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More States Should Abolish Their Income Taxes

More States Should Abolish Their Income Taxes

State and local governments raised $1.9 trillion in taxes in 2020. The main sources were sales taxes (35 percent), property taxes (32 percent), and individual income taxes (23 percent). But nine states do not impose an individual income tax. How do they run their governments without it? The nine states without an individual income tax are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. The states are in every part of the country and have different industry mixes, histories, and political cultures. What they have in common is providing needed...

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Cut Corporate Taxes and Corporate Welfare

By Chris Edwards, Romina Boccia, and Tom Schatz President Donald Trump is prioritizing major tax reforms, including a large corporate tax rate cut. The cut has broad support and promises to spur growth, but it will face political opposition if it widens the already rising budget deficit. As such, President Trump would do well to pair his corporate tax cut with a cut in “corporate welfare” spending. Trump promised to “drain the swamp” of Washington special interests, and a great way to do that would be to cut government hand-outs to businesses. We can make American corporations great again by...

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State Governments as Victims

This was a news headline in the Wall Street Journal yesterday: “States’ Revenue Shortfalls Exacerbate Budget Crunch.” The article said that, “Faced with weak revenue, sluggish growth and possible federal funding cuts, many governors and state lawmakers face a tough budget season.” That made me laugh. “States as victims” is a common storyline in the mainstream media anytime that state budgets are not growing gangbusters. States need to balance their general fund budgets each year, and so it is true that state policymakers must be more responsible that the spend-and-borrow politicians in...

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Bonds Are Taxes

On Nov. 8, voters where I live in Fairfax, Va., will be asked to approve general obligation bonds to finance subway maintenance, park renovations, and other run-of-the-mill local spending. There will be hundreds of similar questions on ballots across the country to issue billions of dollars in new debt. Voters typically approve state and local bonds by large margins. Bond Buyer data show that bond approval rates in presidential election years have been more than 80 percent. Apparently, voters think that there are prudent and practical reasons for governments to issue general obligation...

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