State Tax Snap Shot: Keeping Tabs on State Legislatures


January has arrived, which means states throughout the country are convening their regular legislative sessions. The beginning of the year also marks an important time for state tax practitioners because effective compliance planning often requires tracking the changes that the different jurisdictions make to their state tax codes.   

In most states, regular legislative sessions run from January through mid to late spring. Exceptions to this rule include California (January through August), and Louisiana  (March 12 through June 4).

At various times the states also convene special sessions to address specific issues. For example, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo closed 2011 by calling for a special session in December, which resulted in the enactment of a tax reform measure that raised the state's top income tax rate. 

Some states will not convene a regular session in 2012. These states are:

  • Montana,
  • Nevada,
  • North Dakota, and
  • Texas.

As states continue to struggle with closing budget gaps and resolving issues such as how to tax online transactions, 2012 promises to be an active year. The good news is that only a fraction of the bills introduced this winter will be enacted into law in the spring. Perhaps the better news is that there will likely be more than enough state tax law changes to keep state tax practitioners busy throughout 2012 and beyond.

By Steven Roll

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