Jason White

State Fiscal Prospects on the Upswing, NGA Says

By: - December 5, 2003

Last winter, the National Governors Association (NGA) said states were mired in their worst budget crisis since World War II. Now, the NGA says the crisis is easing. “I do believe states have in fact bottomed-out and the crisis is easing somewhat,” said Ray Scheppach, executive director of the NGA, an organization that represents the […]

GOP Gains Power, Looks for More in 2004

By: - November 30, 2003

Fresh from victories in three of four gubernatorial races, Republicans enter the presidential election year in command of 28 governorships and hoping to build on that momentum. Although the country remains narrowly split between the two major parties, GOP chief executives preside in states with 59 percent of the population and the biggest Electoral College […]

New Governors: Deficits Are ‘Opportunities’

By: - November 21, 2003

BOCA RATON, Fla.– November 21 — When Kentucky, Mississippi and Louisiana elected new governors this month, each inherited the sort of budget deficits that can portend tough times, service cuts and plummeting popularity. They all claim they welcome the challenge. “I see it really as an opportunity, where we can bring the political will to […]

State Fiscal Picture Brightening

By: - November 13, 2003

For the first time in more than two years, a handful of states are reporting that recent tax collections are meeting and even exceeding estimates and that the future revenue picture is growing brighter. The evidence at this point is scattered a surplus here, a good forecast there. But taken as a whole it signals […]

Governors Decry Permanent Ban on Internet Access Taxes

By: - October 30, 2003

The nation’s governors are urging the U.S. Senate to reject legislation that would permanently ban all taxes on Internet access services, claiming that the bill steals revenue from state coffers at a time when states have no money to spare. The governors favor extending the current ban for two years to give state and federal […]

More Red Ink Forecast for States in Coming Year

By: - October 24, 2003

State governments are projecting a collective deficit of at least $32 billion next year, which is less than half as much as this year’s aggregate red ink, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington, D.C., think tank which researches policies that affect low-income people. But the Center’s […]

Frugal Governor Finds State Government A Tough Sell

By: - October 3, 2003

On a recent trip to West Virginia, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) decided to save his state a few dollars by booking one hotel room for both him and his press secretary. Problem is, the room had only one bed. “At least he made-up the couch for me,” said press secretary Will Folks. Sanford’s […]

Governors Reflect On Alabama Tax Plan’s Rejection

By: - September 22, 2003

When Alabama voters decisively rejected Gov. Bob Riley’s (R) tax and education plan two weeks ago, many analysts said the loss would have a chilling effect on other states considering tax increases. But some governors gathered here for the Southern Governors Association’s (SGA) annual meeting said that conclusion is misleading because states differ greatly in […]

Texas Efficiency Program Sparks Political Squabble

By: - September 19, 2003

Although much-loved by fiscal conservatives, e-Texas — the state’s money-saving efficiency program — is under assault from the Republican-dominated Legislature. In a special legislative session this week, some lawmakers are trying to take the program away from Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn and fold it into their own Legislative Budget Board. They tried and failed […]

Accounting Move Helps States’ Bottom Line

By: - September 12, 2003

In effort to avoid cutting programs and raising taxes, officials in a handful of cash-strapped states used bureaucratic sleight-of-hand to shift revenue into fiscal year 2004 by moving forward the date on which tax payments are due. Called a “revenue acceleration,” this controversial accounting technique was employed by six states — Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, […]

Alabama Tax Plan Faces Long Odds

By: - September 5, 2003

Alabama voters go to the polls Tuesday Sept. 9 to decide the fate of Republican Gov. Bob Riley’s proposal to raise state taxes by $1.2 billion in order to close a looming budget gap and fund new education programs. The tax increase hits Alabama’s wealthiest residents, corporations and large landowners hardest. Most low-income Alabamians would […]

State Forecasts: Economic Growth, Lagging Revenues

By: - August 28, 2003

State governments are predicting moderate economic growth for the remainder of this year and even stronger growth next year, but they don’t expect the economy to power a substantial recovery in state tax revenues until mid-2004 or perhaps even later. “Even if everything works out as states are hoping and the stock market stays strong, […]