The March issue of Budget & Tax News leads with a report on the $7 billion tax hike passed by Illinois Democrats in the dead of night on the last day of the state’s lame-duck legislative session. Lawmakers approved a 67 percent personal income tax increase and a 46 percent corporate tax increase.
Also in this issue:
- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has persuaded lawmakers to pass several bold reforms to slow government spending and ease the state’s tax burden.
- Oregon voters last year approved measures raising the income tax on the wealthiest 2 percent of the state’s residents, but the new tax has brought in much less revenue than expected. The state received only $130 million of the expected $180 million in the first year and may have lost some high-income residents.
- A private bus service owner in Hickory, North Carolina claims another bus operation has illegally landed government subsidies that could put his transit company out of business.
- You know something is up when a Washington Post editorial advises the Obama administration to do a “reality check” on its plan for high-speed rail. From the beginning the plan included more slow-speed than high-speed rail, and both components of the plan could be in trouble.
- High tax rates on cigarettes are driving up the rates of illegal cigarette smuggling. Arizona has the worst smuggling problems. More than half of all smokes there are smuggled, the result of cigarette tax hikes and easy access to less-expensive tobacco across the Mexican border.
- Facing skyrocketing budget deficits, governors are readying themselves for a fight with public-sector unions as they look for ways to rein in spending. Nothing is being left off the table, including ending collective bargaining, banning the right to strike, and requiring state employees to shoulder a portion (or a larger portion) of their pensions and health care costs.
Newspaper Articles in this Issue
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