State Tax Study Commissions

Former Senator Russell Long of Louisiana had a succinct definition of tax reform: "Tax reform means 'don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree.'" While states tinker with their tax systems every year, most have tended to overlook the need for more fundamental tax reform to reflect structural economic change. Reform, according to University of Tennessee professor William Fox, "would seem to achieve more goals than just revenue chasing. Other goals might include better revenue elasticity, improved fairness, reduced efficiency costs, easier administration and compliance."

Reconfiguring a tax system is a daunting task and broad tax reform efforts are not undertaken lightly. Yet most states have at least considered it at one time or another, usually through commissioning a tax study or appointing a blue ribbon panel.

The following chart documents selected tax reform efforts in the states over the last 17 years. These vary considerably in their size, scope and focus. Tax reform efforts selected for inclusion in this compilation are relatively comprehensive in nature. In addition, the following include tax studies that involved a direct government role in conducting or commissioning them. This compilation generally does not include studies conducted independently of state governments and without formal presentation of the resulting reports to state government officials, or those done purely for academic research or private interests.

AL | AK | AZ | AR | CA | CO | CT | DE | FL | GA | HI | ID | IL | IN | IA | KS | KY | LA | ME | MA | MD | MI | MN | MS | MO | MT | NE | NV | NH | NJ | NM | NY | NC | ND | OH | OK | OR | PA | RI | SC | SD | TN | TX | UT | VT | VA | WA | WV | WI | WY | DC


Latest State Tax Study Commission and Report and Previous State and Other Tax Studies


2010. “Revenue Sources of the State of Alabama,” 18th edition of report on major revenue sources by legislative fiscal office.
2003. "Legislator's Guide to Alabama Taxes," 13th edition of report on major revenue sources by legislative fiscal office.


2011. “State of Alaska, Department of Revenue, Tax Division. Annual Report, Fiscal Year 2011.”


2011. “Arizona Department of Revenue. Fiscal Year 2011, Annual Report.”
2011. “Arizona Department of Revenue. The Revenue Impact of Arizona’s Tax Expenditures, Fiscal Year 2011.”
2009. “A Fiscal Tool Box. Tools for a More Fair and Effective Revenue Policy for Arizona; Recommendations of the Citizens Finance Review Commission.”


2009. “Summary of Expenditures and Construction Expenditures for State Agencies and Institutions for Fiscal Years 1998-99 Through 2007-08.” Prepared by Bureau of Legislative Research, Arkansas Legislative Council
2003. "Tax Options for Arkansas," study on state tax structure by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.


California Senate and Assembly Select Committee on Improving State Government.
Saving California Communities.
2009. “Commission on the 21st Century Economy.”
2003. "Options for Revising the California Tax System," report to the governor by the California Commission on Tax Policy in the New Economy.


2010. Senate Joint Resolution 10-002.
2009. University of Denver, Center for Colorado’s Economic Future, “Colorado Tax Expenditures, A Copendium.”
2001. “Colorado Tax Profile Study 2001 and Statistics of Income.”


2012. “Connecticut Tax Expenditure Report January 2012.”
2010. Commission on Enhancing Agency Outcomes. Link to Final Report and Appendices.


2011. "State of Delaware Tax Preference Report."


2008. “Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, 2007-08 Final Report.”
2002. "Florida State Tax Reform Task Force Final Report."


2010. Press Release, “Budget Task Force Presents Final Recommendations to Lt. Governor Cagle and Senate Leadership,” March 16, 2010.
2006. “Final Report of the Senate Limited Taxation Study Committee.”


2012. Study of the Hawaii Tax System Monthly Report, April 30, 2012.
2007. Hawaii Tax Review Commission, ongoing commission, periodic reports. Report of the 2005-2007 Tax Review Commission.
2003. Hawaii Tax Review Commission, ongoing commission, periodic reports. Report of the 2001-2003 Tax Review Commission.


2011. Idaho State Tax Commission, ongoing commission, periodic reports, latest annual report.


2009. Illinois Department of Revenue, “Analysis of Selected Illinois Business Tax Incentives.”
2009. “Property Tax Reform and Relief Task Force,” report to the General Assembly, December 2009.


2011. Commission on State Tax and Financing Policy, ongoing commission, latest report.
2002. Commission on State Tax and Financing Policy, ongoing commission, latest report.


2012. Iowa Industrial (Sales and Use Taxes) Processing Exemption Study Committee, ongoing commission, latest report.
2010. Iowa Streamlined Sales Tax Advisory Council, 2010 Report to the Iowa General Assembly, January 13, 2011.
1999. Task Force to Study Iowa's System of State and Local Taxation.


2011. House Government Efficiency Committee, Committee Action Index as of March 18.
2011. “Kansas Tax Facts. 2011 Supplement to the Eight Edition.”
2010. “Kansas Tax Facts. A Reference Booklet on State and Local Taxes.”  Eight Edition.
2009. House Government Efficiency and Fiscal Oversight Committee, Committee Action Index.


The Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform.
2012. “Options—Tax Reform Initiatives.” A Presentation to the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform.
2012. “Prior Tax Reform Initiatives.” A Presentation to the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform.


2011. Louisiana Tax Commission, ongoing commission, latest annual report.


2011. Maine Tax Incidence Study, latest report.
2010. Tax Foundation, Tax Policy Blog. Income Tax Reform Repealed by Referendum in Maine.


2012. “Report of the Tax Expenditure Commission.”
2008. “Income Tax Repeal Defeated at the Polls.”


2012. Five year Corporate Income Tax Study, links to tax years 2006-2009. Conducted by Comptroller of Maryland.
2011. “Tax Year 2008 Maryland Tax Incidence Study.” Conducted by Comptroller of Maryland.
2011. “Maryland Remote Sales Tax Loss Study.” Conducted by Comptroller of Maryland.
2002. “Overview of Maryland’s Tax Structure.” Presentation to the Commission on Maryland’s Fiscal Structure.


2012. 2011 Annual Report, Michigan State Tax Commission.
2009. “Charting a Way Forward; A Path Towards Fiscal Stability for the State of Michigan.”
2002. "School Finance Reform in Michigan, Proposal A: Retrospective," conducted by Office of Revenue and Tax Analysis.


2012. Tax Expenditure Budget Reports (published in even-numbered years), 2012 report.
2011. Tax Incidence Studies (published in odd-numbered years”), 2011 report.
2011. “Tax Expenditure Review Report: Bringing Tax Expenditures Into the Budget Process.”
2009. The Governor’s 21st Century Tax Reform Commission. “Minnesota’s Millennium: Launching a New Generation of Competitive Leadership and Economic Growth.”


2008. Tax Foundation, Tax Policy Blog. Mississippi Tax Study Commission Recap.


2012. Missouri Historical Tax Summary, 1970-2011.
2011. State of Missouri, State Tax Commission. Ongoing commission, latest Annual Report.
2009. Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 54.
2003. "Examining Missouri's Tax System: Tax Expenditures-A First Step."


2010. Montana Department of Revenue, ongoing biennial report, latest report.
2003. Archive of Tax Reform Study Commission.


Nebraska Legislature, Taxes in Nebraska.
2012. Chronological History of Nebraska Tax Rates.
2011. Department of Revenue, “Nebraska Tax Incentives,” latest annual report.
2010. Department of Revenue ongoing study, latest report.
2002. "1999 Nebraska Tax Burden Study."


2006. Department of Taxation, latest annual report.
2001. Governor’s Task Force on Tax Policy in Nevada. Includes links to updates from 2003.

New Hampshire

2012. Department of Revenue Administration, ongoing, latest annual Tax Expenditure Report.
2010. New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute. “An Overview of New Hampshire’s Tax System.”
2001. Commission on Education Funding, blue ribbon tax study commission examined state tax revenue as related to education funding.

New Jersey

2012. New Jersey Department of the Treasury, Division of Taxation, latest ongoing annual Tax Expenditure report.
2011. Sales and Use Tax Review Commission, ongoing, latest annual report.
2003. Corporate Business Tax Study Commission, Interim Report.

New Mexico

2012. “New Mexico Business Tax Competitiveness and Simulations of Selected Tax Policy Changes,” prepared for the New Mexico Tax Research Institute.
2010. Government Restructuring Task Force, Final Report 2010.
2009. Blue Ribbon Tax Reform Commission and Review of Credits and Exemptions Adopted Since 2003, as presented to the Legislative Finance Committee on August 13, 2009.;%20Review%20of%20Tax%20Credits%20and%20Exemptions%202003%20to%20Present%20and%20Relation%20to%20Tax%20Policy%20Principals.pdf
2003. Final Report of the Blue Ribbon Tax Reform Commission.

New York

2010. Staff Report to the New York State Senate, Select Committee on Budget and Tax Reform. “Enhancing New York State’s Fiscal Stability through a More Rational and Streamlined Sales Tax System.”
2009. Department of Taxation and Finance, Office of Tax Policy Analysis.
New York State Senate Budget and Tax Reform Committee

North Carolina

2009. 2007-2008 Revenue Laws Study Committee, Report to the 2009 General Assembly of North Carolina, 2009 Session.
2003. The Final Report by the Governor’s Commission to Modernize State Finances.

North Dakota

2001. "A study of North Dakota's Tax Structure," Tax Study Committee created in 1999.


2012. Ohio Department of Taxation, State Tax Report. Ongoing report, released at least twice a year, latest report.
2011. Ohio Department of Taxation, “Brief Summary of Major State & Local Taxes in Ohio.” Ongoing report, latest annual report.
2011. Tax Expenditure Report for Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013.
2010. Ohio Department of Taxation, ongoing report, latest annual report.
2003. "Report of the Committee to Study State and Local Taxes."


2011. Annual Report of the Oklahoma Tax Commission, latest report.
2010. Oklahoma Tax Commission, Tax Expenditure Report.
2001. "Revenue-Neutral Tax Reform for Oklahoma: Issues and Options."


2011. State of Oregon Tax Expenditure Report, biennial report, latest annual report.
2010. Tax Foundation News Release. “Oregon Vote Shows Willingness to Tax High-Income Earners, Corporations.”
2009. Task Force on Comprehensive Revenue Restructuring, Final Report.


2004. Pennsylvania Business Tax Reform Commission final report.

Rhode Island

2010. Tax Foundation, Fiscal Facts. “Rhode Island Officials Consider Income Tax Reform.”
2010. Department of Revenue, Office of Revenue Analysis, Tax Expenditures Report.

South Carolina

2010. South Carolina Taxation Realignment Commission, final report.
2010., “Panel recommends changes to state taxes.”
2008.  A Report to the South Carolina General Assembly by the Joint Committee on Government Accountability and Oversight.
2005. Ensuring a Competitive Revenue System for South Carolina: Findings and Conclusions from an Evaluation of the South Carolina Revenue System. Prepared for the Palmetto Institute, Clemson University.

South Dakota

2011. Department of Revenue Annual Reports and subject-specific studies conducted annually.


2008. “Getting it Right: The Effect on the Property Tax Base of Economic Development Agreements and Property Tax Incentives for Business,” brief by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.”
2004. Tennessee Tax Structure Study Commission.
1999. "Financing Tennessee Government in the 21st Century." final report of.


2011. Texas statutes require a tax incidence study be conducted by the comptroller's office before the start of each regular legislative session. Latest study.
2010. Texas Select Committee on Government Efficiency & Accountability.


2011. Utah State Tax Commission, ongoing report, latest annual report.
2010. Utah Advisory Commission to Optimize State Government. Report to Governor Herbert.
2008. Tax Analysts Special Report. “Insights and Caveats from Recent Tax Reforms in Utah.”


Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office, Challenges for Change website.
2011. Vermont Department of Taxes and Joint Legislative Fiscal Offices, biennial tax expenditures report, latest report.
1995-1996. "Vermont Tax Study," under the direction of the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee.


2012. Virginia Department of Taxation, active Severance Tax Study.
2011. Virginia Department of Taxation, 2007-2011 Virginia Retail Sales and Use Tax Expenditure Study, five volume report. 
2003. Report of the Joint Subcommittee to Study and Revise Virginia's State Tax Code.$file/HD26_2003.pdf
2001. Report of the Commission on Virginia's State and Local Tax Structure for the 21st Century.$file/HD22_2001.pdf


2012. Department of Revenue, Tax Exemption Study.
2010. Department of Revenue, Aerospace Tax Incentive Report Summary for Tax Year 2009.
2009. Department of Revenue, Evaluation of Tax Incentives.
2009. Department of Revenue, Analysis of High Technology Programs.
2009. Department of Revenue, Analysis of Rural County Sales Tax Program.
2008. Department of Revenue, “Tax Exemptions-2008, A Study of Tax Exemptions, Exclusions, Deductions, Deferrals, Differential Rates and Credits for Major Washington State and Local Taxes.”
2004. “Washington State Tax Study Update, Executive Summary,” by the Washington League of Women Voters.
2002. "Tax Alternatives for Washington State: A Report to the Legislature," by the Washington State Tax Structure Study Committee.

West Virginia

2012. West Virginia Tax Expenditure Study, Special Business Tax, Business Registration Tax, Excise Tax, and Property Tax Expenditures.
2011. West Virginia Tax Expenditure Study, Corporation Net Income Tax, Business Franchise Tax, and Personal Income Tax Expenditures.
2010. West Virginia Tax Expenditure Study, Expenditures for Consumers Sales and Service Tax and Use Tax.
1999. "West Virginia Agenda for Fair Taxation, Supplement B," final report by Governor's Commission on Fair Taxation created in 1997.


2004. Wisconsin Department of Revenue Tax Incidence Study.


2011. Wyoming Sales, Use, and Lodging Tax Revenue Report.
1999. "Building Wyoming Tax Structure for the 21st Century," final report by the State of Wyoming Tax Reform 2000 Committee.

District of Columbia

1998. "Taxing Simply, Taxing Fairly," final report by District of Columbia Tax Revision Commission.
District of Columbia Tax Revision Commission.,a,1324,q,612650.asp

Source: NCSL Research, 2008, 2012

Other Tax Policy Publications:

Tax Policy Handbook for Legislators (NCSL)
The Way We Tax (Governing Magazine)
Who Pays (Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy), Third Edition
Posted April 2004, updated November 2009.
For errors or omissions in this chart, please email or call 303-364-7700 ext. 1649.