$454 Million in Film Incentives in CA

  • July 22, 2021

What’s happening? CA has added an additional $124 Million in film incentives to its $330 Million film incentive program and will include construction incentives like building sound stages

Why is this important? CA says the data shows the incentives work to keep films in CA

How will this be important? It is a test to see if GA and other states with film incentives will be competitive

Sacramento Bee | California filmmakers to get more tax breaks in new law. Do incentives keep shows here?

What are economists saying about states spending Federal COVID Funds

  • July 22, 2021

What’s happening? Economists watching MA are applauding its slow pacing to spending federal COVID funds.

Why is this important? States have until 2026 to spend the federal funding, while it must be allocated for spending by 2024. Economists say that studying state trends and needs helps maximize the impact of the COVID funding.

How will this be important? Many government projects take years of planning before building can occur which means the impact of the funds in communities may be years in the future.

Boston Herald | Economic experts back Massachusetts Legislature’s slow approach to spending federal coronavirus relief dollars

The Low Down on Taxing Streaming Services in 2021

  • July 22, 2021

What’s happening? As people stop paying for cable, the fees/taxes associated with cable are a revenue loss for local governmental entities. To make up for this revenue loss, the proposal that gains ground is taxing streaming services.

Why is this important?

  • Connecticut, Delaware, and Florida have passed a dedicated streaming service tax.
  • Chicago applies its 9% amusement tax on streaming services
  • OH is trying to apply the Fair Competition in Cable Operation Act to tax streaming
  • Some Texas cities are trying to apply the Texas Video Service Providers Act to tax streaming services
  • MO argues streaming should be taxed as  video service providers
  • Courts are grappling with the above and lawsuits in Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Nevada, and Tennessee.

How will this be important? Some states tax right-of-way fees for internet access, taxing streaming services could be seen as a double taxation.

Tax Foundation | Cutting the Cord from Cable Has States Courting New Revenue Streams

COVID Fund Use: Diversity & Development

  • July 22, 2021

What’s happening? A permitted use of federal COVID Relief funding is downtown development. Treasury Department Guidance for this use includes broad flexibility to build up disproportionately impacted communities.

Why is this important? COVID impacted real estate in downtown areas and also impacted BIOPIC communities disproportionately.

How will this be important? Legislative bodies have not finalized how they intend to utilize federal COVID relief funding.

Recast City via Governing | A Unique Opportunity for Racial Equity in Downtown Development

COVID. Minnesota Legislature Approves Cash to Essential Workers.

  • July 16, 2021

What’s happening? Minnesota chose 1 of 4 specific uses for COVID federal relief funds to provide payments to essential workers during the pandemic.

Why is this important? The legislation’s only requirement for essential worker is that long-term care workers be included. The final decision for who is included will be approved by a group of appointees created by the amendment.

How will this be important? Other states are grappling with how to appropriate federal relief funds.

MinnPost | Minnesota lawmakers approved cash bonuses for essential workers. Now they just need to figure out who’s going to get the money.

California’s Comeback Plan

  • July 16, 2021

What’s happening? Governor Newsom signed SB 129 (2021 | CA) that is a $100 billion California Comeback Plan that includes:

  •  immediate cash relief to middle class families and businesses hit hardest by the pandemic
  •  biggest state tax rebate in American history
  • largest small business relief package in the nation
  • Confronts homelessness and the housing affordability crisis
  • Transforms public schools into gateways of opportunity
  • Bolsters wildfire resilience and tackling climate change
  • Builds the infrastructure of the next century

Why is this important? California is providing the biggest tax breaks in the country.

How will this be important? The impact may be felt by other states if Californians stay in California.

Office of California Governor Gavin Newsom | California Roars Back: Governor Newsom Signs $100 Billion California Comeback Plan to Accelerate State’s Recovery and Tackle Persistent Challenges

+1 State Limits Disaster Powers to 28 Days

  • July 15, 2021

What’s happening? Michigan Legislature voted to limit healthcare disaster declarations to 28 days unless the Legislature approves a longer timeline. The nifty tagline for the bill- Unlock Michigan.

Why is this important? Many legislatures looked to curtail the power of the Governor or their health care officials and require Legislative approval. In Michigan the Supreme Court has already ruled that the Governor exceeded her authority.

How will this be important? More states will consider reigning in declarations.

AP | “Unlock Michigan” goes to Legislature, 2nd drive will seek more restrictions on powers

Tax Situs. Why it Matters.

  • July 15, 2021

What’s happening? Texas Comptroller is said to have changed the tax rules to “source sales tax revenue from online purchases to the buyer’s location instead of the seller’s place of business.”

Why is this important? Well, if the county is Williamson County and relied on the sales tax generated by the seller, Dell Computers, that’s a hit to your county sales tax revenues.

How will this be important? It’s one of the many examples that details matter when you write laws and rules, the words have an impact. In this case, the impact is Williamson County is suing the State Comptroller of the change in tax rules.

Community Impact | City of Round Rock files suit against Texas Comptroller over changes to sales tax rules

COVID Response. State Apprentice Programs.

  • July 15, 2021

What’s happening? Some say there is a shortage of workers in certain fields. Some say workers are looking for living wages. In the Great Depression states created Apprentice Programs to fill this gap. Apprentices are paid from day one, and employers cover any costs of education required. At the end of the apprenticeship the employee gains licensure and the employer finds that the newly licensed employee stays longer than a new college graduate.

Why is this important? The process benefits the employee who doesn’t incur higher education debt, and benefits the employer who gains a loyal employee.

How will this be important? These programs are working successfully in 27 states. That leaves 23 states.

Governing | States Expand Apprenticeship Programs as Worker Shortages Grow

What is Freedom Week Sales Tax Holiday?

  • July 9, 2021

What’s happening? Florida has a Freedom Week which means no sales tax one athletic tickets, recreational purchases, live music, in-theater movies, cultural events and entrance to museums and state parks, outdoor equipment as tents, grills, bicycles, kayaks and fishing gear

Why is this important? Sales tax holiday expansions are popular. Massachusetts is contemplating a months long sales tax holiday.

How will this be important? Looking for some populist goodwill for your state, here you go.

CBS 4 Miami | Just Hours Left Of Florida’s ‘Freedom Week’ Sales Tax Holiday