Lunch Links: Raising Gas Taxes A 'Non-Issue' for Incumbents in Iowa Legislative Races; High-Income Earner Taxes on Ballot in California and Maine; Corporate Tax Breaks for Housing, Development Projects Cost NYC $3 Billion

November 03, 2016

Today is November 3, the birthday of Russell Long (1918-2003), Democratic Senator from Louisiana (1948-1987) and Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee (1966-1981). Long, a winner of the 1976 Tax Foundation Distinguished Service Award, famously summarized most people’s view of tax policy as “don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree.”

Here are some interesting links I came across:

The Estate Tax is Double Taxation: My colleague Kyle Pomerleau argues that far from being a myth, the estate tax is imposed on the transfer of existing income rather than the creation of new income. (Tax Foundation)

Two States Voting to Hike Taxes on the Rich: California and Maine voters will consider proposals to raise high-income earner taxes. (CNN Money)

Gas Tax Hike a Non-Issue in Iowa Races: Elected officials generally fear increasing the gas tax, since constituents pay it and notice every penny, and ever since Rep. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky (D-PA) lost her congressional seat after being the deciding vote on the 1993 federal gas tax increase. But apparently Iowans don’t mind the 10-cent tax increase since the repairs and construction it funded are visible. (The New York Times / Globe Gazette)

New York City Tax Abatements Total $3 Billion: The tax carveouts, reported as part of a new disclosure effort, total about 4 percent of the city’s $82 billion budget. (Reuters)

Competing Visions for Tobacco Taxes in Colorado and North Dakota: Colorado wants to raise the cigarette tax for health services, unlike North Dakota. Neither would be a reliable revenue stream. (Tax Foundation)

Consumers Would Bear the True Cost of Measure 97: My colleague Nicole Kaeding has an op-ed in today’s Portland Tribune explaining who would pay for a proposed tax on corporate sales. (Portland Tribune)


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