Financial Planning | Legislative / Regulatory | Taxation

States’ financial woes: Trouble for CPAs?

Money The nation's economy is a mess, but it looks positively beautiful compared to what's happening at the state level.

Forty-six states had budget deficits when they adopted their spending plans for fiscal 2011, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Many of them are telling horror stories of the tough economic decisions they have had to make lately, like closing public swimming pools and evicting state legislators from their offices to save money.

Throughout the nation, CPAs are holding their collective breath as state lawmakers debate the logic of raising revenue through new sales and use taxes. Maryland may be among the states having that debate, despite projections that the state's bottom line is almost $270 million better than first believed.

It's hard to believe we'll be able to fan the recovery flame until we fix these state-level issues ... and that makes Maryland's gubernatorial race between Martin O'Malley and Robert Ehrlich a bit more interesting, doesn't it?

It also puts renewed emphasis on the importance of CPA Day in Annapolis. Scheduled for Jan. 19, the event gives MACPA members the opportunity to speak face-to-face with their elected officials and discuss issues of importance to the profession. Topping this year's list will be the dangers of enacting a sales and use tax on professional services like those that CPAs provide. If you feel strongly about the issue (and if you want two free hours of CPE), get details and register to attend here.

More details on state tax issues
Mike Ginski, a member of the MACPA's State Tax Committee, offers details of the committee's recent meeting with the Maryland Comptroller's Compliance Division in this MACPA video. The committee received updates on a number of state collection and compliance initiatives. Watch Ginski's video update here:


Bill Sheridan