State Rundown 3/1: Will Tax Cut Proposals Be "In Like a Lion, Out Like A Lamb"?


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Tax cuts have been proposed in many states already this year, but amid so much uncertainty, it remains to be seen how successful those efforts will be. This week saw one dangerous, largely regressive tax cut proposal move in Georgia, new budget proposals in Louisiana and New Jersey, a new plan to close West Virginia's budget gap, and cities in Alabama and Washington taking more matters into their own hands.

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

Budget Watch

  • New Jersey Gov. Christie presented his final budget to legislators this week. The budget holds funding flat despite growing needs for K-12 schools and higher education, and it makes minor reductions to property tax relief programs despite a record-high average property tax bill in 2016. Christie's proposal also relies on a narrow margin for error due to minimal reserves and assumed savings in public employee healthcare that have not yet been realized. He also suggested devoting state lottery proceeds to fill the pension funding gap.
  • Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edward released his FY17-FY18 executive budget last week. The budget is short $440 million of what is needed to maintain existing year services and requires cuts to safety net hospitals and continued underfunding of the state's higher education tuition program. 
  • North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper released his first budget (for FY17-19) this week.  While his proposal boosts public investments in education and other critical services, his policymaking was limited by the close to $2 billion in tax cuts enacted since 2013.  As the Director of the NC Budget and Tax Center notes, the spending level as a share of personal income proposed in the second year of his proposal is 17% below the state’s 45 year average.

Governors' State of the State Addresses

  • Most governors have now given their addresses for the year. The next scheduled address is Gov. Scott of Florida on March 7, followed by Gov. Kasich of Ohio on April 4, with Gov. Carney of Delaware and Gov. Cooper of North Carolina's speech dates still to be announced.

What We're Reading...  

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. 

Thank you for visiting Tax Justice Blog. CTJ and ITEP staff will soon retire this domain. But ITEP staff are still blogging! You can find the same level of insight and analysis and select Tax Justice Blog archives at our new blog, http://www.justtaxesblog.org/

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