• Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed a progressive income tax increase into law this week and successfully avoided large spending cuts.  An analysis of the tax package by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) showed that while 87 percent of the new revenue would come from the state’s richest five percent of taxpayers, the tax increases are fairly modest and would still leave Maryland with a regressive tax system on the whole.
  • The North Carolina Budget and Tax Center issued a new report urging lawmakers not to enact the gas tax cap recently proposed by Governor Bev Perdue.  Among other things, the report uses data from ITEP to show that North Carolina’s gas tax rate, adjusted for inflation, is quite low by historical standards (all claims about the rate being at an “all-time high” to the contrary).  ITEP’s take on the long-running debate over a North Carolina gas tax cap can be found here.
  • Last week it appeared that Oklahoma lawmakers had reached agreement on a plan to cut the state income tax, but that agreement might be unraveling.  The Associated Press reports that House lawmakers are unhappy with the fact that some low and middle-income taxpayers would see their taxes rise under the agreed-upon plan, and there’s a chance a tax cut won’t be enacted at all before the legislative session ends on Friday.  ITEP’s analysis of the controversial plan was recently blogged by the Oklahoma Policy Institute, and picked up by The Oklahoman and other outlets.
  • One more hurdle remains before New Hampshire voters get the chance to amend their state’s constitution to permanently ban a personal income tax.  The Senate voted 20-4 on a measure, but made a few changes that must now be reconciled with the House version before sending it to the public ballot this fall.  The New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute points out, however, that this amendment seeks to solve a problem that doesn’t exist since there have been no serious income tax proposals in years, and, that it will tie the hamstring future generations of citizens and lawmakers.
  • A New York tax fairness coalition called on Governor Cuomo this week to keep his promise to appoint a commission that would comprehensively review and make recommendations to improve the state’s tax system. The coalition’s recommendations for the commission are here. Cuomo has repeatedly pledged to appoint a “Tax Reform and Fairness Commission” but has yet to do so.

Photo of Governor Martin O’Malley and Governor Andrew Cuomo via Friends of Hillary and Patja Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0