Tax Reform

Tune In: How Collective Bargaining Negatively Affects State and Local Finances

Collective bargaining by public employee unions has a major impact on a state’s budget. A new report from the Heritage Foundation and the Nevada Policy Research Institute highlights this cost driver and how it affects state and local finances. The authors of the report, How Government Unions Affect State and Local Finances: A 50-State Review, find that mandatory collective bargaining increases total state and local government spending between $600 and $750 per capita, increasing the cost of government for taxpayers.

Laws governing collective bargaining by public employee unions vary from state to state. The services provided to citizens of each state are certainly different, but are generally similar – the costs however can be radically different. For example, according to the Tax Foundation’s recent report on state and local tax burdens in FY 2012 (the most recent year in which data are available), New York has the highest per-capita state and local tax burden at $6,993. Conversely, Mississippi has a tax burden of just $2,742 per-capita, making it the state with the lowest per-capita tax burden.

To learn more about how collective bargaining and government unions affect state and local finances and also what state lawmakers can do to reform these laws to reduce the cost of government, attend How Collective Bargaining Affects State and Local Finances in person or tune into the live stream discussion at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday, April 12 at 12pm.


In Depth: Tax Reform

Mainstream economists, small business owners and taxpayers across the country understand that growth-oriented reforms mean increased opportunity for all. As demonstrated by the annual Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index, sound tax and fiscal policies are critical to economic health, allowing businesses and households to flourish. A …

+ Tax Reform In Depth