States policymakers across the country are looking to the future and anticipating another year of tough budget decisions about whether to cut services or increase taxes. Two recent pieces from research groups in Georgia and North Carolina make excellent points about the importance of considering tax increases and their impact on economic development.
Last week, the Macon Telegraph published an editorial by Alan Essig, Executive Director of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. Essig notes that there "is more to economic development policy than having the lowest tax rate. Economic development depends on, at the least, adequate public structures; without them, it is difficult to recruit and grow businesses in Georgia, no matter how low taxes are." Racing to the bottom in terms of tax rates is hardly the best economic development decision a state can make.
North Carolina legislators did take a balanced approach to filling their state's budget shortfall by passing both tax increases and budget cuts. Yet, this hasn't stopped anti-taxers from crying "job killing taxes." The North Carolina Budget and Policy Center recently released a report debunking the myth that state tax increases cause job losses. Read the Center's report, Wishful Thinking: Claims That State Tax Increases Cause Job Loss are Unfounded.