The Tax Policy Blog

June 06, 2008

To Americans who complain about high taxes in the U.S. I say, "it can always be worse." While American taxpayers celebrated Tax Freedom Day this year on April 23rd, our friends at the Liberal Institute in Prague have announced that Tax Freedom Day will arrive on June 7th in the Czech Republic. http://www.praguemonitor.com/en/351/czech_national_news/23770/

For those keeping score at home, this means...

Continue Reading...
June 06, 2008

A few days ago we wrote about some of the reasons why film tax credits are poor tax policy. They are corporate welfare for a profitable industry, they almost never weigh costs and benefits after enactment, they distort economic behavior, and they paper over deeper business tax climate problems. We also mentioned censorship—Canada has started vetting movies financed with film tax credits and other subsidies.

The recent proposal to expand...

Continue Reading...
June 05, 2008

Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge recently published an article in the Heartland Institute's Budget & Tax News on the opportunity for federal tax reform during the next administration—regardless of who wins. The article outlines five basic steps to politically realistic tax reform:

For the first time since 1986, the stars may be aligning for a grand bipartisan compromise on fundamental federal...

Continue Reading...
June 05, 2008

The Onion's what-do-you-think column recently:

The Democratic National Committee ruled that delegates from Michigan and Florida will get only half votes at the party's convention in August. What do you think?

"Given the emigration rate in Michigan and the mortality rate in Florida, I bet the revised delegate counts will actually be more...

Continue Reading...
June 05, 2008

The council of Madison County, Indiana voted 4-3 last evening to enact a $25 wheel tax for cars, sedans, and small trucks and $40 dollars for large trucks, buses and recreational vehicles. The Council estimates the wheel tax will raise approximately $3 million for road repairs in the county.

This could be considered a user fee, given the high cost of maintaining roads for the county and the wear and tear caused to them from daily driving. However, is a registration fee for...

Continue Reading...
June 03, 2008

State-run lotteries present a number of tax policy problems: they lack transparency, they impose a tax paid disproportionately by the poor, they unnecessarily complicate the tax system, and the profits are often not used as promised. As if that were not bad enough, there is also potential for corruption. Many people mistakenly believe that government-run lotteries are free of corruption while privately run lotteries would be rife with scandal...

Continue Reading...
June 03, 2008

New Jersey, Maryland and Connecticut lead the list of states that would bear the brunt of the Social Security tax hike that Sen. Obama has suggested.

In a new Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact, economist Gerald Prante ranks the 50 states from least to hardest hit, assuming Sen. Obama's proposal to lift the wage tax ceiling becomes law.

"More than 10 percent of taxpayers in New Jersey would pay higher payroll taxes if the wage tax ceiling were abolished," says Prante. "It...

Continue Reading...
June 03, 2008

South Carolina will continue to have the lowest state cigarette tax in the U.S. (7 cents per pack) following Governor Mark Sanford's veto of a bill (H. 3567) that would raise it by 50 cents per pack. The House sustained the veto on May 27. The tax increase would have made South Carolina's cigarette tax higher than neighbors Georgia and North Carolina. We've written extensively on how the wide variety of state cigarette...

Continue Reading...
June 03, 2008

The U.S. federal corporate income tax is currently 35 percent, second-highest in the world. If it were cut, who would benefit? Lots of people, says Harvard economics professor N. Gregory Mankiw:

The ultimate payers of the corporate tax are those individuals who have some stake in the company on which the tax is levied. If you own corporate...

Continue Reading...
June 02, 2008

Wesley Snipes (tax case against him covered here, verdict here) is appealing prosecutors' efforts to collect $258,000 in costs from him. More here at Tax Prof Blog.

As an aside, in China, tax evasion is a crime subject to the...

Continue Reading...
June 01, 2008
Continue Reading...
May 31, 2008

Florida Governor Charlie Crist, who has actually been mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate for Republican John McCain, is backing, along with some giant insurance companies, a plan that would have the federal government in effect raise taxes on the rest of America to subsidize insurance for residents of Florida.

...

Continue Reading...
May 31, 2008

Next week, the U.S. Senate will debate the Lieberman-Warner bill, which would impose a cap-and-trade type system on U.S. producers that emit carbon. A well-designed cap-and-trade system that properly auctions off the rights to emit carbon is a de facto carbon tax. Supporters of cap-and-trade in the political arena rarely admit this because the word "tax" carries a negative connotation, whereas "regulation to protect the environment" sounds good to voters, even though both policies are...

Continue Reading...
May 30, 2008

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week (Kentucky v. Davis, covered here) that states may tax out-of-state bonds at a higher rate than in-state bonds, because doing so supports a legitimate government objective, not discrimination to benefit private interests.

The Court...

Continue Reading...
May 30, 2008

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) this week signed H.B. 2482, which extends that state's film tax credit for another year. The credit was first established in 2003, and boosters say it has brought more film production to the state. Some thirty states have similar film tax credits, which (depending on the state) reimburse sales and even income and payroll taxes paid on production and editing costs.

No doubt, since it's corporate welfare...

Continue Reading...

Pages

Follow Us

About the Tax Policy Blog

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.

Monthly Archive