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  • Meagan Dorsch
    Director of Public Affairs
  • Jon Kuhl
    Public Affairs Specialist
    Washington, D.C.
August 8, 2012

Notably Quiet Year for State Taxes

CHICAGO - The first six months of 2012 were a notably quiet time for state taxes with only five states reporting sizable net changes according to a new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). During that period, states made the smallest aggregate tax cut (0.2 percent) in the 32-year history of the NCSL's State Tax Update.

A majority of the cuts were reductions in personal income taxes, led by large decreases in Kansas, New York and Michigan. The only categories in which states raised more taxes than they cut were tobacco and miscellaneous items.

The situation could change in November when California voters decide on three separate ballot measures. Two of them, including one initiated by Governor Jerry Brown, would result in large broad-based tax increases and up to $10 billion in new revenues,while the third would cut business taxes.

The State Tax Update: August 2012 report was released at the 38th annual Legislative Summit. This new report  provides data on tax details made in 2012, which largely affect revenue collections in fiscal year (FY) 2013. A full report of tax actions in 2013 will be released in December.

NCSL’s “State Tax Update” report includes data and information on:

  • Personal income taxes
  • Corporate and business taxes
  • Sales and use tax
  • Health care provider and industry taxes
  • Tobacco, alcohol and motor fuel taxes
  • Fees and other non-tax changes.

The full copy of NCSL's "State Tax Update: August 2012" is available on This report continues NCSL's long tradition of providing accurate, comprehensive and nonpartisan data on state finances.

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.