Positive Yelp Reviews Don’t Mean Stronger Profits For Businesses in Black Neighborhoods, Study Finds

“Location in Black-majority neighborhoods eliminates the benefit of being a highly rated establishment,” according to the new report, which looks at data for thousands of businesses.

Utah Representative Proposes Bill to Stop Payday Lenders From Taking Bail Money from Borrowers

Debtors prisons were banned by Congress in 1833, but a ProPublica article that revealed the sweeping powers of high-interest lenders in Utah caught the attention of one legislator. Now, he’s trying to do something about it.

How States Use Annual Caps to Control Tax Incentive Costs

ANALYSIS | Limits on economic development spending provide fiscal protections.

Rural and Poorest States Depend on Census Most

High-poverty and rural areas that tend to get the most federal funding.

Do Older Taxpayers Balk at Supporting Schools?

COMMENTARY | In certain places, opponents to new school taxes are finding success by courting older voters.

Safety Net Programs, Local Grants on Chopping Block in Trump Budget

Trump’s $4.89 trillion budget proposal faces an uphill battle with Democrats in Congress, who were critical of domestic spending cuts.

The Great Affordability Crisis Breaking America

COMMENTARY | In one of the best decades the American economy has ever recorded, families were bled dry.

How Fines and Fees Reform Became a Priority for Cities Across the Country

Dozens of cities are changing how they collect fines and fees. How did this movement grow?

Proposed Federal Rule Will Undercut State Lending Protections, AGs Warn

The attorneys general are concerned about a strategy that high-cost lenders can use to get around state interest rate caps.

In State of the Union, Trump Touts Trade Deals, Economic Wins

On the eve of an impeachment vote, President Trump underscored a recent agreement that he said will restore the United States’ “manufacturing might.”

Are State and Local Governments Prepared for the Next Recession?

Two financial experts weigh in on state and local governments’ preparedness for the next recession.

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Washington State May Give Seattle More Taxing Power

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Virginia appeals abortion restrictions … Trump administration unveils Medicaid “block grant” plan … California bill would require truthful advertisement of rehab centers.

Measuring the Cost of a State’s Car Economy

A new study attempts to come up with a dollar figure for how much cars, trucks and roads cost Massachusetts each year.

For the First Time, a State Will Mandate Severance Pay During Mass Layoffs

Inspired by the closure of Toys ‘R’ Us amid bankruptcy, New Jersey passed a law to protect employees during large-scale cutbacks.

State Lawmakers Backtrack on a Tax Code Revamp

Utah officials say they plan to scrap a law they passed just last month after it attracted widespread public opposition, in part because of a tax hike on groceries.

How States and Localities Could Spur More Companies to Share Profits With Their Workers

A new report says profit sharing and employee ownership can benefit both companies and workers, recommending state and local policies to help support these business models.

Seniors’ Sweet Tax Breaks Have Become a Target

In most states, seniors pay less income tax than younger people. Is that fair?

Proposal Could Impose Higher Taxes on Companies With Large CEO-Worker Pay Gaps

A California Senate committee approved a bill meant to address big pay disparities between corporate executives and employees.

Property Taxes Sink Farmland Owners

As farmland continues to increase in value, even amid declining farm prices and weather woes, farmers see their tax bills rise.

The Final Sprint: How the Public Sector Can Efficiently Comply with the New Lease Accounting Standard

COMMENTARY | A new financial reporting requirement for states, localities and higher ed will require a heavy undertaking to efficiently reach compliance.