The Tax Policy Blog

November 10, 2008

While Californians are mulling Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R)'s proposed sales tax increase into double-digit territory (see here and here), on Thursday he also came out with a proposal to hike taxes employers pay into the unemployment insurance fund:

Businesses currently are taxed on the first $7,000 a year that an...

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November 10, 2008

From today's Washington Post:

President-elect Barack Obama plans to push ahead with a middle-class tax cut soon after taking office, his choice for White House chief of staff said yesterday.

Rahm Emanuel also hinted that Obama would not postpone a tax increase for families earning more than $250,000 a year despite the deepening economic gloom...

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November 07, 2008

Yesterday we discussed California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R)'s proposal to raise the state's sales tax by 1.5 percentage points. His office's statement described the current tax rate as "5 percent" and the increased rate as "6.5 percent."

This is misleading because the lowest sales tax rate in California is 7.25 percent, with many areas paying a half-point or full point more, and at least one area (South Gate, CA) hitting 9.25...

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November 07, 2008

Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge was interviewed by Don Irvine, Chairman of Accuracy in Media, on their podcast. Hodge and Irvine discussed everything from ballot initiative results to corporate taxes.

Where else is Tax Foundation material landing in the blogosphere?

  • Before the election, ...
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November 07, 2008

A reader points us to two ballot initiatives hiking taxes on parking lots and rental cars in San Mateo County, California that failed on Tuesday. Measure Q would have imposed an 8% gross receipts tax on commercial parking facilities (San Francisco International Airport is located in San Mateo County),...

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November 06, 2008

During the summer, Governor Schwarzenegger proposed a temporary sales tax hike to close the expected budget gap, but he settled for other reforms when opposition was fierce to raising the state's highest-in-the-nation sales tax. Now budget projections show a larger gap, so he's back, this time with a larger tax hike.

Instead of an additional 1 percent, he wants 1.5 percent, a hike that...

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November 05, 2008

When people know that tax increases are imminent, they often change their financial arrangements, especially the timing of large payments, sales or investments. We are already seeing that in the sports world as agents consider the advantage of acting before an Obama tax hike takes effect. Here's the AP story.

Those sports agents are worried about wage tax rates going up, but historically the biggest changes occur...

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November 05, 2008

All results are unofficial and subject to change.

Raising and Repealing Taxes and Non-Tax Taxes

  • Arkansas's Constitutional Amendment 3, which would establish a state lottery (Arkansas is one of eight states without a lottery), passed 63%-36%.
  • California had a number of county and regional sales tax increases and extensions for transportation, each of which required a two-thirds vote to...
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November 05, 2008

From TaxProf Blog: fifteen tax professors give their thoughts on how the Obama-Biden administration will affect tax policy.

November 05, 2008

On Monday, Sen. Bob Menendez was on Neil Cavuto's show discussing Sen. Obama's tax plan. Of course, like many campaign spokespersons, he was only able to recite the 50 words that the campaign staff taught him. It's rather entertaining yet frustrating at the same time to realize that a person this clueless is helping shape fiscal policy in the United States Senate. (He should ask Sen. Wyden to give him a 30-minute tutoring session on...

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November 04, 2008

A new Tax Policy Podcast, the first of a three-part series on the State Business Tax Climate Index Tour, examines the "business-friendliness"—or lack thereof—of New Jersey's tax system.

Gregg Edwards of the Center for Policy Research of New Jersey discuses New Jersey's last-place ranking in the Index and suggests ways New Jersey legislators can improve the state's dismal ranking.

...

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November 03, 2008

Tomorrow Marylanders will vote on a constitutional amendment to allow slot machines—also known as video lottery terminals, or VLTs—in five locations around the state to raise money for public education.  Slots opponents and advocates have been fighting bitterly for years, and the issue will finally be decided.

Many opponents of this plan argue that VLTs are more likely than traditional...

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November 01, 2008

The misleading ads and speeches from both John McCain and Barack Obama continue, and they will likely continue through Tuesday. Here's Obama's latest ad on taxes:

Obama: I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message.

Announcer: "Wonder where John McCain would take the economy? Look behind you. John McCain wants to continue George Bush's economic policies. As President he'd provide no tax breaks to 101 million Americans but keep...

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November 01, 2008

There has been a lot of talk in the press recently about various people with the Obama campaign quoting different figures on whom Sen. Obama would cut taxes for or whom he wouldn't raise taxes on (based upon income levels). The campaign had long claimed that nobody making under $250,000 would face a tax hike. (Technically, that's not true since he raises corporate income taxes.) But it's pretty close to true with respect to the individual income tax (assuming a married return; single...

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November 01, 2008

Today's Los Angeles Times had a story about how Obama and McCain differ on taxes, with Obama focusing on questions of vertical equity and McCain focusing on efficiency. In the article, there was a quote from Jared Bernstein of EPI:

"You can't find evidence that low tax rates foster high economic growth," said Jared Bernstein, director of a research program at the...

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