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    State Net Capitol Journal – August 13, 2012

    Budget & Taxes STATE BUDGETS STILL IMPROVING BUT NOT YET SECURE: Year-end balances are on the rise. Revenues are returning to pre-recession levels. Spending is in line with budget projections. That's what state legislative fiscal directors...

    State Net Capitol Journal -- January 9th, 2012

    Budget & taxes STATES SEEKING BIGGER PENSION FUND RETURNS: Over the past few years, states have been cutting pension benefits for public workers in an effort to get a handle on unfunded pension liabilities estimated at between $1.26 trillion...

    State Net Capitol Journal -- December 20, 2011

    Budget & taxes NY RAISES TOP TAX RATE: This month New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) agreed to do what he had repeatedly said he would not: raise taxes on his state's highest earners. Under the agreement passed by the Legislature, those making over...

    State Net Capitol Journal – April 2, 2012

    Budget & Taxes PENSION SANCTITY MAY BE TESTED IN CA BANKRUPTCY: Financially troubled Stockton, California is currently in mediation with its creditors to determine whether it will file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. The bankruptcy process is typically...

    State Net Capitol Journal – October 1, 2012

    Budget & Taxes NATION NEARING SEQUESTRATION CLIFF: The automatic federal budget cuts that were part of the 11th-hour debt-ceiling deal Congress reached in August of last year - cuts no one really wants - are set to take effect in a few months...

    State Net Capitol Journal – September 10, 2012

    Budget & Taxes CA STRUGGLES TO BALANCE ENVIRONMENTAL, ECONOMIC CONCERNS: The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), passed in 1970, has been credited with helping to preserve the state's lush wetlands and keep condos off the slopes of...

    State Net Capitol Journal – September 17, 2012

    Budget & Taxes TOLL ROAD REBELLION IN MD: Many Maryland motorists appear to have little respect for the state's toll roads. Thousands are repeatedly blowing through the state's E-ZPass lanes without an E-ZPass transponder. One car...

    Accountant Sentenced For Tax Crimes; Conduct Included FBAR Violations

    The United States Attorney's office has announced the sentencing of "Dennis Duban, a Los Angeles-based accountant and tax return preparer." The press release is here . He was sentenced to 24 months in prison pursuant to his plea for one...

    The Myth of State Balanced Budgets

    One of the great charades of American public finance is that "states must balance their budgets." ... Total state government debt is about $4.17 trillion ... Forty-nine states have statutory or constitutional balanced budget requirements...

    I'll Drink to That

    Several years ago, in a blatant money grab, the California Board of Equalization decided that flavored malt beverages should be taxed as hard liquor (at $3.30/gallon) rather than beer (at a much more civilized 20 cents/gallon). This week, in a 3-0 decision...

    State Net Capitol Journal -- February 20th, 2012

    Budget & Taxes SODA TAXES FIZZLE: Two years ago, when concern over obesity, especially among children, had states from California to New York debating excise taxes on soft drinks, it appeared as though they might become the new sin taxes of choice...

    State Net Capitol Journal – November 19, 2012

    Budget & Taxes OBAMA FIRES OPENING BUDGET SALVO: At a meeting with union leaders and other liberal activists last week, President Barack Obama announced that he intended to begin budget negotiations with congressional leaders by calling for $1...

    State Net Capitol Journal – May 7, 2012

    SNCJ Spotlight With Congress stalled, states work their own "Amazon tax" deals Like millions of Americans these days, Dena Davidson buys a lot of products online. From birthday gifts to home furnishings, she eschews crowded malls at...

    Down With Stadium Financing

    The Minnesota Vikings would like the people of Minnesota to pay for a new stadium. Specifically, the team wanted the legislature to okay a local option sales tax to finance the stadium. But the Minnesota legislature has said no (although most legislators...

    State Net Capitol Journal - May 21, 2012

    Budget & taxes CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS CALL OUT STRUGGLING US STATES: As economic turmoil returned this month to Greece and Spain, key Republicans in Congress issued a tough message for struggling U.S. states. "Recent experience on Wall Street...

    State Net Capitol Journal – March 19th, 2012

    Budget & Taxes WV COMMITS TO PAYING DOWN PENSION DEBT: West Virginia's unfunded pension liability - estimated at $10 billion last year - is one of the highest per capita in the nation. But the state became a standout on the issue in a very...

    Budget & Taxes--State Net October 10, 2011

    MS JOBS PROGRAM COULD BE NATIONAL MODEL: President Obama is still trying to sell his jobs plan to America, but there's a program in Mississippi that is already creating jobs. And some analysts say it could be a model for the nation. The Subsidized...

    State Net Capitol Journal – June 18, 2012

    Budget & Taxes STATES' MEDICAID COSTS RISING FASTER THAN SPENDING: The National Association of Budget Officers (NASBO) and National Governors Association's (NGA) most recent survey of state fiscal health is not particularly encouraging...

    State Net Capitol Journal – April 9, 2012

    Budget & Taxes RISKY PENSION INVESTMENTS NOT PAYING OFF: Hoping to boost their investment returns and shrink looming deficits, public pension systems across the nation have been turning to riskier investments, such as private equity and hedge funds...

    Florida Bills Model Sales Tax Nexus Proposals

    As the 2013 state legislative season opens and states continue the never ending quest for new tax revenues, a large number of legislative proposals have been made to continue the recent trend of increasing the scope and breadth of sales tax nexus. As...

    State Net Capitol Journal – June 4, 2012

    Budget & Taxes LANDLESS TRIBE SEEKING CASINO IN OK: Construction was halted on the Kialegee tribe's Red Clay Casino in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma last month after a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction in response to a lawsuit claiming...

    State Net Capitol Journal – July 16, 2012

    Budget & Taxes POLITICAL DIVIDE ON ECONOMIC RECOVERY: States finally emerging from the long economic downturn are now faced with the dilemma of deciding the best way to facilitate their recovery. Two states in particular are taking approaches...

    Still the Worst Idea Out There

    On June 12 North Dakota voters will decide whether to pass Constitutional Measure 2 . That measure will repeal all property taxes. It is the most ridiculous idea ever proposed in the field of state and local public finance. The property tax remains the...

    State Net Capitol Journal – June 3, 2013

    Budget & Taxes CA RELEASES HEALTH EXCHANGE RATES: Last month, California released details about the insurers that will offer plans through the state's newly created health exchange and the premiums that millions of residents can expect to...

    State Net Capitol Journal--November 21, 2011

    ENTERPRISE ZONES HAVE BECOME ENTERPRISE IN CO: In 1986, Colorado lawmakers created the Enterprise Zone Program to encourage economic development in struggling parts of the state by giving tax breaks to businesses that bring capital or jobs to "economically...