Economists are warning that a COVID-19 relief bill without aid for state and local governments would mean passing up an opportunity to include a proven stimulus provision.Congressional leaders are at odds over not only the price tag of a new relief measure, but what should be in it. The various proposals on Capitol Hill range from tens of billions of dollars in government aid for states, cities, tribes and territories to no funds at all.“The most effective form of relief and stimulus for the overall economy is flexible money that states can use depending on need,” said Tracy Gordon, senior fellow with the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, which is led by a former Obama administration official.ADVERTISEMENTState and local government budgets have been hit hard by the pandemic, losing revenue from sales taxes and business taxes as local purchases dried up and stores shuttered. Other fees and revenue sources are dwindling as residents draw back on most day-to-day activities.Though shortfalls today are well below some of the estimates made in the early days of the coronavirus downturn, states are still expected to slash spending anywhere from 5 percent to 20 percent to keep their budgets balanced, according to data compiled by… Read full this story
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