Kelly Blair, a banker from the Baltimore suburbs, spends hundreds of dollars online every year buying gifts and household supplies like pet food and shampoo. She doesn’t check to see whether she owes sales tax -- though her home state of Maryland says that she should.
California’s first credit upgrade in six years shows how curbs on pension costs, a voter-backed tax boost and an improving economy have allowed it to exit Wall Street’s basement, leaving Illinois as the lowest-rated state.
For the past four years, U.S. states struggled to close more than $500 billion of budget shortfalls caused by the recession, ushering in tax increases, spending cuts and clashes with public-employee unions.
California and New York , after closing budget deficits of more than $27 billion this year, may face $1.3 billion in combined new gaps if the federal capital- gains tax rate doesn’t rise as scheduled, state documents show.