Lisa's Feed
Apr 11, 2013

U.S. states moved beyond budget crises in 2012 -Census

WASHINGTON, April 11 (Reuters) – The worst of the budget
crunch that afflicted U.S. state governments after the 2008
financial crisis appears over, data from the U.S. Census showed
on Thursday.

The Census reported that state tax collections last year
surpassed their previous peak, and all but three states
registered a surge in receipts.

Apr 10, 2013

Obama proposes municipal bond tax exemption cap, again

WASHINGTON, April 10 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama
in his budget on Wednesday suggested capping the value of the
tax exemption for interest paid by municipal bonds, re-proposing
an idea that has rattled the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market
for more than a year.

Obama is seeking to limit the value of tax benefits for the
top 2 percent of earners to 28 percent from the current 35
percent.

Mar 27, 2013

U.S. state budget officers seek overhaul of university funding

WASHINGTON, March 27 (Reuters) – U.S. public colleges and
universities face a funding crunch, state budget officers from
across the country said on Wednesday, as the fiscal watchdogs
called for reforms and even broached the possibility of boosting
state spending to limit tuition increases.

The National Association of State Budget Officers joined a
chorus of voices calling to make college affordable and also
suggested increased state spending could keep tuition in check.
State budget officers rarely advocate for appropriations or
policy.

Mar 26, 2013

U.S. state, local tax revenues continue to rise in fourth quarter: Census

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tax revenues of U.S. state and local governments grew for the 13th quarter in a row at the end of 2012, rising 2.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011, according to Census data released on Tuesday.

Tax revenue totaled $399.7 billion, compared with $389.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011. For states alone, the increase was sharper. Their total tax revenue grew 4.9 percent to $193.9 billion in the final quarter of 2012.

Mar 26, 2013

U.S. state, local tax revenues continue to rise in Q4 -Census

WASHINGTON, March 26 (Reuters) – Tax revenues of U.S. state
and local governments grew for the 13th quarter in a row at the
end of 2012, rising 2.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011,
according to Census data released on Tuesday.

Tax revenue totaled $399.7 billion, compared with $389.1
billion in the fourth quarter of 2011. For states alone, the
increase was sharper. Their total tax revenue grew 4.9 percent
to $193.9 billion in the final quarter of 2012.

Mar 21, 2013

State online sales tax bill takes the stage at Senate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Legislation allowing states to collect sales taxes on goods sold over the Internet made its way to the Senate floor on Thursday – a sign that a decades-long struggle by states to tax businesses beyond their borders could end this year.

In February, both chambers took up, with bipartisan support, identical bills that would clear the way for states to collect the so-called “Amazon tax.” On Thursday, the Senate debated incorporating the legislation as an amendment to its budget resolution.

Mar 20, 2013

Republican leader offers hope for US muni bond exemption

WASHINGTON, March 20 (Reuters) – One of the most powerful
members of the U.S. Congress, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor,
signaled his support for maintaining the tax exemption for
interest paid by municipal bonds, offering reassurance to the
state and local governments that use the debt to finance
infrastructure and other projects.

“The message was received at least in my office about the
importance of that benefit,” the Virginia Republican told a
meeting of the National Association of State Treasurers on
Wednesday.

Mar 20, 2013

Congressional Republican leader reassures muni bond issuers

WASHINGTON, March 20 (Reuters) – One of the most powerful
members of the U.S. Congress – House Majority Leader Eric Cantor
- signaled his support on Wednesday for maintaining the tax
exemption of interest paid by municipal bonds, offering
reassurance to the state and local governments that use the debt
to finance infrastructure and other projects.

“The message was received at least in my office about the
importance of that benefit,” Cantor, who as the second most
powerful Republican in the House has been key in most fiscal and
tax debates in Congress, told a meeting of the National
Association of State Treasurers.

Mar 13, 2013

Waiting for recovery: U.S. public schools continue to lose jobs

WASHINGTON, March 13 (Reuters) – Nicole Lyons gave up.

After she was laid off from her job teaching at a public
elementary school she bounced through longer-term substitute
postings and held a part-time job, all the while hoping she
would land a permanent placement.

“In 2012, after two years working as a sub and continuing to
see layoffs, I was like, ‘I can’t work 50 hours a week one more
year,’” said the Los Angeles resident. “I want a full-time job.
I want my benefits back.”

Mar 11, 2013

Illinois settles SEC charges over pensions

WASHINGTON, March 11 (Reuters) – Illinois, which has the
worst-funded state pension system in the United States, agreed
on Monday to settle federal civil securities fraud charges
alleging it repeatedly misled municipal bond investors about the
underfunding of its pensions, the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission said on Monday.

Illinois neither admitted or denied the charges and was not
ordered to pay a penalty. It agreed to change its practices to
more fully disclose risks to bond investors.