State Rundown 12/15: An Upheld "Amazon tax" Law and an Emphasis on Revenue


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This week we are bringing you news about the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on Colorado's "Amazon tax" law, another look at a VMT tax in Massachusetts, possible tax reform proposals in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, and emphasis on the need for tax revenue in Arizona, Ohio, and Wyoming.

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-- Meg Wiehe, ITEP State Policy Director, @megwiehe 

  • Colorado's "Amazon tax," which requires out-of-state retailers to collect sales taxes for internet purchases or complete more paperwork and remind purchasers that they owe taxes, stands after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to take up a case challenging the law. Don't be surprised if other states begin to follow suit.

  • Despite setbacks, a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax remains on the table in Massachusetts as a potential long-run funding source for the state.

  • New Hampshire's upcoming legislative session will likely see additional business tax cuts and an income tax proposal coupled with property tax elimination and business tax changes.

  • Some think that property tax reform will be readdressed in Pennsylvania this session. A collection of activist groups are pushing to increase sales and income taxes while completely eliminating the state's property tax.

  • In Arizona, town hall participants agreed that the bias in favor of tax cuts has gone too far, so much so that it has hurt the state's economic future. They also concurred that the state could do a better job investing in Arizonans.

  • Editorial boards point to the value of tax revenue: Ohio Beacon Journal's editorial board connects the dots between the state's financial woes and history of excessive tax cuts. And Wyoming's Casper Star Tribune encourages lawmakers to revisit the recommendations for revenue raising and structural tax reform.

What We're Reading...

  • A recent report from NASBO shows that half of the states have experienced revenue shortfalls in the first months of this fiscal year, shaking up plans for upcoming legislative sessions and putting increased pressure on states that have been struggling with budget deficits for some time.

  • With illustrations from Kansas, Texas, and California, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich explains why the theory of low taxes, low regulations, and low wages doesn't work.
  • Oklahoma Policy Institute's David Blatt warns that the Legislature may be setting themselves up for another ill-timed income tax cut.

  • A new report by the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy examines the state's chronic poverty and provides recommendations to address it. 

If you like what you are seeing in the Rundown (or even if you don't) please send any feedback or tips for future posts to Meg Wiehe at meg@itep.org. Click here to sign up to receive the Rundown via email.

And, don’t forget your favorite tax wonks at ITEP in your year-end giving.  Consider supporting our work with a donation  this year.

 

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