Taxes

Closing budget deficits is not always the optimal fiscal policy in the short term  or the medium term. Instead, budgets should simply be seen as a tool with which to boost living standards. Sometimes policy needs to move the budget toward a deficit to achieve this; at other times, the budget needs to be moved closer to a balance or surplus.

Reducing budget deficits is too often presented as a key budgetary challenge. Defining fiscal policy this way in the present economic environment, however, is simply bad economic analysis. Instead, the most pressing economic task should be viewed as finally securing a durable return to genuine full employment.

Publications

The State of Working Vermont 2019

An economist looking at Vermont statistics can see that the state is benefiting from the U.S. economic expansion, which became
the longest on record last summer: There are more jobs, higher wages, fewer children in poverty.1

At the same time, many Vermonters can look at their paychecks and wonder when the recession is going to end. The state’s
economic growth continues to favor those who are well off, while low- and moderate-income families wait for things to pick up.

Both views are true.

Loopholes in a loophole

Tens of thousands of upper-income Ohioans are qualifying for tax credits that seemingly are limited to those who have much lower incomes. It’s all legal – and it’s probably costing the state millions of dollars a year.

Tax abatements cost Ohio schools at least $125 million

Property tax abatements caused 180 school districts across Ohio to forgo $125.6 million in revenue, according to financial reports the districts issued covering the 2017 fiscal year. With $43.8 million, or a little more than a third of that amount, schools across the state could refill the positions of 662 librarians whose positions were eliminated between the 2005-2006 school year and 2016-2017.[1] That demonstrates that while the forgone revenue from tax abatement is relatively small compared to total K-12 spending, it’s still quite meaningful.