2014 June Budget & Tax News

Issue Date: 
June, 2014
Newspaper PDF: 

Two years ago, when Rhode Island passed bipartisan legislation to reform a state pension system that threatened to bankrupt the state, it was hailed as an example for other states to follow. Now, as the June issue of Budget & Tax News reports, Rhode Island is once again an example for other states: But this time around, it’s an example of what not to do.

Also in this issue:

  • A pair of bills in the U.S. House of Representatives would end tax credits responsible for creating and propping up the American solar energy industry.
  • After spending nearly $50 million on a telecommunications system less than 10 percent of the population uses, Burlington, Vermont is asking its taxpayers for $10.5 million more.
  • Democrat leaders in Illinois have for now given up their attempts to impose an income tax surcharge on high-income earners and create a “progressive” income tax to replace the current flat-rate tax.
  • An obscure tax break meant for start-up companies--the Research Activities Credit--has allowed major corporations to receive millions of dollars in tax refunds from the State of Iowa without paying a dime in state corporate income tax.
  • For the seventh consecutive year, Utah has been ranked as the state with the best economic outlook by the authors of Rich States, Poor States, published by the American Legislative Exchange Council. New York was ranked 50th, worst in the nation for economic outlook.
  • President Barack Obama has openly encouraged envy of the top 1 percent of income earners. Some of us can have more, the argument goes, if we force others to have less. The evidence shows, however, that economic growth, not progressive taxation, reduces the share earned by the highest earners.

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