Lunch Links: Speaker Ryan Contemplates Procedural Tool to Push Tax Agenda and Repeal Obamacare; Nevada Governor Not Giving Up on Tax to Fund NFL-Ready Stadium; Massachusetts Legislators Say Marijuana Excise Tax Too Low

October 06, 2016

Today is October 6, the day in 1723 when a 17-year-old Benjamin Franklin (“In this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes”) ran away from his Boston home and moved to Philadelphia.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

International Tax Competitiveness Index: Estonia, New Zealand, Latvia, Switzerland, and Sweden top our annual report comparing international tax systems. At the bottom are France, Italy, Portugal, Greece, and the United States. (Tax Foundation)

Speaker Floats Pushing Through Tax Reform: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) hinted that he may try to push through a budget and tax agenda (and repeal of the Affordable Care Act) through the reconciliation process, which would bypass a threatened Senate filibuster but limit the duration of the law to ten years. (Politico)

Nevada Stadium Special Session: Governor Brian Sandoval (R) has called the Nevada legislature into a special session starting Monday to authorize an 0.88 percent room tax in Las Vegas to fund an NFL-ready football stadium. Sandoval had also said he’d seek a room tax increase to fund education savings accounts temporarily, after the Nevada Supreme Court struck down part of its funding, but he decided to remove that request from the proposal before the special session. (KTVN)

Supreme Court Allows Unclaimed Property Suit Against Delaware to Go Forward: The U.S. Supreme Court authorized multiple states to file a complaint in Arkansas v. Delaware, a multi-state claim against the First State. Delaware has turned unclaimed property from companies incorporated in the state—laws where the state acts as trustee to reunite things like forgotten utility deposits and bank interest—into a cash cow for the state’s budget, with aggressive auditing and collection practices. Other states argue the money should be returned to the state where the transaction occurred. (State Tax Notes)

Criticism of Massachusetts Marijuana Tax Ballot Initiative: Officials and legislators are complaining that the proposed 3.75 percent excise tax rate (on top of the state sales tax) is too low. (State Tax Notes)

Time for Lower Liquor Taxes in Michigan: The Detroit News editorializes for reducing the state’s excessive tax markups. (The Detroit News)

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