The Tax Policy Blog

August 18, 2014

Update: For an additional map that breaks the data down by metropolitan statistical areas, click here.

This week’s tax map shows the real value of $100 in each state. Because average prices for similar goods are much higher in California or New York than in Mississippi or South Dakota, the same amount of dollars will buy you comparatively less in the high-price states, or comparatively more...

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August 18, 2014

College is generally a good investment. On average, people who earn a four year degree go on to make almost twice as much as those with only a high school diploma. But while those future high earners are in college, they tend to be relatively poor (speaking from experience here).

The relative poverty of college students has some big implications for how we look at inequality. We recently released a...

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August 14, 2014

An interesting new interactive tool produced by the New York Times’ Upshot blog presents data showing state populations back to 1900, and what share of them were born in-state, abroad, or in other states. It’s a fascinating graphic to look at, but can be hard to interpret. What does it mean that North Carolina’s born-in-state share has...

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August 14, 2014

In the current hysteria over corporate inversions, many point to their cost to the U.S. Treasury. In a Washington Post article, BusinessWeek’s Allan Sloan writes about corporate inversions saying: “All of this threatens to undermine our tax base, with projected losses in the billions.”

While corporate...

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August 14, 2014

State Tax Notes today reports that the California Senate just approved a bill that would prohibit sports team owners from deducting professional fines as business expenses. The bill, which was approved 27 to 9, is aimed at Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, who made racially offensive comments this year resulting in a $2.5 million fine from the NBA. The bill would...

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August 13, 2014

Wealth inequality has surged into public discourse this year with the release of works such as Thomas Piketty’s popular Capital in the Twenty-First Century. However, the data social scientist use to measure inequality isn’t an effective tool for the job.

To add to the conversation, we’ve released a...

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August 13, 2014

Income data from the IRS and the Census Bureau have their uses, but measuring equality isn’t one of them. This is because income data lacks context.

A single year snapshot of income data misses how income fluctuates significantly over the course of an individual’s life. For example, a person who is a poor medical student today will later be a doctor who makes a high salary.

In fact, the average tax return for an 18- to 25-year-old shows about $15,000 in adjusted...

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August 13, 2014

Pennsylvania State Representative John Lawrence (R) has circulated a memo (paywalled) stating his intention to “introduce legislation proposing an 80 cents per pack cigarette tax to fund significant school property tax relief for low-income seniors.” The memo indicates that seniors with under $35,000 in annual income everywhere outside of Philadelphia (subject to a separate...

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August 11, 2014

This week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on “New Markets Tax Credits” (NMTC) at the request of Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK). In addition, Senator Coburn also released a report of his own outlining the program.

New Market Tax Credits were introduced in 2000 as part of the Community...

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August 11, 2014

I'm in Anchorage, Alaska, where on Saturday I presented on tax incentives to an audience of state legislators. Drawing on our research and reports by the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, the Pew Center on the States, and the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, here’s what I said:

  • There are different definitions of incentives, ranging from inherent non-tax advantages to regulatory and legal environment to overall tax structure to focused tax incentives to...
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August 11, 2014

Last month we released our updated study on sales tax holidays, reporting that 16 states (mostly in the southeastern U.S.) will hold a sales tax holiday in 2014, down from the peak of 19 states in 2010. As we note, political gimmicks like sales tax holidays distract...

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August 10, 2014

Our work makes the Washington Post pretty frequently, but I wanted to alert you that today we're in it twice! First up, my colleague Liz Malm on sales tax holidays:

...

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August 08, 2014

The American Legislative Exchange Council recently released a report on the unseen costs of tax cronyism that offers for the first time a number figure on how much states give away in tax favoritism per year.

The report finds that states awarded $220 billion for personal income and business earnings exemptions and $260.1 billion in sales tax exemptions. These figures don’t even include tax breaks for individual...

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August 07, 2014

Per a Politico report, President Barack Obama says he will act on inversions:

“Obama has asked Congress to address the practice, known as inversions. However, he made clear Wednesday that he also plans to take whatever unilateral steps he can to rein in the phenomenon.

“What we are doing is examining: Are there elements to how...

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Subscribe to Tax Foundation - Tax Foundation's Tax Policy Blog The Tax Policy Blog is the official weblog 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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