GOP Candidate Jeb Bush’s tax plan hits New Jersey especially hard. Jeb Bush would eliminate the state and local tax deduction from the individual income tax. That includes state income and local property taxes. “The state has a lot of wealthy residents who pay a relatively high amount in state and local taxes,” said TPC’s Richard Auxier. New Jersey taxpayers' average deduction was $16,682 in 2013. For what it’s worth, fellow GOP presidential candidate and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has not succeeded in his goal to reduce his state’s property taxes.
As for GOP candidate John Kasich… He wants to end annual budget deficits by getting Congress to move toward a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget. Of course, he’d also like to boost spending on defense and health research, as well as overhaul the federal income tax code by way of reducing tax rates. As a US congressman in 1997, “Kasich was part of one of the most important budget deals ever,” said Maya MacGuineas of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. But today, “…if you look at what he’s talking about, it would add to the deficit.”
In Alabama, the Senate continues its work to fill a budget hole. It considers tax increases and tax fund transfers that total about $200 million. The transfers from public school and college funds and the added revenues would help the state to meet Medicaid, prisons, public safety and the Department of Human Resources budget needs. Other state agencies could see an overall budget cut of five percent.
Will California enact a cocktail tax? The Cocktails for Healthy Outcomes Act would levy a 5-cent tax on cocktails to fund developmental disability services and alcohol prevention and counseling, and polls show large majorities of Golden Staters favor raising liquor taxes. But this may not be the best way to do that. Because the tax would be limited to spirits and cocktails sold at bars and restaurants, it would be hard to track and enforce—no government entity tracks drink sales. The bill has moved out of committee in the state legislature, but GOP opposition has pushed floor action off until the next legislative session.
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