As we reach the midway point in the multistate legislative calendar, we thought it appropriate to highlight the present and remaining schedules of state lawmakers. The following states are currently in session: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Significant state tax measures are alive and well in nearly all of these states. For example, California is considering several use tax nexus bills, several corporate income tax bills, and property tax “change-of-ownership” legislation. Nevada will consider recently introduced gross receipts tax legislation, loosely modeled after the Texas margins tax. The District of Columbia continues to advance a combined reporting proposal. The Texas legislature sent Governor Perry a sales tax affiliate nexus bill on May 13. Last but not least, year-long sessions in some of the more populous states like Illinois, Michigan, New York, and New Jersey will keep things interesting for months to come.

Governors in Georgia (May 25), Kansas (May 26), Maryland (May 27), Vermont (June 6), Colorado (June 10), Texas (June 19), Florida (July 6), Hawaii (July 12), Minnesota (June 6), and Missouri (July 14), among others, have recently faced signing deadlines, or will face signing deadlines in the near future. However, several state tax bills supported by the taxpaying community never made it that far. For example, the Colorado legislature adjourned on May 11 without acting on a recent push by House Republicans to repeal last year’s controversial use tax reporting legislation. Georgia did not act on any iteration of its tax reform legislation, which was derived from recommendations of the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness including comprehensive (and much needed) communications services tax reform.

Washington State has convened Special Session “A” concerning its budget, with expected adjournment on June 25. Pennsylvania (Regular Session) and Virginia (Special Session “A”) are in recess and are expected to reconvene on June 6 and June 9, respectively. 

Although we have thus far averted “Taxageddon 2011,” state tax legislative activity has clearly picked up since the 2010 election year. As for the second half of 2011, the excitement is sure to continue as legislators look for creative ways to balance state budgets without alienating their in-state constituents or, put another way, to shift tax liabilities to out-of-state taxpayers.