We retired Tax Justice Blog in April 2017. For new content on issues related to tax justice, go to www.justtaxesblog.org
Here’s a follow up to our previous post describing the effort to get a much needed severance tax increase on the ballot in Arkansas. The former natural gas executive, Sheffield Nelson, who was behind the effort has said that he won’t have enough signatures to qualify this proposal for the November ballot.
Last month, a Louisiana Revenue Study Commission began looking into the state’s tax exemptions to see if these government handouts are effective. Now that Governor Bobby Jindal has been passed over as the Republican Vice Presidential nominee, it appears he’s going full speed ahead with revenue neutral tax “reform” efforts. As part of the efforts to reform the tax structure and examine tax expenditures the Governor, other policymakers and taxpayers should review these new materials from the Louisiana Budget Project.
This week, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law legislation that imposes a new tax on strip clubs. Revenue generated from this new tax will fund programs for victims of sexual assault. By choosing to enact an entirely new tax that seems destined to raise little revenue, rather than enacting needed reforms in the taxes the state already levies, Illinois lawmakers have missed a chance to make the tax system fairer. The worthy goal of funding anti-abuse efforts would be better served by eliminating income, sales and corporate tax loopholes.
Iowa’s gas tax is at an all-time low and shrinking- and transportation infrastructure is suffering because of it. Earlier in the year, we thought Governor Terry Branstad would champion an increase in the tax to address the state’s transportation funding needs. Now we have learned the governor will only support a “modest” change in the gas tax if lawmakers first reduce property, personal income and corporate income taxes. Which begs the question- how will Iowa pay for much needed road and bridge repairs if the state is left with even less revenue than it had before this so-called “reform” plan?
Photo of Bobby Jindal via Gage Skidmore Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0