Lunch Links: Death to Estate Tax; Death to Michigan Tax Increase; Erroneous IRS Payouts into the Millions; Where State Legislatures are Up for Grabs

October 13, 2016

Today is October 13, the date in 1983 when the first cellular phone service became available to the public, in Chicago. Just this week, we released a report on cell phone tax burdens in each state; taxes and fees on wireless service are 18.6 percent of the average customer’s monthly bill.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

Killing the Death Tax Would Resurrect Growth: My colleague Steve Entin has an op-ed today explaining that Hillary Clinton’s plan to increase the estate tax to 65 percent would reduce GDP by 1 percent over ten years and slow wage growth. Repealing the tax completely would lose $46 billion over ten years but grow GDP by 0.7 percent. The tax currently raises $19 billion a year. (The Wall Street Journal)

Ballot Guide to Tax-Related Initiatives: The National Taxpayers Union has a comprehensive list of tax-related initiatives on the November 8 ballot. (NTU)

Time for a Michigan Tax Cut? James Hohman and Jack McHugh argue that with state revenue at $31 billion (up from $25 billion in the recession), the state should reverse a 2007 income tax increase. (Michigan Capitol Confidential)

November Impact on State Legislatures: Currently, Republicans control the House and Senate in 30 states, compared to 12 states for the Democrats; chambers are split in seven states. Governing predicts the Democrats will retake control of the Colorado Senate, the Maine Senate, the Nevada Senate and Assembly, the New Hampshire Senate, the New Mexico House, and the New York Senate. Republicans are projected to take the Connecticut Senate and the Kentucky House from the Democrats. (Governing)

IRS Pays Out $27 Million a Year to Tax Protestors: 1,938 taxpayers asserting tax protestor arguments received erroneous refunds or credits totaling $27 million in 2014. Common arguments include that the Sixteenth Amendment was never ratified, that paying income tax not mandatory, that paying taxes is slavery prohibited by the Thirteenth Amendment, and that African-Americans are not required to pay taxes. As I wrote in 2010, there is a law requiring payment of income tax and the government’s power to do so is frequently and routinely upheld. (Washington Examiner / Tax Foundation)

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