When home prices and property taxes diverge

By Cate Long
December 28, 2011

The latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, released yesterday, wasn’t pretty. Housing values continued to fall, their 5th consecutive year-on-year decline. (You can download the data here). The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland had this to say about the release:

Who carries the heavier tax burden: corporations or people?

By Cate Long
December 21, 2011

Ever wonder whether people or corporations carry a heavier tax burden? Well, it’s not even close: people pay more in taxes by a long shot.

Are teachers a protected class?

By Cate Long
November 17, 2011

State and local employees have not been as hard hit as the general economy. At 19 million strong, this workforce comprises about 14.6 percent of total U.S. non-farm employment. It looks as if education workers are particularly being shielded from job cuts.

State taxes on fire

By Cate Long
October 27, 2011

State tax collections are hot, hot, hot. The taxman rustled up 16 percent more in state income taxes for the second quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010. Where is this phenomenal growth coming from?

An army of corporate lobbyists in the halls of Congress

By Cate Long
October 12, 2011

Now that the Senate failed to pass President Obama’s jobs legislation last night, various pieces of his plan and other pet projects are likely to be introduced separately. It’s unclear whether an extension of the payroll tax reduction or additional unemployment benefits — two key planks of the President’s plan — will get floor time. But corporate interests are getting plenty of attention from members of the Senate. In particular, an army of corporate lobbyists has been vigorously promoting a tax holiday for U.S. multinationals.

When national and state data diverge

By Cate Long
October 11, 2011

In our turbulent times, middle-income households are falling behind and national data depicts an economy that’s stagnating. But tax revenue data for many states hints that some earners have had substantial increases in their incomes.

Muniland Absurdity of the Year Award

By Cate Long
September 22, 2011

The small town of Collingswood, New Jersey is facing some rough sledding in the next 90 days as it attempts to raise cash to pay off loan guarantees it made on behalf of a local condo and commercial development.

The ebb and flow of tax collections

By Cate Long
September 21, 2011


The Rockefeller Institute of Government publishes some useful statistics on the collection of state taxes, and I’ve been puzzling over them for a few weeks. What I was trying to reconcile was the difference between the states’ aggregate tax collections and the official economic pronouncements that dated that the recession’s end at June 2009. When the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee, the official scorekeepers of the business cycle, made its pronouncement, The Economist sketched out some of the reactions to it:

Who are the “job creators?”

By Cate Long
September 19, 2011

As the congressional supercommittee begins its budget-cutting efforts, state and local governments are worried about looming cuts to their federal grants. From Bloomberg:

Thumbs down on Obama’s muni tax

By Cate Long
September 19, 2011

Thumbs down on Obama’s muni tax

Unsurprisingly, the Treasurer of California and Bloomberg’s editorial board are pushing back on the Obama administration’s proposals to reduce the municipal bond tax exemption for those earning more than $200,000 per year. I wrote previously how the Republicans are cool to the proposal. The California Treasurer says that the increased tax would raise municipal borrowing costs and estimates that over time the act could add $2.7 billion to $7.7 billion to statewide borrowing costs. Bloomberg’s editorial board goes further and suggests that any changes to municipal bond taxation should be done as part of a broader tax reform effort. From Bloomberg: