New Tax Report: State Budget Easy to Balance
AUSTIN, Texas - As Texas lawmakers struggle to balance the state's books by cutting public education, health and human services and other popular programs, a new study says there is a simpler and far less painful way to turn deficits into surpluses.
The study released today suggests flipping the state tax structures so that the wealthiest pay the rates low-income wage earners are now paying, and vice versa. That would immediately wipe out Texas' $27 billion budget shortfall, according to report author Karen Kraut, an analyst with United for a Fair Economy, who says Texas has the nation's fifth most regressive tax structure.
"The top 20 percent of taxpayers pay 4.4 percent of their income in state and local taxes, whereas the lowest-income taxpayers pay 12.2 percent of their income in state and local taxes." Reversing those figures, she says, would raise $72 billion for state coffers. " (contd.)
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