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Tax Disclosure

State Revenue Increases Across the Nation Continue to Ease Pain of Downturn

As this Dispatch will detail, these votes mirror actions taking place in both conservative and progressive states and localities around the country.  In 2009 and 2010, states have enacted a wide-ranging set of revenue increases to cope with cumulative 2010 and 2011 deficits of approximately $375 billion.  Although revenue forecasts are improving, states are still reeling from historic declines in the past year.

What is remarkable is that the anti-tax movement has wracked up such regular failures in the crisis, as even many state leaders previously signing "no taxes" pledges have reneged on them.   Instead, popular demand for new revenue to avert budget cuts has driven legislative movement on progressive tax and budget policy.

Adding to the general public support has been research consistently showing that progressive revenue increases during a downturn is a better alternative to cuts in order to promote growth and protect vulnerable populations suffering during the recession.

Finally, this Dispatch will outline some of the effective messaging and research to demonstrate to voters that progressive measures and tax increases are economically sound and go to the programs they want preserved -- the critical step in the success of revenue campaigns.

Budget Transparency Advances Across Country

Last week, the Massachusetts House unanimously passed the Revenues and Expenditures Transparency Act, H 2972, to create a searchable, online database that details state spending and revenue sources.  Lawmakers also approved an amendment to create greater taxpayer accountability by providing increased transparency around some business tax credits.  As House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Revenue Rep. Jay Kauffman explains, "[p]ublic access to the way we raise and spend money is essential, enabling us to make more-informed decisions for the tax-paying constituents who elect us to serve on their behalf."

Revenue Options in 2010: Making the Case and Debunking the Myths

Last Tuesday, Oregonians overwhelmingly approved two ballot initiatives that ratified legislative action last year to increase high-end personal income and corporate taxes.  The failure of the anti-tax movement in Oregon is one more in a long stream of right-wing initiatives rejected by voters at the ballot box.  In fact, progressive revenue generation as part of a balanced approach to addressing state deficits has been popular with both voters and legislatures for years.  This Dispatch will provide both the facts and messages to debunk opposition to smart revenue options, while outlining a few of the best revenue approaches to filling budget holes.