Tax and Budget Reform

Austerity vs. Progress: The State Tax and Budget Battle in 2011

As states confront collective shortfalls amounting to almost $140 billion in the coming year, progressive leaders face an enormous challenge in building support for necessary investments, even as the general public has grown skeptical of the ability of government to deliver on its promises. To counter this dynamic, progressives are championing several innovative and sound policies to protect taxpayers, promote economic security, support the interests of the middle class, and ensure sound investments in public structures and local communities.

IA: Branstad wants to scrap credits for film projects

The Quad-City Times:

Gov.-elect Terry Branstad said Tuesday he plans to scrap the incentive program that used state tax credits to lure film projects to Iowa, but he has not given up on having a film office or seeking to have future movies made in Iowa.

OR: Oregon's income gap as large as ever, study finds

The Oregonian:

The incomes of Oregonians have lagged the national average for years, but the gap widened during the recent recession to its biggest point on record, a new report says.

NJ: N.J. Assembly, Senate budget committees schedule hearings on job creation bills

The Star Ledger:

The state Senate and Assembly budget committees will each meet five times over the next two weeks for hearings on a package of bills meant to spur job creation.


FL: Tallahassee's Taj Mahal

The Miami Herald:

A Senate committee plans to investigate why the state spent $48 million in taxpayer money for a palatial new appellate courthouse dubbed the Tallahassee Taj Mahal for its over-the-top luxury.

TX: Texas Lawmakers Could Eliminate Incentive Funds

The Texas Tribune:

Gov. Rick Perry’s office has asked a member of the Emerging Technology Fund’s advisory committee to consider resigning over a recent investigation into a stock deal — the latest dustup involving state incentive funds, which state lawmakers may target in the next legislative session.

Christie Administration Pursuing Fiscal and Economic Irresponsibility at All Costs

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has pursued countless cuts to essential programs, waged an ideological war on state employees and teachers, pushed tax cuts for the rich over the middle class, and advocated for costly and fiscally unsustainable privatization schemes. Even in light of overwhelming public opposition to privatization and the significant pitfalls associated with these types of schemes, the Governor established a privatization task force by executive order earlier this year.