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The Washington Post explains why so-called “budget surpluses” in Maryland and Virginia are nothing to get excited about: “In both cases, the surpluses are modest, amounting to no more than a percentage point or two of state spending. And in both cases, the states’ present and pending obligations have sponged up most of the so-called extra cash. In a budgetary environment that remains severely austere, no one should equate a surplus with a windfall.”

Missouri is not alone in planning to give corporate income tax credits a much closer look in 2013. The head of a special committee tasked with reviewing Oklahoma’s tax credits said that he will push for a two-year moratorium on over two dozen corporate tax credits.  He will also propose eliminating the “transferability” of tax credits, which allows companies that don’t owe any income tax to benefit from tax credits nonetheless, by selling them to other individuals or businesses.

State Senator and chairman of the senate’s Ways and Means Committee recently wrote in the DesMoines-Register that Governor Terry Branstad should “strengthen the best anti-poverty program this nation has ever had: the earned income tax credit. This state tax cut will put more money in the pockets of working Iowa families with incomes less than $45,000. That’s money that will be spent in communities across the state.”  

Progressive tax advocates will be happy to hear that Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has recommitted himself to advocating for legislation in the next legislative session that raises taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans.