Nick has created a very handy on-line tool. It does what my paper on state spending restraint did: it traces out what states would (theoreticall) have spent had they adopted TELs in certain time periods. Unlike my paper, however, Nick’s tool is interactive, it examines all states, and it allows users to see the different impact of different types of TELs. Check it out.
I learned a number of things from Assemblyman Kellner. Perhaps the most-interesting thing I learned: if you live in the 65th district of NY and if your family earns $250k or more, the state considers you poor enough to qualify for affordable housing rent control but rich enough to pay the “millionaire’s” tax. The assemblyman notes that in pricey NYC, a lot of people who live modest lifestyles actually fall into this category.
More than half of all states operate under some sort of state tax and expenditure limit (or TEL). And with nearly every state facing the most-serious fiscal crisis of a generation, these sorts of limits are increasingly talked about as a solution. But do they work? Are there nuances? What do states need to know before implementing one? How would a TEL affect your state?