ALEC Digital Exchange 12-05-2013

ALEC’s weekly email update for the week of 12-05-2013

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HAPPENING NOW: States & Nation Policy Summit SNPS-REGISTER-NOW-banner1

This week, the American Legislative Exchange Council is hosting its annual States and Nation Policy Summit in our nation’s capital.

ALEC staff strives to answer all messages in a timely manner, but may not be able to respond to non-Summit requests until all activities and meetings are completed.

Thank you in advance for your patience.

You can follow the Summit this week using the Twitter hashtag #ALECSNPS. Don’t forget to follow @ALEC_states and like ALEC’s Facebook website.

American Legislative Exchange Council in the news

Eighteen States Cut Taxes in 2013

The 2013 legislative year saw 18 states across the nation cut taxes for its residents, demonstrating the renewed focus state governments are placing on economic expansion and competition. The American Legislative Exchange Council latest report, the State Tax Cut Roundup, focuses on tax reforms states are making to spur economic competitiveness locally:

‘There is growing consensus that taxes discourage competitiveness and economic growth, with taxes on income being among the worst,’ said Jonathan Williams, co-author of the report and director of the Center. ‘To enhance competitiveness, policymakers across America are looking for ways to reduce the cost of living, working and doing business within their states.’

‘Over the past ten years, the nine states with no personal income tax grew their population by 150 percent and saw their gross state product grow by 40 percent more than their high-tax counterparts,’ added Ben Wilterdink, co-author of the report and a research analyst at the Center. ‘The data shows states that do not levy a personal income tax are outperforming their high-tax counterparts in just about every way.’

Read the full post here.

NY Governor Worried About New NYC Mayor’s Job-Killing Tax Grab

Forbes’s Rex Sinquefield takes a look at a proposed income tax hike by the newly elected Mayor of New York City, Bill DeBlasio, and the ramifications it will have on all New Yorkers. Citing the American Legislative Exchange Council 2013 State Tax Cut Roundup, Sinquefield notes that New York legislators need to get serious about creating a pro-growth tax policy for the Empire State:

In it, ALEC provides seven Principles of Sound Tax Policy: simplicity, transparency, reliability, economic neutrality, equity and fairness, pro-growth, and complementarity to local tax decisions. These principles ‘provide guidance for a neutral and effective tax system; one that raises needed revenue for core functions of government, while minimizing the burden on citizens.’ Brilliant, right?

Read the full article here.

Threat of Internet Sales Taxes Loom Large

The American Legislative Exchange Council has not been shy in voicing its opinion on Internet sales taxes. In fact, it urged the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case that will help determine whether there are constitutional protections preventing states from imposing tax burdens on other states. RedState recently provided its readers the latest update on this hotly contested issue:

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Amazon.com/Overstock.com’s challenge to the NY affiliate nexus law, also known as the Amazon tax. On September 19, the American Legislative Exchange Council filed an amicus curiae brief with the Court based on our long-standing policy of supporting the physical presence rule.

Ironically, the Court announced its decision on Cyber Monday. This is disappointing because it leaves unsettled important questions about federalism at a time when the states and millions of consumers and small online businesses need certainty about the government’s tax powers and taxpayers’ obligations. The longer we wait, the more confusion we will sow.

Read the full article here.

Task Force Tours  

Yesterday, the Task Force on Energy, Environment and Agriculture hosted a workshop on the future of American energy, titled “America’s Energy Future: the Role of Distributed Generation.”

This morning, the Task Force on Health and Human Services hosted a workshop on Medicaid expansion, titled “Expanding Medicaid: Compassionate or Corrosive?”

Also this morning, the Center for State and Fiscal Reform hosted a workshop on pension reform, titled “Marketing Pension Reform: Tell Stories to Move Policy Forward.”

Tomorrow, the Task Force on Energy, Environment and Agriculture will host two different workshops. One workshop will focus on energy development, titled “The Impact of the Endangered Species Act on Energy Development.” The second workshop will examine federal overreach, titled “EPA Regulatory Overreach on ‘Section 111′ CO2 Performance Standards: What We Expect and Actions States can Take.”

This Week’s Hot Reads

NYC Food Trucks Give Young Ex-Cons A Second Chance for Employment
December 03, 2013 – Triple Pundit

Updated Obamacare site gets mixed reviews
December 03, 2013 – The Denver Post

Record-breaking gas ship launched, bigger one planned
December 03, 2013 – Yahoo! Finance

Sebelius recommends using ObamaCare site during ‘off-peak hours’
December 02, 2013 – Fox News

The MOOC Marketplace Takes Off
November 30, 2013 – Forbes

30What’s New on The American Legislator Blog?
Header – American Legislator
In case you missed it this week on our American Legislator blog, Will Freeland, legislative analyst for the Center for State Fiscal Reform, writes about the five states that can be thankful for rejecting bad policy. Freeland explains how states, not the federal government, pave the way for a robust economic reform:

Despite federal gridlock, the states continue to lead the way towards fostering more competitive economies, ensuring shared prosperity and the opportunity for individual citizens to seek and achieve the American dream. I would like to highlight some of the states that rejected bad policy or wiped a bad policy off their books entirely. These reforms will help to unlock the creative potential and prosperity of their citizens.

Read the full blog post here.