The Real Price of College

Subscribe to Governing | View Newsletter in Browser to Governing Magazine & Newsletters on Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn FEATURED STORY The Real Price of College By Liz Farmer How much does higher education cost? Surprisingly, that’s a question most states can’t answer. Every state, of course, knows what it plans to spend on higher ed each year, which generally accounts for about 10 percent of a state’s budget. But few places track what they give up in tax breaks to help defray the cost of college for taxpayers, according to a new Pew Charitable Trusts report . Since many states default to the federal government’s qualifications for these tax breaks, most don’t know how vulnerable they are to changes at the federal level. Phillip Oliff, one of the report’s authors, says states should be regularly looking at both sides of the equation — tax breaks and direct spending — when considering how they pay for and promote education policy. “Then they can think about whether the full package of support is being used as effectively as possible to promote their policy goals," he says. Keep reading >> MORE FINANCE NEWS & COMMENTARY From $37 to $339,000: Why the Price of Public Records Requests Varies So Much The laws about public records differ from one government to the next and are further complicated by some technologies, like police body cameras. What Killed Michigan’s Plan to Nix Income Taxes? Under pressure from Democrats and Republicans, a proposal to gradually eliminate the state’s 4.25 percent income tax was scrapped for one that would cut the tax to 3.9 percent over four years and leave it at that level. Public Pensions and the Siren Song of Environmental Activism Retirement funds are being urged to sell off their investments in traditional energy producers. That’s bad for retirees, and it wouldn’t help the environment. New York’s First-in-Nation Cyber-Regulations to Take Effect March 1 The state announced final regulations requiring banks and insurers to meet minimum cybersecurity standards and report breaches to regulators as part of an effort to combat a surge in cyber crime. No 401(k)? No Problem. States Have You Covered. Several states are preparing to offer a retirement plan that helps private-sector workers — and taxpayers — save money. Finance writer Liz Farmer’s roundup of money (and other) news governments can use. Sign up to have it delivered every Friday to your inbox. ENJOY THIS NEWSLETTER? Governing has 10 others delivering news and commentary on a wide range of topics straight to your inbox. SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE TODAY Unsubscribe″ > | Opt out of all e.Republic email | Privacy Statement © 2017 e.Republic. All rights reserved. 100 Blue Ravine Road, Folsom, CA 95630. Phone: 916-932-1300