Of the $763 billion in tax revenues that states collected in 2011, only $14.6 billion – less than 2 percent – came from severance taxes on coal, gas and oil. Energy production is very concentrated in the United States: Just nine states receive over 5 percent of their tax revenues from energy producers. Currently, the bulk of severance revenues comes from oil production. Alaska, a state floating on an ocean of oil, gets 76 percent of its revenues from a handful of big oil companies that have drilling rights on the North Slope of the state.
New Jersey municipal employees to pay more for benefits
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and the state Democratic leadership have reached agreement on reducing employee benefits:
House Committee launches ‘YourWitness’ program
The [House] Financial Services Committee has launched a new program, Your Witness, which allows Americans to submit questions they want to ask a witness during a hearing. During an Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on the Stanford Financial Ponzi scheme, Rep. Randy Neugebauer asks the first question of Julie Preuitt.
Connecticut issues layoff notices
The governors are getting it done. And it’s painful.
From the Wall Street Journal:
After months of closed-door talks with state employee unions, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy announced that no deal could be reached to garner $1 billion annual concessions needed to close a $3.5 billion budget gap.