Quick Hits in State News: Sears Fires Workers Despite Tax Breaks, and More

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  • Just last year Sears and other companies threatened to leave Illinois after the state’s corporate income tax rate increased. So two months ago, Illinois lawmakers awarded Sears a targeted tax credit to appease them. The company kept their headquarters in Chicago (not surprisingly), but announced last week they would be laying off 100 employees from their headquarters anyway.  
  • The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) responds to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin’s misguided tax plan with an op-ed in The Oklahoman.  The Governor has said that her income tax repeal proposal is “pro-jobs” and a “game-changer,” but ITEP makes clear that Oklahomans should not expect their economy to improve if they join the no-income tax club.
  • Virginia just struck a deal with Amazon requiring the company to begin collecting sales taxes by September 1, 2013, but traditional brick and mortar retailers in the state don’t want to wait another eighteen months for a more even playing field.  The North Jersey Record opens its editorial of a potentially similar deal in the Garden State with the right question: “How much help from the state of New Jersey does a business with a 2011 profit of $631 million really need?”
  • Some legislators in Minnesota are proposing a hike in regressive cigarette taxes. Governor Mark Dayton’s various proposals to increase taxes on the best off Minnesotans are the better plan. 
  • An editorial in the Kansas City Star wisely points out that the “soak-the-poor approach to tax reform of Topeka today is counter-productive to getting people back to work.” The piece calls on lawmakers to “stop [their] mean spirited attack on the poor” and keep the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit
  • In an interview with CNN last week about his income tax cut plan, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie lashed out at Warren Buffett for his call for higher taxes on the rich saying the billioniare "should just write a check and shut up.”  To which Buffett replied, "It's sort of a touching response to a $1.2 trillion deficit, isn't it? That somehow the American people will all send in checks and take care of it?"

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