Home – Budgets in Brief - February 11 2019

Budgets in Brief - February 11 2019

UT HOUSE SPEAKER CALLS FOR RECORD TAX CUT

UTAH House Speaker Brad Wilson (R) kicked off the state’s 2019 session by calling for a tax cut of at least $225 million. According to the Utah Taxpayers Association, that would be the state’s largest tax cut, exceeding the roughly $220 million reduction engineered in 2007 by then-Gov. Jon Huntsman (R). (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE)

 

AZ GOV VETOES BILL CONFORMING STATE TAX CODE TO FEDERAL TAX CHANGES

ARIZONA Gov. Doug Ducey (R) vetoed a bill passed by the Republican-controlled state Legislature that would have conformed the state’s tax code to federal tax code changes enacted in 2017, while cutting state taxes 0.11 percent across the board. The governor said the bill “hastily changes Arizona’s tax laws without any reliable data to back it up,” although the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, which advises the state’s lawmakers on budget matters, estimated that conforming to the federal changes without reducing state rates would cost individual taxpayers $195 million more and businesses an additional $40 million. (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, LEXISNEXIS STATE NET)

 

VT GOV BACKS 92 PERCENT TAX ON E-CIGARETTES

VERMONT Gov. Phil Scott (D) announced his support for a 92 percent wholesale tax on e-cigarettes in an effort to curb growing youth use of the electronic nicotine-delivery devices. The state’s General Assembly has considered but failed to pass e-cigarette taxes in the last few years. (VTDIGGER)

 

AK SENATE PASSES TAX BREAK

The ARKANSAS Senate approved a measure backed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) that would cut the top state income tax rate from 6.9 percent to 5.9 percent, saving the state’s highest earners $97 million. The House was expected to take up the measure this week. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

 

STATES LOOKING TO STUDY CRYPTO, BLOCKCHAIN

Many of the bills dealing with cryptocurrencies and blockchain that have been introduced in 17 states so far this year call for legislative task forces or joint business-government study groups on those issues. “Legislators want to show they’re open for blockchain businesses to come in,” said Amy Davine Kim, chief policy officer for the Chamber of Digital Commerce. “They want to know what the industry wants. They want to be supportive.” (FORBES)

 

NONFICTION WRITERS SEEKING TAX BREAK IN RI

Nonfiction writers in RHODE ISLAND are seeking an expansion of the exemption from the state’s 7 percent sales tax for resident artists, composers and writers who sell their own “original and creative work.” That tax break currently applies only to writers of fiction and poetry. (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL)

-- Compiled by KOREY CLARK