Alternatives abound

Other states have found options
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 6, 2010
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (www.ncsl.org) and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (www.cbpp.org), 2009 tax increases around the country — many temporary — included:
READ: Lance Tapley's "Instead of cuts: guts"


-Oregon’s Democratic legislature and governor added new brackets to the income tax. Couples making over $500,000 a year will pay 11 percent through 2011. Corporate income-tax rates were also increased. By raising taxes Oregon has managed to avoid severe program cuts.

-Connecticut’s Democratic legislature and Republican governor instituted a “millionaire’s tax,” boosting the top income-tax rate from 5 to 6.5 percent for couples making more than $1 million. Income taxes also were raised for big corporations.

-Wisconsin’s Democratic legislature and governor created a new income-tax bracket of 7.75 percent for couples earning more than $300,000.

-Legislative Democrats and governors in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Delaware also passed income-tax hikes for their wealthier citizens. Hawaii did so as well (that state’s top rate now is 11 percent for couples making more than $300,000), with Democrats controlling the legislature but with a Republican governor. California, with a similar political division, increased the percentage taxed in each income bracket. A number of states have gone after capital gains more aggressively.

-Sales taxes were hiked in a dozen states. Massachusetts’s sales tax went from 5 percent to 6.25 percent. California has increased the sales-tax rate by a cent.

-Tobacco and alcohol taxes were increased in 15 states. Connecticut’s cigarette tax went from $2 to $3 a pack and New Hampshire’s from $1.33 to $1.78.

-Business tax breaks were lowered in Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, and Nevada. New Hampshire will tax business profits more heavily. New Hampshire also increased its food and lodging tax from 8 to 9 percent.
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