2013 January Budget & Tax News

Issue Date: 
January, 2013
Newspaper PDF: 

The January issue of Budget & Tax News reports Cigarettes, firearms, poker machines, and items purchased outside the county will cost Cook County, Illinois businesses and residents more under the county’s new 2013 budget.

Also in this issue:

  • The third time was not the charm for supporters of a higher cigarette tax in Missouri, as voters there rejected for the third time in 11 years a ballot measure to raise the state’s cigarette tax. Missouri has the nation’s lowest state cigarette tax.
  • The federal government hit a new annual high in Social Security and disability benefit payments a full month before the end of the fiscal year on September 30. By the end of August--and with a month to go in the fiscal year--the government had paid out just under $595 billion in benefits from the Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund. In all of fiscal 2011, by comparison, OASITF payments were about $591 billion. Payments for federal disability insurance benefits also set an annual record in just the first 11 months of fiscal 2012.
  • Michigan voters in the November 6 election rejected a statewide ballot initiative for a constitutional amendment to make it more difficult to raise state taxes.
  • The exemptions known as “tax expenditures” reduce individual and corporate tax obligations by more than $1 trillion each year. In FY 2011 they were nearly equal to all federal income tax collected in that year, or to the entire FY 2011 discretionary budget.
  • Developing a vibrant public charter school sector in a state does more than benefit students. It also benefits taxpayers, according to the findings in “Do Charter Schools Hurt Students in Traditional District-Run Schools?” published by the Georgia Institute of Technology. In Georgia, the public charter schools authorized by a previous state commission deliver significantly higher educational outcomes at 15 to 40 percent below the costs of regular public schools.

Newspaper Articles in this Issue