(This article originally appeared in the Stateside Dispatch , Progressive States Network's email roundup of the latest state policy news. Sign up to receive the Dispatch in your inbox here. )
States with “High Rate” Income Taxes are Still Outperforming No-Tax States  [Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy]
"In reality, states that levy personal income taxes, including the states with the highest top rates, have seen more economic growth per capita and less decline in their median income level over the last ten years than the nine states that do not tax income. Unemployment rates have been nearly identical across states with and without income taxes."
Stacked Deck: How the Dominance of Politics by the Affluent & Business Undermines Economic Mobility in America  [Demos]
"This paper offers an overview of the interplay between declining upward mobility and growing political inequality, which we show is a self-reinforcing phenomenon. It reports on a growing body of new research on this nexus and offers a set of policy recommendations to reduce both political and economic inequality. "
Payday Lending in America: How Borrowers Choose and Repay Payday Loans  [Pew Charitable Trusts]
"This report, the second in Pew’s Payday Lending in America series, answers several important questions: If payday loans are unaffordable, why do people choose them? How can they eventually pay them back at all? And what are the consequences of using a loan that is so difficult to repay?"
TANF Emerging from the Downturn a Weaker Safety Net: State-By-State Fact Sheets  [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities]
"Nationally, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), which provides basic assistance to families with little or no income, responded only modestly to the severe recession that began in December 2007, and the national TANF caseload began to decline in January 2011. State TANF caseloads varied widely in their responsiveness during the recession, growing substantially in some states but changing little in many others."
The Sequester’s Devastating Impact on Families of Unemployed Workers and the Struggling Unemployment Insurance System  [National Employment Law Project]
"Already struggling to get by on modest benefits, the long-term unemployed will feel the cuts directly with a reduction in federal unemployment insurance (UI) benefits and indirectly through reductions in reemployment and job training services offered by state workforce agencies. In addition, the state agencies that are already struggling to process unemployment claims face the prospects of further reductions in funding and critical services."
New Map Details Hundreds of Community Owned Internet Networks  [Institute for Local Self-Reliance]
"The Institute for Local Self-Reliance has released a new interactive map showcasing 342 community owned networks throughout the United States that serve local businesses and residents. These local governments have invested in networks for a variety of reasons, but economic development is often the most significant motivation. In many cases, local businesses approached the municipality about expanding access to the Internet. Unfortunately, nineteen states limit local government investments in this essential infrastructure. The map provides detailed information on the nature of those limitations."