Search This Blog

Thursday, March 12, 2009

So Many Reports, So Little State Tax Reform

The National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) notes that since 2000, a majority of states have had a study of their tax system and how to improve it. While we have seen several big changes in the past few years, such as a gross receipts tax in some states (such as Ohio) (although interestingly enough, some state tax reform reports note that this is something to be avoided), combined reporting and adoption of the Streamlined Sales & Use Tax Agreement. But, it is likely that most of these reports ended up just sitting on a shelf.

I've got a short article summarizing some of the focal points of these reports and noting why reform is needed in many states - click here.

While many of the commissions came about due to budget problems, it is difficult to enact good reforms in bad budget times - as proven by California recently increasing its already high sales tax rate 1 percentage point rather than broadening its shrinking tax base.

Most reports have looked at tax systems broadly while a few have been narrowly focused, such as Oregon's focus on the need to change the gas tax because drivers will be moving towards buying less gasoline, but using the roads just as much if not more.

What state tax reforms do you think are most crucial?

No comments: