2013 April Budget & Tax News

Issue Date: 
April, 2013
Newspaper PDF: 

The April issue of Budget & Tax News reports baseball’s Wrigley Field, home to the Chicago Cubs, may get a $300 million makeover paid for by the owners themselves rather than taxpayers. Local economists say Wrigley is an economic asset, something few other sports venues can claim.

Also in this issue:

  • The Wisconsin legislature is edging closer to asking voters whether to amend the state constitution to ensure transportation-related revenue stays in the transportation fund.
  • Top Virginia Republicans are veering away from fellow Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell’s transportation-funding initiative, and a growing number of alternative plans threaten to block its passage. The governor’s call to abolish the 17.5-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax while increasing the state sales tax is a bridge too far for fiscal conservatives who label it a net tax increase.
  • Florida’s public school teachers, state and county workers, and some municipal employees must contribute 3 percent of their pay to the state’s pension plan, according to a 4–3 ruling of the Florida Supreme Court. The ruling was a victory for the Republican-controlled legislature and a defeat for government employee unions.
  • When Congress and President Barack Obama in January came up with their beyond-the-last-minute deal to put off addressing the fiscal crisis, The Wall Street Journal turned the spotlight on a little-noticed yet too-typical aspect of Washington’s machinations: “The bill’s seedier underside is the $40 billion or so in tax payoffs to every crony capitalist and special pleader with a lobbyist worth his million-dollar salary. Congress and the White House want everyone to ignore this corporate-welfare blowout,” the Journal reported. How sad. How Washington!
  • A Missouri lawmaker wants to levy a tax on violent video games, with the extra money going toward studying mental health problems. State Rep. Diane Franklin (R-Camdenton) has introduced a bill that would impose a 1 percent additional sales tax on video games rated by the Entertainment Software Rating Board as teen, mature, or adult-only.
  • The Illinois state government canceled a $500 million debt sale, just days after Standard & Poor’s downgraded the state’s credit rating to the worst in the nation. S&P put most of the blame on the state’s pension problems. The rating agency’s action came despite Illinois raising taxes $7 billion a year in 2011. Nearly all the additional money has disappeared down the gaping maw of unfunded pension liabilities.

Newspaper Articles in this Issue