New Report Reviews Governors’ State-of-the-State Addresses

Today, the Center for State Fiscal Reform released a new report on the tax and fiscal policy proposals of the 50 state governors in their state-of-the-state addresses. State of the States: An Analysis of the 2015 Governors’ Addresses, the American Legislative Exchange Council’s most recent publication, highlights the trends in state tax and budget reform.

Governors are tasked with leading their state politically and setting the tone for statewide policy in the years to come. By reviewing the policy proposals in their state-of-the-state addresses, it provides a preview of the types of reform we are likely to see as they continue their term.

Many governors across America are reforming their tax codes and budgets in order to improve their economies. More governors proposed tax cuts this year than tax increases and it appears most governors understand that in order to stay competitive economically, they must make tax relief a continuing priority. As we have talked about for years, responsible spending, low tax burdens and less regulation lead to economic success.

Some governors discussed significant tax reforms plans this year.  One particular example this year is Maine, where Governor LePage supports not just lowering income taxes, but phasing them out entirely. Additionally, many governors have publicly supported reductions to their state’s personal income tax.

Tax policy was not the only common theme in the state-of-the-state addresses. Governors also addressed the need for balancing budgets, reducing the cost of government, and pension reform. All of these are important reforms that can lead a state to a more sound fiscal future.

State of the States: An Analysis of the 2015 Governors’ Addresses shows that governors have the opportunity to support new fiscal reforms that can improve the health of their state economies and the well-being of their citizens. If governors can enact pro-growth policy, they can bring more jobs and wealth into their states.

In Depth: Cronyism

Cronyism in tax policy stifles innovation, hinders competition and introduces a deep temptation for corruption. The 2014 ALEC Center for State Fiscal Reform study, The Unseen Costs of Tax Cronyism: Favoritism and Foregone Growth, found that in the most recent year in which states published their respective tax expenditure…

+ Cronyism In Depth