The challenge for progressives from this “states rights” movement is not that any of these laws are likely to survive in court, but that conservatives too often get away with claiming to stand for constitutional values without significant challenge from progressives. The reality is that the right wing has no credibility in promoting their states’ rights arguments and should be challenged more directly. As this Dispatch will outline, their arguments fail on multiple grounds.
PSN has noted in previous Dispatches, these credits are costly, favor out-of-state workers, offer minimal to no returns, do not create permanent jobs, and place an excessive burden on taxpayers in a time of economic uncertainty. The Massachusetts Department of Revenue recently determined that in twelve states that administer a film tax credit, the return is extremely meager-- finding that states were only getting back "$.0.07 to $.0.28 per dollar of tax credit granted."
Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform has a policy center called the Center for Fiscal Accountability, where they promote many of their anti-government policies, from deadlocking legislatures with supermajority requirements to mandated spending limits to strangle social services.
If most state legislatures are considering reasonable revenue increases this year, a few, like Missouri's House, have been captured by rightwing anti-tax fundamentalists. One of the pet ideas of the far right in recent years has been eliminating the income tax for both individuals and corporations and replacing it with a sales tax applied to every transaction. The rightwing call it the "fair tax" and the Missouri House became the first legislative chamber in the country to vote for a constitutional amendment, HJR 36, that would put the issue to voters in 2010.