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New reports on Tax Inequality and the Fiscal Crisis in the States, Tools for Green State Economies, and More!

New reports on Tax Inequality and the Fiscal Crisis in the States

  • Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States - Updating their critical analysis of inequality in state tax systems across the country, this report by the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy (ITEP) highlights that the wealthiest Americans are paying a smaller income than middle class residents in almost every state.  In fact, the average state tax rate on the poorest 20 percent of families is 10.9 percent, which is more than double the effective rate on the very wealthy.  With this analysis in mind, the clear import is that states can help close budget gaps by having their wealthiest citizens just pay their fair share of taxes.
  • Beyond California: States in Fiscal Peril - This Pew Center on the States report scores all fifty states on factors driving fiscal crises, from high foreclosure rates and joblessness to legal obstacles and tools to achieve balanced budgets, such as super-majority requirements. 
  • Amazon’s Arguments Against Collecting Sales Taxes Do Not Withstand Scrutiny - As states begin to collect sales taxes on online retailers like Amazon, this report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities documents that collecting such taxes are not excessively burdensome, are not unfair to out-of-state retailers, and leaving out-of-state retailers untaxed gives Amazon and other online retailers an unfair competitive advantage over in-state retailers paying the tax.

Workers Losing Federal Unemployment Benefits in January 2010 Due to Expiration of the ARRA - The National Employment Law Project (NELP) released new numbers documenting that one million workers (or over 30,000 a day) will lose their jobless benefits in January alone if the federal extension programs are not reauthorized by the end of December. 

Tools for Greening State Economies

  • Green Equity Toolkit: Advancing Race, Gender and Economic Equity in the Green Economy - This policy toolkit from the Applied Research Center provides strategies for labor and community organizations advocating for economic opportunity for women and people of color in the green economy, including examples of successful local campaigns.
  • Greening Ohio Industry - With assistance, Ohio manufacturers could substantially reduce their costs, save energy, and reduce carbon emissions by investing in industrial efficiency, according to a report released by Policy Matters Ohio.  Along with greater efficiency measures in production and upgrades in the energy grid, the report notes that if the state made a $10.5 billion capital investment in combined heat and power technology (CHP), it could produce $2.9 billion in energy savings annually and create over 40,000 jobs

Union and District Partnerships to Expand Learning Time: Three Schools' Experiences - This report by the Center for American Progress examines the challenges and successes of implementing expanded learning time in a traditional public school environment.  It highlights the role of teachers and teachers' unions in negotiating an expanded schedule and reviews relevant literature on teacher time and collective bargaining.

Parenting with a Plan: How TANF Can Support Positive Parenting Relationships and Foster Father Involvement  - States and localities vary on how well they are, or are not, providing tools to help low-income families effectively parent while living apart.  This Center for American Progress report examines how federal TANF funding for its Access and Visitation program could be improved to help states, make joint parenting work, including greater support for services, legal service providers and supporting community-based institutions to support families.