Archives: Justin Leventhal / Articles

Archives: Justin Leventhal / Articles

  • State of the Commonwealth: Massachusetts image

    State of the Commonwealth: Massachusetts

    Overall, however, the state’s steps towards economic competitiveness are yielding results. Governor Baker rightfully recognized this achievement, “We built a bipartisan team, worked in partnership with the legislature and looked for common ground.” Shrinking the state’s budget gap by over $1 billion without tax or fee increases is just one example.

  • State of the State: Vermont image

    State of the State: Vermont

    With Vermont’s economic outlook continuing to languish at 49th (according to the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Rich States, Poor States publication), legislators may be ready to take the governor’s charge to heart: “We must act now, and begin our ascent.”

  • State of the State: Utah image

    State of the State: Utah

    The governor cautioned against “altering our tax policies in any way that could damage our robust economic engine.” He also advised that the “best way to ensure ongoing growth of education funding is to continue to grow our economy. Failure to take into account how tax rates affect business investment won’t help us make good policy decisions.” Indeed, the relatively low top marginal personal and corporate income tax rates (18th and 11th lowest, respectively) are partly responsible for Utah holding the top economic outlook for 10 consecutive years.

  • State of the State: New Jersey image

    State of the State: New Jersey

    The governor praised legislators for reducing the state sales tax and increasing the exclusions for the state’s estate tax; but he failed to mention the tax cut savings are almost entirely offset by the enormous 23-cent per gallon increase in the gas tax. This year’s sales tax reduction of 0.125 percent will save consumers a whopping $1.25 on a $1,000 purchase; meanwhile, the gas tax hike will cost twice this much on a single 11 gallon fill-up.

  • State of the State: Pennsylvania image

    State of the State: Pennsylvania

    Enacting common sense budgetary reforms, eliminating some cronyism, and blocking attempts to increase taxes yet further are commendable. But this will not reverse Pennsylvania’s economic malaise. Accomplishing this will require bold reduction in twin burdens of bureaucracy and tax burden.

  • State of the State: Maine image

    State of the State: Maine

    Under Governor LePage’s leadership, Maine’s economic outlook has improved from 48th in 2011 to 38th in 2016. But the tax hike and minimum wage increase threaten to roll back all of the recent progress. The governor recognizes this economic peril. His economic agenda address the problems created by the twin referendums from this fall. The outcome depends on whether or not state legislators heed his warnings.

  • State of the State: Hawaii image

    State of the State: Hawaii

    One of the highest personal income tax rates in the nation and the highest sales tax burden in the nation, and forced unionization all contribute to Hawaii’s 42nd place economic outlook ranking according to ALEC’s annual Rich States, Poor States publication.

  • State of the State: Montana image

    State of the State: Montana

    With unemployment almost as low as it has ever been in Montana at 4 percent and household incomes on the rise, Governor Bullock should consider allowing this growth in income to drive increases in the state’s revenue instead of increasing the tax burden on Montanans. Given that there are “over 6,500 listed job openings” throughout the state that businesses are struggling to fill, Montana’s employers cannot afford tax hikes.

  • State of the State: New York image

    State of the State: New York

    Governor Cuomo’s discussion of important issues such as tax relief certainly is encouraging. However, picking winners and losers with taxpayer dollars and increasing spending will not help New York’s economy to thrive. Instead, legislators should focus on a continued reduction of the state’s burdensome corporate and personal income taxes. An unshackling of the ingenuity and dreams of New Yorkers will fuel a better life for all.

  • State of the State: Oregon image

    State of the State: Oregon

    Improving the Beaver State’s dismal 41 out of 50 economic outlook rank demands serious reforms. Streamlining government and reforming pensions can help address Oregon’s massive budget shortfall. Pro-growth tax reform would be another step in the right direction and would encourage more families, job creators, and taxpayers to call Oregon home.

  • State of the State: Maryland image

    State of the State: Maryland

    "It is encouraging that Governor Hogan is looking for ways to reduce tax burdens on hard-working taxpayers, which is a welcome departure from tax-happy past administrations that even taxed rain."