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Research Roundup

 

With Tax Day coming, the Center for Budget Policy & Priorities (CBPP) has a report debunking the right-wing Tax Foundation's "Tax Freedom Day" propaganda about the tax burden on middle class families due to state and local taxes.  In fact, the Tax Foundation's reports are based on tax estimates that have been proven to be inaccurate and inconsistent over time. 

More relevant than some general measure of taxes paid as a percentage of state income -- which treats the differing situation of wealthy and poorer taxpayers alike -- is the very real tax burden on low-income families, where CBPP finds that in 19 of 42 states that levy income taxes, two-parent families of four with incomes below the poverty line still pay income tax.

The Illusion of Coverage: How Health Insurance Fails People When they Get Sick-- the title of a recent Access Project report details how, despite having insurance, families with serious medical problems are increasingly finding themselves in debt and even bankrupt.  The report emphasizes that as states look at "affordability" of health insurance, they can't look just as premium costs; they also have to look at total out-of-pocket liability for families.

A new Brookings Institution report on Pennsylvania highlights how the state is still coping with slow population growth, unbalanced development patterns and incomplete transition in creating "post-industrial" jobs-- and urges the state to deepen existing programs to strategically invest in key industrial clusters and workforce development. 

A new study by the Corporation for Enterprise Development & the North Carolina Budget & Tax Center indicates that North Carolina "dramatically overbid" with its $242 million subsidy for a Dell computer plant in 2004-- with the state losing an estimated $63 to $72 million over 20 years on the deal.  The study finds this pattern of overbidding holds true for most of the 31 other deals also examined by the study.

Delaware charter schools have a pattern that "may be accelerating the re-segregation of public schools" along race and income lines, according to a new study sponsored by the Delaware State Board of Education and Department of Education.