Tax and Budget

CSG South

This presentation was given by Sujit M. CanagaRetna, Senior Fiscal Analyst at the SLC, on May 9, 2009, at the 2009 SLC Legislative Service Agency Spring Meeting in Miami, Florida. Both the presentation and the remarks are included here.

A vital tool for policymakers across the region, Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) offer a snapshot of conditions on a number of issues. Published annually, the CDRs track a multitude of revenue sources, appropriations levels, and performance measures in Southern states, and provide a useful tool to state government officials and staff. CDRs are available for adult correctional systems, comparative revenues and revenue forecasts, education, Medicaid, and transportation.

CSG South

This presentation was given by Sujit M. CanagaRetna, Senior Fiscal Analyst at the SLC, to the Mississippi House of Representatives in Jackson, Mississippi on March 5, 2009.

CSG South

This presentation was given by Sujit M. CanagaRetna, Senior Fiscal Analyst at the SLC, at The Council of State Governments Leaders’ Meeting on February 21, 2009, in Washington, D.C. Both the presentation and remarks are included here.

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the Council of State Governments supports a temporary increase in the Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage (FMAP) as part of an economic stimulus package of state aid to offset reductions in tax receipts.

BE IT THEREFORE FURTHER RESOLVED that the Council of State Governments supports Federal legislation to establish a provision to automatically increase the Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage (FMAP) in the event of certain defined triggering events, such as an economic downturn, a natural disaster, an act of terrorism, or a public health emergency.

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments encourages Congress to amend the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act to:

1. Apply UMRA’s cost estimation requirements to legislation that alters the conditions for receiving already existing federal grant assistance such as Medicaid and federal grants under the No Child Left Behind Act.

2. Expand the scope of cost estimates to include indirect costs imposed by new legislation and rule making such as lost revenue.

3. Remove the exception for mandates issued by independent regulatory agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

4. Remove the current exception for urgent federal regulations issued without prior notice by requiring cost estimates to be issued for such urgent rule making decisions within six months after their adoption.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments opposes the State Video Tax Fairness Act of 2007 (H.R. 3679) and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that CSG calls upon the Congress to resist this unjustified interference into state efforts to create a tax neutral choice for consumers; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to all members of the 111th Congress and the 44th President of the United States.

Suggested State Legislation: Rhode Island Chapter 08-165 requires analysis and documentation of how certain financial incentives offered by the state to promote economic development impact the state economy. Generally, such incentives are offered through an economic development corporation, the state Distressed Areas Revitalization Act, state Jobs Development Act, a state Mill Building and Economic Revitalization Act, and the state Motion Picture Production Tax Credits program.

CSG South

Declining tax revenues and increasing costs of operations combined with recent turbulence on Wall Street have plunged state finances into turmoil. For schools, which receive much of their revenue from property taxes, the long and precipitous drops in housing prices and turmoil in the mortgage sector have caused further budgetary pressure. In light of these events, many states have reduced already conservative revenue projections and reassessed their approved budgets. In the face of budget shortfalls, states across the region are reviewing their spending plans for the current fiscal year to determine where cuts can be made.

CSG South

In response to dwindling federal homeland security funds, states have been forced to devise and implement a range of innovative programs to enhance their security and response capabilities. Except for some anecdotal information, to date, there is little comprehensive data on these programs. Therefore, an examination of certain innovative state programs is instructive to other states as they seek to maximize use of the federal homeland security grants awarded to them.

The first part of this report is an examination of the federal funding for state projects through the Homeland Security Grant Program from fiscal years 2002 to 2007. The second part examines the particular public safety repercussions resulting from diminished federal homeland security funding. The final section of this report is an analysis of the information received from states regarding innovative homeland security and emergency management programs enacted in recent years to contend with the cutbacks in federal funding levels.