While Feds Cut Taxes, State Taxes Are on The Rise

While the federal government wrestles with the decision of how much of a tax cut to give taxpayers this year, state governments are struggling to keep offices open and balance their budgets, according to a recent report by the Associated Press.

Twenty-one states have approved budgets for the coming fiscal year and included with those budgets are tax increases of $4.3 billion and fee increases of $2.3 billion. The remaining 29 states have as much as $14 billion in additional taxes and $2.4 billion in additional fees under consideration.

Some states are shifting the tax burden from retail sales- or income-based taxes to property taxes or vice versa, while others raise the so-called vice or sin taxes on liquor, cigarettes, and gambling. Twenty-one states have raised taxes on businesses so far while six states have increased property tax.

Some states are focusing on cutting services instead of raising taxes, while others are waiting to see how much they will receive in new federal money as a result of a provision in the recently passed Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.

All states except Vermont are required to balance their budget. You can follow this link for a state-by-state comparison of recently passed and proposed tax changes.

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