State conformity with federal tax changes

Michaele Morrow, Robert Ricketts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We examine the decisions by state legislatures to conform to or decouple from federal tax legislation. We use a generalized estimating equations (GEE) approach to estimate the parameters of a model of factors associated with the state legislative decisions to conform their own tax systems to accommodate 11 federal tax reductions implemented between 2002 and 2008. Our model predicts that state legislators consider political, budgetary, and ease of compliance factors when considering whether to adopt federal tax changes into their own states' tax codes. Our results are generally consistent with expectations, identifying several factors that are associated with the probability that a state will incorporate revenue-reducing tax changes implemented by the federal government. Our results also suggest that although state legislators appear to value conformity with the tax initiatives of the federal government, given rising budgetary pressures, state conformity with such legislation is likely to decrease in coming years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-51
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of the American Taxation Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2010


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