The Tax Policy Blog

September 01, 2015

The country’s manufacturing sector is in decline. In 1979, about 19.6 million Americans were employed in manufacturing. Today the number stands at 12.3 million. Despite—or perhaps because of—this economic shift, manufacturing firms tend to be the recipients of substantial state incentives. That’s one takeaway from our new Location Matters study, which...

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August 31, 2015

Each year we produce the State Business Tax Climate Index, which promotes tax competition between the states and motivates policymakers to reform their tax systems toward pro-growth policies. Over the past few years, the Index has prompted meaningful tax reforms in states such as North Carolina, New York, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Indiana, Texas, and the District of Columbia.

Today, we were named...

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August 31, 2015

When the Connecticut legislature passed a budget increasing the burden of the state’s already high corporate taxes earlier this year, major employers like General Electric initiated a very public search for a new home. Taxes are but one of many factors companies weigh while making location decisions—a state like New York, for instance, can be a popular place to locate corporate headquarters despite high tax burdens—but in many cases,...

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August 28, 2015

State and local governments depend on many different types of taxes, one of which is known as an excise tax. Like general sales taxes, excise taxes are paid on the purchase of an item. But unlike sales taxes, excise taxes are collected on specific types of transactions, not a wide range of general goods. Some of the most common excise taxes include gasoline excise taxes, cigarette taxes, and taxes on the purchase of beer, wine, and liquor. Others include taxes on the purchase of amusements...

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August 27, 2015

2013 was a year of many changes to the U.S. tax code, and some of the most significant changes were targeted at raising taxes on high-income Americans. The fiscal cliff tax deal created a new 39.6 percent income tax bracket, raised the top rate on capital gains to 20 percent, and imposed a limitation on itemized deductions...

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August 26, 2015

This morning, Justin Trudeau, the leader of the Canadian Liberal Party, proposed a new tax credit for teachers, to help cover out-of-pocket classroom expenses. The proposed credit is largely similar to the educator expense deduction in the U.S. tax code, but differs in a few key regards.

For one thing,...

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August 25, 2015

Today, the Congressional Budget Office released its semiannual Budget and Economic Outlook report, which forecasts the federal budget deficit over the next ten years, as well as several other economic indicators. An important part of this forecast is CBO’s projection of federal revenues, which determine whether the federal government will bring in enough money in taxes to pay for...

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August 25, 2015

We got a message from a reader who noticed that our report on taxes on lottery winnings by state says that New Hampshire has no income tax. He said while that’s true, he remembered a 10 percent tax on lottery winnings and asked us to check it out.

He is right that such a tax existed, but only for gambling winnings between July 1, 2009 and May 22, 2011. After the tax went into effect,...

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August 21, 2015

Every public policy benefits some people more than others – and energy policy is no exception. A new paper from Severin Borenstein and Lucas Davis, two professors at UC Berkeley, examines which taxpayers benefit most from tax credits for clean energy:

“Since 2006, U.S. households have received more than $18 billion in federal income tax credits for weatherizing their homes, installing solar...

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August 20, 2015

“Praise be to the IRS, that most permissive of government agencies,” is a phrase that presumably had never been uttered by anyone – until last Sunday night, when television comedian John Oliver delivered a twenty minute monologue about the tax status of churches in the United States.

Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight focused on how easy it is for groups in the United States to qualify as tax-exempt religious...

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August 19, 2015

This week’s tax map comes from our recent report examining sales tax holidays across the nation. The study explains why, in spite of their political expediency, these “holidays” are poor tax policy, and the map illustrates which states that still have the holidays, what their dates are, and what is included.

Before we look at the map, here is a quick rundown of what our study...

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August 13, 2015

Social Security is Turning 80

August 14th marks the 80th anniversary of the signing of the Social Security Act by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935. The program has done much to alleviate poverty among the elderly. Unfortunately, the system itself is showing its age. The Old Age and Survivors Insurance program (OASI, retirement benefits) is now running cash deficits as the baby boomers are retiring. The Disability Insurance program (DI) has...

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August 13, 2015

States tax real property in a variety of ways: some impose a rate or a millage—the amount of tax per thousand dollars of value—on the fair market value of the property, while others impose it on some percentage (the assessment ratio) of the market value, yielding an assessed value. 

Some states have equalization requirements, ensuring uniformity across the state. Sometimes caps limit the degree to which one’s property taxes can rise in a given year, and sometimes rate adjustments are...

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August 12, 2015

The Maine Lobster Festival was recently boiling with embarrassment after discovering that it had failed to pay sales tax for the past 67 years. The festival celebrates the famous crustacean, and provides grants to local organizations who apply in order to increase community involvement and funding for other nonprofits.

The problem was discovered when the festival...

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August 12, 2015

Two weeks ago, the Senate passed and Obama signed a bill that extends the funding for the Highway Trust Fund until October 30th, 2015. The bill pays for the extension with a number of administrative changes to current taxes such as the estate tax. Lawmakers believe that this three-month extension will give them time to find a more long-term solution to the trust fund.

Last...

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Subscribe to Tax Foundation - Tax Foundation's Tax Policy Blog The Tax Policy Blog is the official blog of the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization that has monitored tax policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937. Our economists welcome your feedback. If you would like to send an e-mail to the author of a blog post, please click on that person's name to locate his or her e-mail address or visit our staff page here.

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