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ARPA’s Tax Cuts Limitation Is a Problem for More States Than You Think

What do Alabama, Kansas, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and South Dakota have in common? They’re the only states that did not adopt or implement some sort of tax cut in 2019 or 2020, based on NCSL tables on new revenue negative tax provisions (43 states) and Tax Foundation research on the implementation of previously-adopted phased tax […]

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ARPA Allocates $2 Billion to Nonexistent County Governments

The government of Hartford County, Connecticut is in line to receive $173 million in local aid under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). There’s only one problem: the government of Hartford County doesn’t exist, nor do any of Connecticut’s other counties have county-level government despite being allocated a collective $691 million under the bill. The […]

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The American Rescue Plan Act Greatly Expands Benefits through the Tax Code in 2021

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 The United States has provided about $6 trillion in total economic relief to the American people during the coronavirus pandemic, including the $1.9 trillion that was approved when President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act into law on Thursday, amounting to about 27 percent of gross domestic […]

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Does the American Rescue Plan Ban State Tax Cuts?

Senate amendments to the American Rescue Plan Act prohibit using any of the $350 billion in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to cut taxes, but many are concerned that states which accept the funds could be prohibited from implementing tax cuts between now and 2024—an astonishing level of federal interference in states’ fiscal affairs. […]

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For Meaningful Federal Aid to States, Why Not Reimburse Unemployment Compensation Payments?

State tax revenues held steady in 2020, coming in less than one-tenth of 1 percent lower than in 2019, according to the latest JPMorgan research (which is consistent with earlier data), and combined state and local revenues have likely risen year-over-year. This is a curious backdrop to the current federal debate, in which Congress is […]

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President-elect Biden Outlines Plan for Additional Coronavirus-Related Relief and Stimulus

In releasing details of his coronavirus relief plan Thursday evening, President-elect Joe Biden envisions a two-part response to the pandemic and economic crisis. The first aspect builds on previous rounds of relief enacted in 2020, and would provide larger payments to individuals, expanded relief for households and small businesses, funding for vaccine distribution, and aid […]

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The COVID-19 Relief Bill Contains Over $100 Billion in State Aid After All

Much has been made of the decision not to include state and local government relief in the $910 billion Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act which recently passed Congress, pending presidential action. The exclusion of direct aid in the lame duck session legislation was likely informed by the relatively good shape of many states’ […]

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Where State Unemployment Compensation Trust Funds Stand in December

With 2020 nearing its close, state unemployment compensation trust funds continue to struggle under the weight of so many pandemic-created beneficiaries, though some funds are beginning to stabilize as people increasingly return to work. As of December 17th, 20 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands have drawn a collective $44.3 billion in Title XII Advances—federal […]

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State Tax Collections Down 4.4 Percent Through September, While Local Tax Collections Rise

State tax collections declined 4.4 percent in aggregate through the end of September compared to the same nine months in 2019, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released today. The median state experienced a decline of 3.6 percent, and total state tax collections were $37.4 billion lower in the first nine months of 2020 than […]

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Senate Policymakers Release $908 Billion Bipartisan COVID-19 Relief Proposals

Monday, a bipartisan group of congressional policymakers released two compromise relief bills to address the COVID-19 pandemic, totaling about $908 billion: The Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act and the Bipartisan State and Local Support and Small Business Protection Act. The latter bill addresses both state and local aid and liability protection for businesses operating during the […]