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State Net Capitol Journal – July 20, 2015; Kansas Keeping Some Tax Credits Secret

Budget & Taxes KS Keeping Some Tax Credits Secret According to Kansas’ Department of Revenue, in 2013 the state granted $622 million in income and privilege tax credits, allowing taxpayers to deduct various qualifying expenses from their taxes. But the state actually spent more than that...

State Net Capitol Journal – August 3, 2015; Congress Settles On Highway Funding Extension

Budget & Taxes Congress Settles On Highway Funding Extension After battling over rival transportation funding bills for a week, with U.S. House Republicans favoring a five-month extension they passed last month and Senate Republicans preferring a longer-term plan, the House passed a three-month...

State Net Capitol Journal – August 10, 2015; States Embrace Earned Income Tax Credit

Budget & Taxes States Embrace Earned Income Tax Credit As states continue to recover from the Great Recession, several are embracing a tax credit to help bring working families along. This year five states, including California and Massachusetts, where a Democrat and a Republican hold the top...

State Net Capitol Journal – August 17, 2015; States Back Tax Breaks for Military Vets

Budget & Taxes States Back Tax Breaks for Military Vets Despite facing a budget shortfall this year, Maryland doubled its income tax exemption for military retirement pay to $10,000. And a budget hole forced Connecticut to raise taxes on its most prosperous corporations, but it still managed...

State Net Capitol Journal – August 24, 2015; Breakthrough on North Carolina Budget

Budget & Taxes Breakthrough on NC Budget North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) and legislative leaders have finally agreed to spend $21.74 billion this fiscal year. The state has been operating without a budget - running on continuing resolutions instead - since the new fiscal year began on July...

State Net Capitol Journal – September 7, 2015; Feds Say New Jersey Must Repay $32M in Medicaid Claims

Budget & Taxes Feds Say NJ Must Repay $32M in Medicaid Claims The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said last month that New Jersey owes the federal government $32.2 million for improper Medicaid reimbursement claims filed for home care services by officials in the state. An audit...

State Net Capitol Journal – Chicago Mayor to Propose Major Property Tax Hike

Budget & Taxes Chicago Mayor to Propose Major Property Tax Hike To help cover the cost of a big pension payment for police and firefighters next year and help shrink his city’s annual budget hole, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will reportedly call for the city’s largest property tax...

State Net Capitol Journal – September 21, 2015; Legislators Press for Federal Firefighting Funding Change

Budget & Taxes Legislators Press for Federal Firefighting Funding Change Last month the National Conference of State Legislatures unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the organization to lobby Congress to provide funding for catastrophic fires the same way it does for hurricanes or floods...

State Net Capitol Journal – Pennsylvania Budget Stalemate Continues

Budget & Taxes PA Budget Stalemate Continues Pennsylvania’s Republican-led House and Senate passed an $11-billion stopgap budget last month, seeking to end the state’s nearly three-month-long budget impasse. But as he did on June 30 to begin the budget stalemate, first-year, Democratic...

State Net Capitol Journal – October 12, 2015; Utah’s Gas Tax Hike Strategy

Budget & Taxes UT’s Gas Tax Hike Strategy Nearly every state in the nation is struggling to maintain its aging transportation system. But Utah is one of just seven states (the others are Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Washington) that passed a gas tax increase this year...

State Net Capitol Journal – October 19, 2015; Denver to Consider Local Tax for Higher Ed

Budget & Taxes Denver to Consider Local Tax for Higher Ed A measure bound for Denver, Colorado’s Nov. 3 ballot would raise the city’s sales tax to help local college students cover the rising cost of their tuition. Supporters of Measure 2A - who include Denver Mayor Michael Hancock...

State Net Capitol Journal – November 2, 2015; U.S. House of Representatives Passes Budget

Budget & Taxes US House Passes Budget The U.S. House has seen only disarray in recent weeks with the ouster of speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) at the hands of his party’s far-right Freedom Caucus. But last Wednesday the chamber passed a two-year budget that would increase discretionary...

State Net Capitol Journal – November 9, 2015; Alaska Governor Proposes Permanent Fund Restructuring

Budget & Taxes AK Gov Proposes Permanent Fund Restructuring With a sharp drop in oil prices and declining production having blown a $3-billion hole in his state’s budget, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker (I) has proposed a plan to convert the state’s Permanent Fund into a “sovereign...

State Net Capitol Journal – November 16, 2015; Movement on Pennsylvania Budget Impasse

Budget & Taxes Movement on PA Budget Impasse A deadlock between Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) and lawmakers has left the state budget-less four months into the current fiscal year. But the governor’s office and legislative leaders said last week they’d reached a tentative agreement...

State Net Capitol Journal – November 23, 2015; Trouble with Tax Cut ‘Triggers”

Budget & Taxes Trouble With Tax Cut ‘Triggers” In January, nearly every Oklahoma taxpayer earning more than $9,000 a year will receive a break on their state income taxes, thanks to a tax cut “trigger” the state instituted two years ago. Unfortunately, due largely to...

State Net Capitol Journal – December 14, 2015; Alaska Governor Proposes Challenging Deficit Reduction Plan

Budget & Taxes AK Gov Proposes Challenging Deficit Reduction Plan Last week Alaska Gov. Bill Walker (I) unveiled his long-awaited plan to address the state’s multi-billion budget deficit, resulting from plunging oil prices and reduced oil production in the state. The proposal includes...

State Net Capitol Journal – January 25, 2016; Utah Looking to Force Action on Internet Sales Taxes

Budget & Taxes UT Looking to Force Action on Internet Sales Taxes Utah Sen. Curt Bramble (R) said he and his colleagues will debate a bill this year requiring Utah-based businesses that sell on the Internet to collect sales taxes on those transactions and saying to businesses that do not, “We’re...

State Net Capitol Journal – February 1, 2016; Final Pennsylvania Budget Unlikely Until After April Primary

Budget & Taxes Final PA Budget Unlikely Until After April Primary Days before last Christmas - and six months after the start of the current fiscal year - Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled Legislature sent Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf a $30.26 billion state budget. Wolf signed $23.39 billion...

State Net Capitol Journal – February 8, 2016; Costly Legal Cases Pending in Texas

Budget & Taxes Costly Legal Cases Pending in TX A pair of legal cases could have a big impact on budget decisions in Texas next year, when lawmakers meet again in regular session. One of the cases, set to go before the Texas Supreme Court in March, revolves around the issue of whether metal...

State Net Capitol Journal – February 15, 2016; Snyder Proposes $195 Million for Flint

Budget & Taxes Snyder Proposes $195 Million for Flint Amidst a chorus of boos from protestors, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) unveiled his $54.9 billion FY 2017 budget proposal to lawmakers, a plan that includes $195 million to address the ongoing water contamination crisis in Flint. That funding...

State Net Capitol Journal – February 22, 2016; Oil Price Collapse Pressures State Budgets

Budget & Taxes Oil Price Collapse Pressures State Budgets The collapse of oil prices is taking a toll on energy-producing states. As job losses mount in the nation’s oil patch, depressed oil and commodity prices are having a ripple effect on state budgets. As many as a dozen states...

State Net Capitol Journal – March 7, 2016; Brownback Makes Big Cuts to Kansas University System

Budget & Taxes Brownback Makes Big Cuts to KS University System Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) announced plans for a 3 percent immediate cut to the state university system after tax collections came in well below projections last month. The $17 million reduction will be spread across the...

State Net Capitol Journal – March 14, 2016; New York Lawmakers Seek to Close ‘Carried Interest Loophole’

Budget & Taxes NY Lawmakers Seek to Close ‘Carried Interest Loophole’ A pair of Democratic New York state assemblymen - Sean Ryan and Jeffrion L. Aubry - introduced a bill this month (AB 9459) that would raise state income taxes on fund managers just enough to offset the federal...

State Net Capitol Journal – March 21, 2016; West Virginia Ends Session Without Budget

Budget & Taxes WV Ends Session Without Budget The last day of West Virginia’s 2016 regular session on March 12 didn’t resemble the frenzied pace of past final days due to the front loading of this year’s session with major bills to allow plenty of time for the GOP-controlled...

State Net Capitol Journal – April 4, 2016; Changing Economics of Recycling Could Soon Impact States

Budget & Taxes Changing Economics of Recycling Could Soon Impact States For years recycling programs have allowed cities, counties and states to improve the environment while saving money on landfill fees and even making money from the sale of recycled materials to processors. But that was...