Taxing and Spending

Lawmakers are studying whether they can spend part of the $2 billion the state received from the American Rescue Plan Act on prison construction. The state will have until the end of 2024 to use the funds.
While some argue that the state should save most of the historic budget surplus for the inevitable next recession, others want to spend it ahead of the upcoming midterm elections.
A program has been placing homeless clients into housing while guaranteeing rent, utility payments and damage repairs. But it’s a scramble to get landlords to sign on before the eviction moratorium ends in August.
South Carolina’s gas tax will increase another 2 cents in July to increase funds for road maintenance. But officials predict the state may still need an additional $240 million annually for all of the necessary repairs.
Community colleges are well situated to provide the skills needed to thrive in the evolving post-pandemic economy. States have the resources to provide a tuition-free path right now, but they need to do it right.
As Bitcoin gains momentum, some cities, including Los Angeles, Harrisburg and Raleigh, are allowing Bitcoin ATMs. The trend has both advantages and downsides.
Residents will vote on the “Fair Share” amendment next year and if approved the state will impose a 4 percent surtax on household incomes exceeding $1 million. The tax increase would produce an additional $2 billion in revenue annually.
There are less than three weeks until the state’s constitutional deadline to establish a budget. With federal aid and large tax revenues, the state plans to spend approximately $3 billion more during the 2021-2023 cycle.
The warring camps in Washington are unlikely to find a middle ground on their own. Governors and mayors need to take a seat at the adult tax-policy table.
Western New York officials hope that federal funding from the Innovation and Competition Act, the proposed infrastructure package and from stimulus relief funds would be used to develop tech hubs and revitalize transportation networks.