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Law & Economics Working Papers

American Rescue Plan

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No New Tax Cuts? Examining The Rescue Plan's New State Tax Limits, Conor Clarke, Edward G. Fox Jan 2022

No New Tax Cuts? Examining The Rescue Plan's New State Tax Limits, Conor Clarke, Edward G. Fox

Law & Economics Working Papers

In this article, Clarke and Fox examine the American Rescue Plan Act’s restrictions on state tax cuts, arguing that the restrictions are a variation on more familiar maintenance-of-effort provisions. These provisions are common, and are designed to help ensure that federal grants supplement rather than supplant state spending by requiring the state to maintain its level of spending on a program. Clarke and Fox conclude that the Rescue Plan’s requirements create similar incentives, and argue that the similarity makes it more likely that the act’s tax provisions are consonant with the Constitution’s spending clause.