The Tax Policy Blog

January 18, 2008

The new edition of Tax Watch, the Tax Foundation's bimonthly newsletter, is now available.  Tax Watch presents Tax Foundation research and analysis in a simple, non-technical format—ideal for the non-economist looking for a clear explanation of current tax issues.

Highlights from the January-February 2008 issue include:

  • What Do Corporate Income Taxes Cost American Families?
  • Some States Win, Others Lose from Federal Taxing...
Continue Reading...
January 18, 2008

President Bush's 2001 tax rebate eventually got mostly good reviews, even grudging praise from the Washington Post editorial board. And so it would be unsurprising if, as media reports suggest, the president now proposed that a new fiscal stimulus be administered the same way: by cutting the lowest income tax rate for the current year, then pre-paying the tax savings.

[The Tax...

Continue Reading...
January 18, 2008

The Tax Foundation has estimated what the revenue impact of an income tax rebate of the 10% rate would be in 2008. Media reports suggest this may be one component of President Bush's plan to stimulate the economy. Taxpayers would receive a rebate check, likely based on their 2006 tax returns. The 10% rate would be set to zero when taxpayers file returns for tax year 2008. The summary of our results:

  • Under a baseline assumption of no AMT patch (current law), reducing...
Continue Reading...
January 17, 2008

Senator John McCain today added his voice to the growing chorus calling for a lower U.S. corporate income tax rate. The senator and presidential hopeful suggested that the rate be cut to 25% (from 35%) as part of a package that would help the slowing U.S. economy. He rightly states that cutting the corporate rate would "spur investment and innovation and make American business more competitive in the global marketplace...

Continue Reading...
January 17, 2008

CongressDaily reported this morning that Democrats in Congress are seeking to help prop up the housing market as a way of helping a weakening economy. From CongressDaily AM:

Top Democrats are weighing the need for a rescue package for the nation's battered housing industry, exploring the possibility of allowing state housing authorities greater ability to go into distressed areas to finance the purchase of foreclosed homes and creating a temporary government agency that...

Continue Reading...
January 17, 2008

We have posted a new Tax Foundation Podcast interview with Dr. William Gentry. a professor of economics at Williams College in Massachusetts. Dr. Gentry recently wrote a paper for the Treasury Department titled A Review of the...

Continue Reading...
January 17, 2008

Vermont is one of a dozen states that are considering leasing or selling their lotteries. Yesterday, Alicia Hansen, author of the Tax Foundation Background Paper Gambling with Tax Policy: States' Growing Reliance on Lottery Tax Revenue, testified before the Vermont Legislature's Ways and Means Committee on the merits and drawbacks of different types of lottery privatization.

She explained that selling the lottery to a private...

Continue Reading...
January 17, 2008

In a Washington Post chat yesterday, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine reiterated his recent decision to seek repeal of Virginia's abusive driver surcharges, which we mentioned earlier this week:

Alexandria, Va.: When exactly will the abusive driver law be repealed and will it be retroactive?

...

Continue Reading...
January 16, 2008

The tax fraud trial of Wesley Snipes began this week in Florida, and the actor faces up to 16 years in prison for his failure to file tax returns between 1999 and 2004, or pay tax on the estimated $38 million he earned in that period.

Snipes faces an uphill battle, as few succeed in convincing juries of a genuine, good-faith belief that he or she had no obligation to pay income taxes. Snipes has...

Continue Reading...
January 15, 2008

We've written before on Virginia's "abusive driver fees" and "civil remedial fees," and why they are just a tax on traffic offenses. Because the revenue goes to general state spending, they are properly called a "tax" and not "fees." We've covered how this is an example of politicians targeting easy revenue sources for punitive taxes, the public outcry over the huge assessments, and finally, the...

Continue Reading...
January 15, 2008

With California running out of borrowing options to cover huge budget deficits stretching back nearly a decade, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger got everyone's attention with proposed budget cuts last week:

Schwarzenegger's proposed budget-cutting mechanisms include:

  • A 10 percent decrease in education funding, including $4.4 billion in cuts from K-12 education and $1.13...
Continue Reading...
January 15, 2008

If anybody ever wonders why tax reform is so difficult to accomplish, one need look no further than the website of the National Association of Realtors®, which is featuring on the front page a podcast where its president, Dick Gaylord, talks about how "politics is our business." You would think real estate is their business, but then again, the NAR's primary mission...

Continue Reading...
January 14, 2008

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and legislative leaders are opposing the repeal of the 6 percent computer services tax which will take effect July 1. We've previously written about the tax, covering how it was added at the last minute in a back room, the problem of singling out for tax one industry that could very easily leave the state, and how confusing...

Continue Reading...
January 14, 2008

Sales tax holidays are not good tax policies for various reasons. They create distortions in consumption over time, huge compliance cost issues for businesses which can disproportionately affect small businesses, and they often create uncertainty regarding which items are exempt and when. In reality, they are just political gimicks where politicians try to buy people's votes with a small tax cut so that they can say "we cut taxes."

But one legislator in Nebraska is taking...

Continue Reading...
January 14, 2008

Over the weekend, Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge sat down with National Public Radio's Tess Vigeland to discuss the impact of taxes on the fabled American "middle class." The piece was part of a special edition of NPR's Marketplace program dedicated to discussing what exactly the middle class is and where these individuals and families stand today.

From the...

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