The Tax Policy Blog

August 11, 2015

While North Carolina legislators continue to negotiate a budget agreement (including possible tax changes), one provision is getting only a little bit of attention: a proposal to increase the percentage that the...

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August 07, 2015

The need for tax reform is clear. Economic growth has been sluggish for a number of years, workforce participation is down, wages are...

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August 05, 2015

The Joint Economic Committee hearing last week discussed the importance of dynamic scoring ­­—a method of estimating the effects of policy changes on the economy. Earlier this year the House of Representives passed a rule requiring dynamic scoring of future bills. Congress had previously relied on conventional, static scoring to analyze such effects. Static and dynamic scoring are very different in the...

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August 05, 2015

Conversations about “loopholes” in the tax code are often unproductive. “Loophole” is a loaded word, one that sneaks in hidden assumptions without justifying them. But loaded words are often effective; especially, apparently, the word “loophole.” As a result, the word has been used far too often and applied in all sorts of inappropriate situations. The end result has been a debate crippled by equivocation. Here’s what I mean by that.

To describe something as a “loophole” has a built-...

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August 05, 2015

Yesterday, the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) released their analysis (PDF) of a bill to extend several lapsed tax provisions through 2016. The most significant of these lapsed is called 50 percent expensing, a policy that lets businesses deduct some costs up front rather than over a long schedule.

An important feature of this analysis was that it included the effects of macroeconomic growth, as...

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August 03, 2015

Gary Hufbauer is the Reginald Jones Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

A seminal thinker and world-renowned expert on international trade, commerce, and taxation, for the past decades, Dr. Hufbauer’s research has significantly influenced the arena of international economics. Few, if any, other scholars have the same profound understanding of the interaction between tax law and trade...

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July 31, 2015

Yesterday, the Senate approved a three month extension of the Highway Trust Fund. The bill, called the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act, would fund the Highway Trust Fund until October 29th by moving $8 billion dollars from the general fund. It would pay for the shift with several administrative and compliance changes to existing taxes (overview here).

...

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July 31, 2015

501(c)3 charitable organizations collected $1.73 trillion in revenue in 2012, according to statistics released by the IRS on Wednesday.

This figure represents the highest level of revenue ever received by charitable organizations, up from $1.65 trillion in 2011. Charitable organizations now make over three times as much revenue as they did in 1985, with revenues growing by an...

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July 31, 2015

This week, Representatives Charles Boustany (R-LA) and Richard Neal (D-MA) introduced a discussion draft on the “Innovation Promotion Act of 2015.” This act would introduce what is called an “innovation box,” or patent box to the U.S. tax code.

Simply put, a patent box provides a lower tax rate on income related to intellectual property. Its stated goal is to promote research and development in the United States.

How Would the Patent Box Work?

The...

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July 30, 2015

This week’s map is a GIF showing the year each state adopted its gasoline excise tax. Oregon was the first state to do so in February of 1919 (Colorado, New Mexico, and North Dakota also enacted them later in the year). By 1929, every state in the union at the time had enacted a gas tax (Hawaii and Alaska had not yet gained statehood at this time).

(Click on the map to enlarge it. Reposting policy)

...

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July 30, 2015

“No Car Tax.” As political slogans go, Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore’s 1997 cri de coeur was admirably clear. No vague, aspirational statements about renewing, reclaiming, or reviving anything; just: the car tax must go.

Gilmore’s anti-car tax campaign was a political masterstroke, and in his first year in office, he secured passage of legislation phasing out the widely despised tax over five years. But eighteen years later, with Gilmore...

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July 28, 2015

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has proposed a change in the top capital gains tax rates. Under current law, such capital gains have a two-tiered structure: short-term gains face a top rate of 43.4 percent (including the 39.6 percent statutory rate plus the 3.8 percent investment income surtax) and long-term gains, defined as those with a holding period of more than a year, face a reduced tax rate of 23.8 percent (20 percent statutory rate plus the 3.8 percent surtax)....

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July 27, 2015

After a year of parliamentary debates the French Parliament adopted an Energy Transition for Green Growth plan on Wednesday the 22nd of July. As part of this plan the carbon tax will almost quadruple for the current rate of €14.5/tCO2 to €56 by 2020 and...

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July 24, 2015

Greece’s economic problems began long before the current debt crisis. In 2009, the Greek deficit was approaching the EU limit of 3% of GDP. Fearing economic sanctions by the EU, the Greek government passed tax increases to reduce deficits.  One of the tax increases was a 10% surtax on corporate income known as a special extraordinary contribution on corporate profits. The result was a mass exodus of businesses that...

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July 24, 2015

If you desire to travel in interstate commerce, first you must let go of the rope. That, at least, is the conclusion of the Missouri Department of Revenue with regard to the applicability of the state's sales tax to tethered (taxed) and untethered (untaxed) hot air balloon rides. The Missouri ruling is neither surprising nor unprecedented, but it's a...

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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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