A Flat Tax in Wisconsin Can Deliver Tax Relief for Everyone

As Wisconsin’s gubernatorial election draws near, the spotlight is on a potential flat individual income tax—and its effects on the state’s taxpayers and economy. Unfortunately, there has been much confusion, with bold claims being made based on plans that don’t exist, including claims that a flat tax “would increase taxes on the middle class and working poor.” It’s worth taking a step […]

Cannabis Taxes Back on the Ballot in 2022

While changes to federal cannabis law are slow, changes at the state level are accelerating. Recreational cannabis is on the ballot in five states this November—Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota—giving voters the ability to join 19 states that have already legalized recreational marijuana. Arkansas In Arkansas, Issue 4 would legalize the possession and use of up to […]

State Tax Ballot Measures to Watch on Election Day 2022

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Coloradans Could Lower Their Income Taxes This Fall

When Coloradans go to the polls this November, they will be given the opportunity to permanently lower their income taxes—or to increase those tax burdens. Colorado Proposition 121 would reduce the state’s flat statutory income tax rate from 4.55 percent to 4.4 percent, effective retroactively for tax year 2022. Colorado Proposition FF, on the other hand, would create a tax cliff […]

California Can’t Give Up Tax Increases

California is awash in plans to raise taxes. An under-the-radar piece of legislation will functionally increase the top marginal income tax rate by 1.1 percent in 2024 (with administrative authority to bring it to 1.5 percent), while a pending ballot measure would add a new 1.75 percent surcharge on the income of the highest earners, and Governor Gavin Newsom (D) […]

How Do Taxes Affect Interstate Migration?

Every year, millions of Americans pack up and move from one state to another, providing unique insights into what people value when deciding where to live, work, and raise a family. For many years, policymakers, journalists, and taxpayers have debated the role state tax policy plays in individuals’ and businesses’ location decisions. Annual data about who is moving—and where—provide clues […]

Tyreek Hill’s Tax Liability with Every NFL Franchise

When NFL star wide receiver Tyreek Hill weighed offers from the New York Jets (who play in New Jersey) and the Miami Dolphins, no doubt there was a lot on his mind. But one consideration towered over the rest, at least according to Hill himself: signing with the Jets “was very close to happening,” but “those state taxes man. I […]

Economic Implications of an Alaska Income Tax or Its Alternatives

Key Findings Alaska’s heavy reliance on oil and gas taxes and investment income creates extreme revenue volatility and complicates revenue forecasts. Alternative revenue streams cannot easily displace existing sources. For example, to raise as much of its revenue from an income tax as the average state does, Alaska would need to have income tax burdens three times as high as […]

Doing Tax Policy at the Ballot Is Not for the Faint of Heart

Picture this: you arrive at your polling place this November and start filling in your ballot. Member of Congress? Check. State legislators? You did your homework! Mayor? Good to go. Whether certain property tax exemptions provided for agricultural equipment and certain farm products should be expanded to include a merger of two or more family-owned farms and further be extended […]

Massachusetts’ Graduated Income Tax Amendment Threatens the Commonwealth’s Economic Transformation

Key Findings Massachusetts’ tax advantage in New England is primarily driven by its competitive individual income tax rate and its sales and use tax structure. The graduated income tax amendment would be paid by many small businesses, in addition to wealthy individuals. The proposed surtax is likely to have negative economic effects that will impact low- and middle-income earners. If […]

States Inaugurate a Flat Tax Revolution

In more than a century of state income taxes, only four states have ever transitioned from a graduated-rate income tax to a flat tax. Another four may adopt legislation doing so this year. In what is already a year of significant bipartisan focus on tax relief, 2022 is also launching something of a flat tax revolution. In 1987, the 75th […]

Idaho to Consider Flat Income Tax in Special Session

Idaho Governor Brad Little (R) has called a special session for September 1, 2022, to consider another round of tax reform and relief legislation that would return surplus revenue to taxpayers while making the state’s tax code more economically competitive. House Bill 1 would move Idaho to a flat income tax structure, reduce the rate from 6 to 5.8 percent, exclude […]

Missouri Should Consider Flat Income Tax in Special Session

Gov. Mike Parson (R) has called the Missouri legislature into a special session beginning September 6th, with the goal of reducing the individual income tax from 5.4 percent to 4.8 percent and raising the standard deduction. An income tax reduction is a competitive move, especially in a rapidly changing tax landscape, but the legislature should aim for another competitive change […]

Comparing Beer Taxes by State, 2022

As cookout attendees around the country crack open a cold one on Labor Day weekend, take a minute to discover how much of your cash is actually going toward the cost of a brew. The United States collects an excise tax on beer at the federal level (ranging from $0.11 to $0.58 per gallon based on production, location, and quantity), but all 50 […]

Thirteen States May Tax Student Loan Debt Cancelation

President Biden’s announcement of student loan debt forgiveness is already raising many questions. How much will it cost? Who will benefit the most? How will it contribute to inflation? Does the president even have the legal authority to implement this loan forgiveness? Here’s one more question to add to the mix: will states consider student loan debt forgiveness a taxable […]

Arkansas’s Rate Reduction Acceleration

With passage of SB1 in the General Assembly’s third special session, Arkansas last week became the 13th state to authorize an individual income tax rate reduction this year. This round of Arkansas income tax cuts effectively accelerated reforms policymakers enacted eight months ago. The December 2021 changes set the state on course to lower its top individual and corporate income […]

2022 Sales Tax Holidays: Bad Policy Any Year, But Especially in Response to High Inflation

Key Findings Seventeen states will hold a sales tax holiday in 2022, down from a peak of 19 in 2010 and unchanged from last year. Sales tax holidays do not promote economic growth or significantly increase consumer purchases; the evidence (including a 2017 study by Federal Reserve researchers) shows that they simply shift the timing of purchases. Sales tax holidays […]