State Net Capitol Journal – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Proposes $2 Billion In Tax Relief

Budget & Taxes NY GOV CUOMO PROPOSES $2B IN TAX RELIEF: Last week, ahead of his State of the State address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced a $2 billion tax relief proposal that sent the clear message New York's status as a high-tax state will no longer be tolerated. The proposal's assortment...

State Net Capitol Journal – January 20, 2014; Positive State Fiscal Health Trend Continuing

Budget & Taxes POSITIVE STATE FISCAL HEALTH TREND CONTINUING: The improving fiscal conditions that characterized most states in fiscal 2013 are continuing in fiscal 2014, according to the National Association of Budget Officer's latest fiscal survey of the states. According to NASBO's...

State Net Capitol Journal – February 10, 2014; California Needs Bigger Entertainment Tax Credits?

Budget & Taxes CA NEEDS BIGGER ENTERTAINMENT TAX CREDITS? Hollywood has long been the capital of the film industry. But California Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D) said the state needs to boost its film and TV tax incentives to keep productions from being lured away to other locations. "For...

State Net Capitol Journal – March 3, 2014; Public Employers Skirting ACA Part-Time Worker Mandate

Budget & Taxes PUBLIC EMPLOYERS SKIRTING ACA PART-TIME WORKER MANDATE: It's unlikely the authors of the Affordable Care Act ever imagined the law would lead public-sector employers to restrict the number of hours part-time employees can work to avoid having to pay for their health insurance...

State Net Capitol Journal – March 10, 2014; 2013 (Sort Of) 'Year Of Tax Reform'

Budget & Taxes 2013 (SORT OF) 'YEAR OF TAX REFORM': Early last year many predicted 2013 would be "the year of tax reform" in the states, due to the unusually high number of tax measures that had been proposed, a number of which included major reforms. But according to the results...

State Net Capitol Journal – March 17, 2014; Colorado Recreational Pot Sales Trail Estimates

Budget & Taxes CO RECREATIONAL POT SALES TRAIL ESTIMATES: In January, Colorado's first month of legalized recreational marijuana sales, the state took in slightly over $2 million in associated taxes, according to a press release last week from the state's Department of Revenue. That total...

State Net Capitol Journal – March 24, 2014; Ohioans Debate Impact Of Tobacco Tax Hike On State's Smokers

Budget & Taxes OHIOANS DEBATE IMPACT OF TOBACCO TAX HIKE ON STATE'S SMOKERS: Some Ohioans believe Gov. John Kasich's (R) proposal this month to raise the tax on every pack of cigarettes sold in Ohio by 60 cents to help pay for an income tax cut would have the added benefit of getting residents...

State Net Capitol Journal – April 7, 2014; Cigarette Taxes Spurring Costly Crime

Budget & Taxes CIGARETTE TAXES SPURRING COSTLY CRIME: Forty-seven states, the District of Columbia and New York City have increased their tobacco taxes a total of 113 times since 2000, according to the Federation of Tax Administrators. All that activity has created wide disparities in the price...

State Net Capitol Journal – April 14, 2014; Maryland Comes Up Short on ‘House of Cards’ Tax Breaks

Budget & Taxes MD COMES UP SHORT ON 'HOUSE OF CARDS' TAX BREAKS: The charm of Kevin Spacey, the star of Netflix's hit original series "House of Cards," evidently wasn't enough to sway Maryland's General Assembly to meet the tax-credit ultimatum issued by the show's...

State Net Capitol Journal – April 21, 2014; California Governor Calls Special “Rainy Day” Legislative Session

Budget & Taxes CA GOV CALLS 'RAINY DAY' SPECIAL SESSION: California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has called a special legislative session for April 24 to give lawmakers an opportunity to consider his plan for creating a new cash reserve fund. The state has had a rainy day fund since 2004, but...

State Net Capitol Journal – May 5, 2014; NY and NJ Could Be Denied $1B-$2B In Sandy Relief

Budget & Taxes NY AND NJ COULD BE DENIED $1B-$2B IN SANDY RELIEF: In 2013, after a contentious debate, Congress approved about $60 billion in aid for the victims of Superstorm Sandy. Roughly $15 million of that went to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for distribution, and...

State Net Capitol Journal – May 12, 2014; Amazon Sales Suffer From Sales Taxes

Budget & Taxes AMAZON SALES SUFFER FROM STATE TAXES: Last year Amazon.com began collecting sales taxes on purchases by Tennessee residents because the Internet retailer operates distribution facilities in the state, including warehouses in Chattanooga and Charleston. The "Amazon tax"...

State Net Capitol Journal – May 19, 2014; States Souring On Property Taxes

Budget & Taxes STATES SOURING ON PROPERTY TAXES: Not for the first time, Pennsylvania Sen. David Argall (R) is backing a bill that would replace property taxes levied by school districts with higher state income and sales taxes. But this year, more than half of the state's senators are co...

State Net Capitol Journal – June 2, 2014; Pennsylvania Gambling Played Out?

Budget & Taxes PA GAMBLING PLAYED OUT? Born only eight years ago, Pennsylvania's gambling industry may already have reached maturity. The state legalized gambling in 2004. Its first two casinos opened in 2006. Four more opened the following year. Another two opened two years after that. And...

State Net Capitol Journal – June 9, 2014; Florida Hurricane Bonds On Rise

Budget & Taxes FL HURRICANE BONDS ON RISE: Six years ago, Florida's government-run property insurer, Citizens Property Insurance Corp., paid Warren Buffett's Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc. $224 million in exchange for a guarantee that the company would buy bonds issued by...

State Net Capitol Journal – June 16, 2014; Battle Royal Over Hollywood Tax Breaks In States

Budget & Taxes SNCJ SPOTLIGHT: The bulk of the filming for the 2011 Hollywood blockbuster "Battle: Los Angeles" wasn't actually done in Los Angeles. It took place in Baton Rouge and Shreveport, Louisiana. And only six days of shooting for the upcoming "San Andreas," about...

State Net Capitol Journal – June 23, 2014; Federal Highway Trust Fund Running On Fumes

Budget & Taxes FEDERAL HIGHWAY TRUST FUND RUNNING ON FUMES: For quite some time, state and local transportation officials have been anxiously watching the federal highway trust fund shrink and waiting for Congress to do something about it. "We've seen it coming like a slow-motion train...

State Net Capitol Journal – July 7, 2014; Early Internet Gambling Revenues Disappointing

Budget & Taxes EARLY INTERNET GAMBLING REVENUES DISAPPOINTING: Last year Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey became the first states in the nation to legalize Internet gambling. But so far, their online gambling revenues have been falling far short of projections. New Jersey officials initially...

State Net Capitol Journal – July 14, 2014; Federal Highway Funding Bottleneck Forces States To Hit Brakes On Road Projects

Budget & Taxes FEDERAL HIGHWAY FUNDING BOTTLENECK FORCES STATES TO HIT BRAKES ON ROAD PROJECTS: With the specter of an empty federal Highway Trust Fund looming, states — which count on that fund for 15 to nearly 60 percent of their transportation budgets (see Bird's eye view) —...

State Net Capitol Journal – July 21, 2014; Philadelphia Cigarette Tax In Limbo

Budget & Taxes PHILADELPHIA CIGARETTE TAX IN LIMBO: The cash-strapped school district and city of Philadelphia have been pushing for a bill imposing a $2 surcharge on every pack of cigarettes sold in the city to provide enough funding to avert 1,300 layoffs and the ballooning of class sizes to...

State Net Capitol Journal – August 4, 2014; States Backing IRA-Style Plans For Workers Without Retirement Accounts

Budget & Taxes STATES BACKING IRA-STYLE PLANS FOR WORKERS WITHOUT RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS: Inspired by his Aunt Francisca — who spent much of her 74-plus years cleaning houses for people whose retirements were well-provided for but who had only Social Security to count on herself — California...

State Net Capitol Journal – August 11, 2014; Pennsylvania House Cancels Vote On Cigarette Tax

Budget & Taxes PA HOUSE CANCELS VOTE ON CIGARETTE TAX: The prospects for a cigarette tax bill providing emergency funding for Philadelphia schools were thrown into limbo last month when Republicans who control the state's Senate made some last minute changes to the measure (see PHILADELPHIA...

State Net Capitol Journal – August 18, 2014; Federal High-Speed Rail Investment Generating Lackluster Returns

Budget & Taxes FEDERAL HIGH-SPEED RAIL INVESTMENT GENERATING LACKLUSTER RETURNS: In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama spoke of a future in which sleek bullet trains whisk passengers all about the country at speeds of over 200 m.p.h. "Within 25 years, our goal...

State Net Capitol Journal – September 1, 2014; States Easing Way For Crowdfunding

Budget & Taxes Budget & Taxes STATES EASING WAY FOR CROWDFUNDING: Over the past three years, a dozen states have enacted laws or regulations allowing startups to raise investment capital through crowdfunding without having to go through all the regulatory hoops companies with shareholders...

State Net Capitol Journal – September 8, 2014; Performance-Based Budgeting Catching On Again In States

Budget & Taxes PERFORMANCE-BASED BUDGETING CATCHING ON AGAIN IN STATES: "Performance-based budgeting," which started to catch on among state governments in the 1990s but fell out of favor during the Great Recession, is reportedly making a comeback. And not everyone is happy about that...