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Shining a light on Texas’ pile of debt — and shadowy bond votes

By   /  September 23, 2016  /  Accountability, Budget and Spending, News, Taxes, Texas  /  No Comments

Texas Bond Review Board

“Alarming levels” of local government debt are spurring Texas lawmakers to bring more transparency and accountability to bond elections. Here are three modest reforms.

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Toting up the winners and losers under Minter’s sales tax expansion

By   /  September 21, 2016  /  News, State Government, Taxes, Vermont  /  No Comments

Photo courtesy of Vermont Agency of Transportation

Democrat gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter says she wants to expand the sales tax to services while lowering the rate, a move critics say could be both inefficient and costly.

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Mississippi’s unfunded debt would cost each citizen $11,800

By   /  September 20, 2016  /  Budget and Spending, Economy, Legislature, Mississippi, News, Pensions, State Budgets, State Government, Taxes  /  No Comments

DEEP IN DEBT: According to the reform group Truth in Accounting, each Mississippi taxpayer owes $11,800 to cover the state's $8.4 billion in debt. Photo illustration by Steve Wilson

According to a new report by Truth in Accounting, each citizen would owe $11,800 apiece to pay off Mississippi’s debts, which amount to $8.4 billion.

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Incoming House Speaker sets sights on budget cuts, Enterprise Florida

By   /  September 14, 2016  /  Budget and Spending, Florida, News, State Budgets, State Government, Taxes  /  No Comments

AP Photo/Steve Cannon

Rather than default to tax increases and new revenue schemes, Florida’s incoming House Speaker threw down the gauntlet on government spending.

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‘Dark store’ lawsuits hit county appraiser

By   /  September 6, 2016  /  News, Taxes, Texas  /  No Comments

Photo by Kenric Ward

The “Dark Store Theory,” litigated successfully in several Midwestern states, has landed in the Lone Star State. A chain of big-box stores in Texas is suing for big property tax markdowns, asserting that its buildings are comparable to empty stores.

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City jackhammers its downtown with special tax

By   /  September 1, 2016  /  Budget and Spending, News, Taxes, Texas  /  No Comments

Photo by Kenric Ward

While Austin and Houston enjoy downtown building booms, San Antonio is taking a different path: hammering its aging central district with a special tax. The “supplemental special assessment” is expected to raise $4,166,000 next year — but at what cost?

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