Listed below are all Platte Institute publications. To the left, you can browse these publications by publication type or policy area.
Platte Institute Publications
December 04, 2013
Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert shares her thoughts on pension reform, taxes in Omaha, and her vision for the city moving forward.
December 04, 2013
A recent study by the Nebraska Department of Revenue (DOR), intended to inform the members of Nebraska’s Commission on Tax Modernization, confirms what pro-growth tax reformers have long argued: tax cuts lead to personal income growth, investment growth, and job growth. Though the study incorrectly found sales tax cuts to be a greater boon to state economic performance than income tax cuts, the study notes that even after accounting for offsetting cuts to government spending, tax cuts of any kind would provide a boost to Nebraska's economy.
November 26, 2013
Since 2009, Truth in Accounting (TIA) has compiled a report on all fifty state governments, analyzing how the information they report compares to the actual financial condition of the state. The states are then ranked; the worst five states are the ‘Sinkhole’ States, and the five best states are the ‘Sunshine’ States. Nebraska has been a Sunshine State every year.
November 20, 2013
The nature of the effect of taxation on economic growth may be a controversial conversation topic, but it is not very controversial among professional economists. Almost invariably, economists maintain that increasing taxation has a negative effect on economic growth, and that lowering taxes encourages growth. To examine the empirical evidence for these claims, and to demonstrate the consensus among economists in peer-reviewed journals, Dr. William McBride of the Tax Foundation surveyed the recent scholarly literature for studies on the real-world effects of taxation. He found twenty-six studies on the relationship between taxes and economic growth published in peer-reviewed academic journals since the early 1980s. Of these, twenty-three studies found a negative relationship between taxes and growth.
November 12, 2013
Previously, the Platte Institute discussed why increasing state aid to local governments in an effort to provide property tax relief was the wrong way to go. Evidence from other states indicates increased state aid does not reduce property taxes, and may actually lead to higher taxation generally. Such a policy also makes localities more dependent on the state government and vulnerable to state level budget changes and tax policy. While the best course of action to control property taxes is for local entities to reduce spending, the state may also take other measures to control property taxes, especially in the way of property tax caps
November 06, 2013 | by William McBride
Excerpt from the Platte Institute’s November 2013 Policy Study
The U.S. federal individual income tax is 100 years old, and the federal corporate income tax is 104 years old. Both were instituted in the progressive era as means of achieving a more equitable distribution of income. Income taxes have proven to be popular with politicians and voters ever since, and they are found in most states and most countries. However, economists who value economic growth are less impressed.
November 04, 2013
This week's interview is with Gail Werner Robertson, the Platte Institute's Board Chair. Gail shared with us her thoughts on the future of the Platte Institute, along with her perspective on tax reform in Nebraska.
November 04, 2013
Standard economics points to the benefits of taxing sales or consumption rather than income, in terms of the better incentives to work, save, and invest. Yet, the income tax persists, championed as it always has been, as a tool for redistribution. This is damaging not only for the economy as a whole, but also for the poor. First, the poor are not, for the most part, permanently poor, so they too would benefit from the job opportunities created by increased economic growth. Lower income taxes would benefit the poor directly through greater incentives to invest in educational attainment, to earn a living, and to save and invest for the future. Second, everyone, including those who are permanently poor because of disabilities, benefit from economic growth that lowers prices, creates better products and generates technical and medical breakthroughs. Third, in practice, consumption taxes generally do not apply to the bare necessities purchased by the poor. Fourth, even if they did, numerous welfare programs and private charities exist to reduce or eliminate the cost of the bare necessities for the poor. In sum, the key to helping the poor is not through a short-term and temporary redistribution, but through a reduction in the substantial tax impediments to saving and investing.
October 30, 2013
Lincoln City Councilman Roy Christensen sat down with us to discuss the local business community along with a few of the city's upcoming projects.
October 30, 2013
Now that the Tax Modernization Committee has finished its public hearings across the state, it is clear that citizens believe their taxes are too high, especially property taxes. Concerns were also raised about the income and sales taxes, as well as the infamous inheritance tax. Kearney Sen. Galen Hadley—the Committee’s chairperson—remarked that he believes the committee will propose changes to how the state taxes Social Security income. Yet for all these discussions, it appears one group of taxes has gone unnoticed: occupation taxes.