2011 December Budget & Tax News

Issue Date: 
December, 2011
Newspaper PDF: 

The December issue of Budget & Tax News reports the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has ended rail boosters’ hopes of getting a meaningful appropriation for high-speed rail in FY 2012, likely a decisive blow to President Barack Obama’s goal of “giving 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail.”

Also in this issue:

  • Alabama’s Jefferson County is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy--$3.14 billion in debt as a result of sewer construction and financing deals tainted by corruption.
  • Illinois imposed huge increases in the personal and corporate income tax rates this year, yet a recent report says the state’s budget could still end up $8 billion in the red.
  • If the proposed bullet train in California could move as fast as cost increases for the project come rolling in, nothing could catch it.
  • Households in suburban Cook County, Illinois owe nearly $33,000 on average for local government debt, with households in the City of Chicago owing more than $63,000 on average, according to Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas. She has undertaken perhaps the nation’s first comprehensive study to determine all local government debt owed in a major metropolitan county.
  • Collective bargaining agreements with seven labor organizations require Phoenix, Arizona to pay union officers and provide members with thousands of additional hours to conduct union business instead of doing their government jobs. Phoenix taxpayers end up paying millions of dollars annually to fund union workers who lobby for more tax dollars.

Newspaper Articles in this Issue