The State Government Leadership Foundation is committed to educating decision makers on how economic prosperity is best achieved and fostered. The State Government Leadership Foundation is committed to supporting policies that provide for less and more efficient government, which ultimately allows for the competitive environment and outstanding entrepreneurship that keeps the American economy strong, state by state.
The SGLF further believes that economic prosperity goes hand and hand with lowering the tax burden, while simultaneously lowering government spending. We believe this decreased tax burden will not only help America’s families, but will also help in America’s road to economic recovery. The SGLF also supports lower government spending at the state level. We support policies that aim to hold governments responsible for their spending habits.
Free market principles work best in our economy and help foster the entrepreneurial spirit that America is known for. By eliminating harmful and burdensome government red tape and by decreasing taxes and limiting spending, American businesses will be able to flourish.
- Although technically out of a recession, the United States is still experiencing a terrible economic downturn. National unemployment continues to hover around 9% and states across the country are seeing companies and jobs flee to other locations, leaving behind a trail of economically depressed cities and unemployed residents.
- State leaders need to look for ways to incentivize businesses to open or relocate in their state. States that best do this have decreased government regulations, lower business taxes, tax incentives, and other economic development programs designed to stimulate growth.
Taxes, Spending, & Budgeting
- The ballooning cost of government has been forcing legislators to consider tax increases in order to balance their budgets. The SGLF supports making government leaner and more efficient in order to avoid tax and fee increases. Families have had to make difficult decisions on how to save money in this economic downturn, and governments need to do the same. Belt tightening is also good for future fiscal policy, and helps states be proactive rather than reactive.
- Spending too much is not an excuse for raising taxes. In order to stay true to prudent fiscal policy, states must reign in government spending instead of asking citizens to continue dishing out more of their hard-earned money, especially during these difficult economic times.
- Rainy Day Funds, much like savings accounts, are also wise financial reserves to have in case of emergencies.
- As was the case in many states once federal stimulus money was handed out, recurring expenses should not be funded with one-time revenue sources. Once that money dries up, the recurring expense is still present, and creates an even bigger issue on how to fund it in the future.
- Identifying cost saving in all areas of the budget will serve as a responsible budget strategy as well as not allowing any area of the budget to remain immune from cuts, especially in these economic conditions.
- Studies show that overall Americans are wary of government regulation on businesses. A Pew Research Center study conducted in 2009 asked whether or not surveyors thought regulation of business usually does more harm than good, and a majority of respondents agreed that regulation normally does more harm than good. Although their opinions may vary after drastic current events such as the recent financial crisis, in general Americans are wary about the effects of government regulations.
News & Articles
Joint Finance Budget Reduces Taxes and Fees by $677 Million
On top of the income tax cut, the JFC budget will provide $30 million for a private school tuition tax credit, $8.5 million for individuals to carry forward operating loss deductions on their taxes up to 20 years, and $5.5 million to expand the veterans and surviving spouses tax credit. The Committee's budget also reduces taxes on small businesses by eliminating the economic development surcharge on farms, partnerships, and individuals, which will provide $16 million in tax relief.
ND leads nation in economic growth
“Our strong business climate, North Dakota’s skilled and dedicated
workforce and the innovation created by the state’s small businesses continue
to power our economic growth,” Gov. Jack Dalrymple said in a statement. “Moving forward, we will continue to support economic growth through
low taxes, a sensible and effective regulatory environment and a state
government that is responsive to the needs of business and job development,” he
Mississippi economy grew 2.4 percent in 2012
"2012 was a better year than 2011,” said state economist Darrin Webb. “We began to see some pretty significant growth in 2012 for the first time since the recession.” The BEA revised the 2011 data downward from the original reading of a 0.8 percent contraction, indicating that the economy was in worse shape that it appeared at first. Webb emphasized that the 2012 numbers are preliminary and could also change. Mississippi’s economy totaled more than $100 billion for the first time. It remained 0.7 percent of the total U.S. economy of $15.6 trillion.
Gov. Scott signs mortgage-relief law
TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Tuesday that will distribute $200 million in mortgage relief and vowed the new law would hold banks accountable so homeowners are better shielded from foreclosure abuses. “Banks will now be held accountable and Florida families will be protected with new protections for homeowners,’” Scott said while flanked by Attorney General Pam Bondi and state housing officials. Yet as Scott signed SB 1852 into law, questions are emerging about whether the banks who signed the deal are complying with the agreement, the latest setback in a relief package already delayed by months of negotiations.
“I’ve had issues with the banks,” Bondi told reporters. “I was on the phone Friday or Saturday with (Shaun Donovan, the secretary of U.S. Department of Housing Development) telling him personal stories of people I’ve had contact with, who have had problems ... I’m telling him first-hand stories that I’m hearing with various banks.” Attorneys general in North Carolina, Illinois and New York have said that the banks aren’t complying with the agreement. Bondi’s office said that it has received 293 complaints of possible violations of the agreement and is reviewing each one. But unlike attorneys general in other states, particularly New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Bondi stopped short of threatening more legal action. Schneiderman has threatened to sue Wells Fargo and Bank of America because he’s concerned they are purposely delaying processing homeowner requests for lower mortgage payments.
BP Plans $1 Billion Investment in Alaska as State Lowers Taxes
Alaska Governor Sean Parnell and the state legislature lowered effective oil tax rates with a bill passed April 16. The state now taxes profits at a flat 35 percent and eliminated a system in which taxes rose as high as 75 percent when oil prices went up. “With this new tax law, the Alaska legislature and Governor Parnell have taken an important step toward improving Alaska’s long-term economic future,” said Janet Weiss, head of BP in Alaska. “Our announcement today should make abundantly clear that BP is committed to being a part of that future.” BP-operated fields account for two-thirds of Alaska’s production and include Prudhoe Bay, the largest oilfield in North America, BP said. The company employs 2,300 people in the state.
Senate expected to vote today on $44 billion state budget
Senate approves $25 billion state budget
Surpluses Help, but Fiscal Woes for States Go On
Mississippi among 'rich states' in new economic report
Mississippi moves up to No. 10 in nation in economic outlook report
Authors Arthur Laffer, Stephen Moore and Jonathan Williams said states are taking different paths to prosperity. "Some have seen magnificent success in achieving real economic recovery while others continue to struggle," the report said. U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., said he's been on an economic-development tour of the state to showcase defense contracting in the Pine Belt; aerospace development in the Golden Triangle; education development at the University of Southern Mississippi; and the health industry in Hattiesburg. He called the baseball stadium "diversification of tourism" for Biloxi and South Mississippi.
Ohio Senate Releases Its Version of State Budget
Rather than embrace the broader income tax cut, the Senate chose to restore a small business benefit also proposed by Kasich. That proposal would allow individuals to deduct up to $375,000 in net annual business income for income tax purposes. The Senate tax break is worth roughly $1.4 billion, compared with the roughly $1.5 billion price tag for the House’s income tax plan. Asked why the Senate’s tax cut was better than the House’s plan, Faber said, “Because it’s about creating jobs and growing the state’s economy.”
NM economic development official says tax package approved by lawmakers saved jobs
Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, said he's skeptical of the job retention claims. "I don't think that making public policy based on threats is a good thing to do," he said. The legislation will gradually trim the state's corporate income tax rate from 7.6 percent to 5.9 percent and will phase out the "hold harmless" payments the state currently makes to cities and counties. It also included an expansion of the film tax credit for qualifying television shows filmed in New Mexico.
Georgia's jobless rate drops to 8.2 percent
Virginia revenues up 2.2 percent in April
Over the next two months, the state must collect $3.6 billion to meet the fiscal year estimate. Last year $3.5 billion was collected in the May and June span. State officials say April is a significant month for collecting revenue. In addition to regular collections of withholding and sales taxes, final payments for tax year 2012 and the first estimated payment for tax year 2013 were due from corporations on April 15.
RI House panel to consider proposed manufacturing jobs incentive program
Electric Boat, a submarine maker with a manufacturing facility at Quonset Point in North Kingstown, has said it is supportive of the measure, even though it is not expected to testify Thursday. "We support this bill based on the effect it would have on our efforts to control costs for our customer, the United States Navy, as well as the effect it would have on economic development and job creation in Rhode Island," Robert A. Hamilton, Electric Boat's communications director, said in a statement.
Budget deal cuts some Louisiana tax exemptions by $329 million, calls for $106 million in cuts
The $100 million in state budget cuts would come from specific areas: about $9.4 million would be saved by curtailing out-of-state travel for conferences and a reduction in spending on office supplies; $18.6 million would be taken out of the budget for positions that are now vacant; $25.3 million would come from a 10 percent reduction in state contracts and about $52.4 million would come from new spending proposed in the governor's budget above what was spent in the current year.
Senate plan would expand sales tax, lower North Carolina rates
The unveiling of the chamber’s plan is a key moment in this year’s session because House and Senate Republican leaders and new GOP Gov. Pat McCrory have made tax reform a leading priority. Berger labeled the “North Carolina Tax Fairness Act of 2013” as the “largest tax cut in state history” at more than $1 billion. But expanding the sales tax will mean many residents would have to pay more in sales taxes. Democratic lawmakers and governors have talked over the past two decades about reworking the tax code to capture more consumer transactions and services while lowering income tax rates. But their efforts failed because they couldn’t work out details or interest groups put up roadblocks. Berger said he’s committed to making changes.
Pa. House passes business tax reform bill
Republicans say it's a way to make the state more competitive, while Democrats are calling it a massive giveaway to big corporations. The Delaware loophole refers to a practice where companies shield revenues from state taxes by setting up a holding company for its intangible assets in a lower tax state, often Delaware.
Bullock signs main Montana budget bill after line-item vetoes
“I asked the Legislature to pass a budget that didn’t spend more than we take in and that left $300 million cash in the bank for a rainy day. Unfortunately, they didn’t,” Bullock said in a statement. “Therefore, I’ve had to veto and line-item veto more bills than I would have liked to, in order to keep the state’s financial position strong.” The line-item veto in the main budget bill did not ax any particularly large programs. One move would strike the 6 percent pay raise that Republican lawmakers gave to game wardens who broke with other union workers and backed Bullock’s Republican opponent.
Broader Unemployment Rate Ticks Up
R.I. House leaders outline broad legislative package to spur economic development
House leaders say they worked for months to craft legislation that could improve the state's economy. Many of the ideas grew out of an economic summit for the entire 75-member House in January. Fox said the bills will ensure that the state has a clear, well-developed plan to encourage business growth. The bills offer incentives to growing businesses and seek to remove barriers that often prevent businesses from succeeding.
Mo. House passes bill cutting income tax and raising sales tax
Opponents said the bill would cost state coffers hundreds of millions of dollars, spurring budget cuts when the state is unable to adequately fund public schools and other services now. “I’m pretty sure most Mizzou alums would rather lead than follow any state, especially Kansas,” said Rep. Courtney Curtis, D-Berkeley. The House passed the bill on a vote of 90-68, which was far less than the 109-vote majority needed to override a veto of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. The governor has criticized an earlier version of the bill, saying it would favor corporations and hurt working families and seniors on fixed incomes.
NC economy improving as key tax collections arrive
Boardman held out the possibility of a large swing in either direction as Department of Revenue workers keep opening tax return envelopes. April 15 was the due date for 2012 tax payments and for companies and individuals to make estimated payments for the first three months of 2013. The "April surprise" is important because an unexpected surplus would give legislators more money to spend in the budget now being drawn up for July 1 through mid-2015. A shortfall would mean less money is available. April usually brings in more than $3 billion in tax collections, or twice as much any other month, Boardman said. Boardman told legislators the April 15 collections are particularly volatile this year because of a 2011 law that allows business owners to exempt their first $50,000 of net income from income taxes. He said it's also unclear how much taxpayers shifted their incomes to the 2012 calendar year in December to avoid tax increases and changes approved by Congress in early 2013.
Missouri proposes plan to cut business income tax
Kansas Chamber CEO: 'proof-positive' Kansas plan works
Missouri Senate Bill 26 would reduce individual income taxes to 5.25 percent by 2018 and increase personal exemption from $2,100 to $4,100 for people with incomes less than $20,000. It also would allow taxpayers to deduct 10 percent of business income in 2014, rising to 50 percent of business income by 2017. Deductions would vary for people who are shareholders in S corporations or are partners in partnerships, based on how much of the corporation or partnership they own.
House passes $45M economic development budget
The Senate passed the budget at $78.5 million. Republican leaders called their budget the more fiscally responsible, while noting it still represents a more than 19 percent increase over current spending. “I don’t view this as a budget that’s just terribly constrained,” said Rep. Dave Deyoe, R-Nevada and chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that crafted the budget. “I think we’ve been able to find a way to fund a lot of the programs that really are working well here in the state.” One big difference in the House and Senate versions is an appropriation for incentives under the state’s High Quality Jobs program. Gov. Terry Branstad initially budgeted $19 million, which the Senate dialed back to $18 million. The House version provides no money at all.
Oklahoma legislative leaders optimistic about tax cut, workers' comp laws
Gov. Mary Fallin and Republican legislative leaders say they are committed to reducing the personal income tax and overhauling the workers' compensation system.
The workers' compensation measure, contained in Senate Bill 1062 by Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, and House Bill 2032, which contained an income tax cut proposal by Gov. Mary Fallin and House Speaker T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, made it through last week's latest legislative deadline. Most bills generated in the House of Representatives had to be heard by Senate committees, and most bills that originated in the Senate had to be heard by House committees by Thursday.