: comprehensive and targeted.

    Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts' proposal is of the comprehensive variety and may be the most aggressive call for tax cuts so far. He is asking for property and personal income tax cuts to be phased in beginning in 2019 -- even as the state faces a $900 million budget gap. Property taxes would be reduced via a new valuation formula and income tax breaks would kick in incrementally and only in years when state revenue grows by more than 3.5 percent.

    On the whole, most of the comprehensive proposals are part of ongoing efforts.

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Nov092016

    Missouri Passes Nation's First-Ever Ban on Services Sales Taxes

    As states increasingly try to tax services like Netflix and yoga, Missouri voters have decided to keep that from ever happening. How that will impact consumers is unclear.
    BY  NOVEMBER 9, 2016

    As more governments look to expand their sales tax to services like Netflix and yoga, Missouri has become the first state to pass a ban on doing so.

    With nearly all precincts reporting, voters approved the ban Tuesday 58 percent to 42 percent, persuaded by the argument that the measure was designed to protect the state's middle class and lower income earners.

    The sales tax is generally seen by economists as regressive, meaning it places a bigger burden on low-income families because it takes a bigger chunk of change from their income.

    “The time was right to make a stand," said Scott Charton, a spokesperson for the ballot measure's backers. "This is a victory for Missouri’s hard-working taxpayers and their families."

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    Wednesday
    Nov092016

    Pleas for More Education Funding Fall Short on Election Day

    Voters in two states rejected measures that would have raised taxes -- either for consumers or corporations.
    BY  NOVEMBER 9, 2016

    Voters in two financially-struggling states have struck down proposed tax increases that would have given more much-needed funding to education.

    Public education was one of the biggest casualties of the Great Recession. Nearly a decade since it started, nearly half of states are still providing less general funding for schools than they were the year the economy tanked. But the rejections on election night reflect a feeling among taxpayers that governments are punting on a problem by passing on costs to them, rather than making their own difficult decisions.

    In Oregon, which is facing a $1.3 billion deficit, voters shot down a proposal to impose a tax hike on corporations with more than $25 million in annual sales in the state. Opponents, largely corporations, called it a sales tax in disguise because they warned businesses would pass on the costs to consumers.

    Pat McCormick, a spokesman for the campaign to defeat the tax, told the The Oregonian/OregonLive that Measure 97 "fell of its own weight when people understood what it would do."

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Nov082016

    New Jersey Voters Refuse to Build Casinos Outside Atlantic City

    With Atlantic City in financial crisis because of casino closures, the state's voters aren't willing to take any more gambles.
    BY  NOVEMBER 8, 2016

    Atlantic City will keep its monopoly on New Jersey's gambling industry. Voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure that would have added two new casino sites in the northern part of the state.

    The results are a rare win for the struggling seaside resort town, which has met repeated disappointment in recent years as casinos have closed and pushed the city into a fiscal crisis.

    In the weeks leading up to the vote, polling showed the measure headed for defeat. With about half of precincts reporting on Tuesday night, results showed the referendum failing 78 percent to 22 percent.

    Although the measure said about one-third of any new casino revenue would have gone to Atlantic City for 15 years for economic revitalization, opponents said they doubted the revenue-sharing proposal would generate enough money to make a difference. Opponents included casino worker unions and Atlantic City-area stakeholders.

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    Saturday
    Nov052016

    The Week in Public Finance: NYC's $3 Billion in Giveaways, Weak Revenues and Jacksonville's Pension Fix

    A roundup of money (and other) news governments can use.
    BY  NOVEMBER 4, 2016

    Why New York City Gave Up $3 Billion in 2016

    New York City is the first major government this year to release what it gives up in economic development-related tax incentives to corporations, following new financial reporting requirements. In its annual financial report, the city disclosed that it waived more than $3 billion in potential tax revenue in 2016 alone, mostly in uncollected property taxes.

    The tax abatements represent a little under 4 percent of the city’s nearly $80 billion in general fund revenue in fiscal 2016, which ended on June 30.

    The most expensive abatement was for the commercial conversion program, which cost nearly $1.3 billion in forgone revenue last year. The program encourages new housing in the city by offering a property tax discount on new construction or on commercial space that was converted into residential housing. Developments have to meet certain requirements, like reserving one-fifth of the units for affordable housing.

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