The Tax Policy Blog

August 30, 2008

I recently authored a commentary criticizing a recent report from the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities, where they cherry-pick new Census data and recast what most people would consider good news into disturbing trends. I compare it to cynical spin that treats the 1970's as some ideal economic climate worth emulating:

These statements are both true and misleading. The narrow definition of poverty used by CBPP ignores the fact that poverty in 2008 means something...

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August 29, 2008

A recent study shows that while America has left the major features of its business tax system unchanged over the past fifteen years, virtually all developed nations have lowered their corporate tax rates, potentially hurting the competitiveness of the United States.

In Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact No. 143, "Comparing International Corporate Tax Rates: U.S. Corporate Tax Rate Increasingly Out of Line by Various Measures," Tax Foundation Vice President for Economic Policy...

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August 29, 2008

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal recently published an editorial on Governor Barbour's special tax study commission's recommendations. The editorial board supports the proposal to raise cigarette taxes by 32 cents, but argues for a $1 overall increase in the per-pack tax. The editorial also calls...

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August 29, 2008

Yesterday we reported that the U.K. investment firm Henderson Group announced that it is reincorporating in Ireland to lower its overall tax bill. Henderson is the third U.K. firm to announce such a move this year.

However, the Telegraph is reporting that the engineering firm Charter and the office space management firm Regus have...

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August 29, 2008

Several Indiana cities currently face some difficult budget decisions. While each city has numerous options to increase revenues or reduce expenditures, the "Washington Monument" strategy is being utilized by some local officials. Instead of looking for efficiency gains, officials simply threaten to cut or drastically reduce a service in attempts to muster support for budget increases. The National Park Service uses this strategy, suggesting it would have to reduce visiting hours...

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August 28, 2008

Getting a good amount of attention this week is our blog post on a California initiative proposal to raise income taxes on high-income earners, impose a new wealth tax, and seize 55% of assets in an exit tax. We explained in that post why it is poor tax policy and partially unconstitutional.

Some of the blog who have commented on the proposal include:

  • ...
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August 28, 2008

After reading TaxProf Blog's post about rolls of toilet paper with the Form 1040 imprinted on them, we wondered how many rolls one would need to put the entire Internal Revenue Code in toilet paper form.

We have a one-volume version of the Code, printed on about 10,000 dual-column pages of ultrathin paper using...

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August 28, 2008

The British Treasury has been rocked again by the recent announcement by the investment firm of Henderson Group Global Investors that they are considering changing their domicile to Ireland from the U.K. in order to lower their tax bill. Should it make the move to Ireland, Henderson will join the pharmaceutical firm Shire and the media firm United Business Media who have already changed their domicile.

According to the Financial Times article "...

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August 27, 2008

TaxProfBlog has the Democratic platform's planks on taxes, approved yesterday. We dissected some of these planks in this blog post:

  • You cannot both reduce tax complexity and create lots of new special interest deductions and credits. Simplifying our tax code is a great idea, and the plank is correct in noting that the Internal Revenue Code is...
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August 26, 2008

This week the last of the summer interns at the Tax Foundation departs. While here, they were invaluable in assisting with research and data work along with many other miscellaneous tasks. Working closing with our team of economists and policy analysts, each also contributed substantively, to the blog and other written work. Everyone at the Tax Foundation joins me in thanking these individuals for their contributions!

...

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August 26, 2008

The Arizona Supreme Court is expected to rule today on a 1 percent statewide sales tax increase proposal that proponents are seeking to put on the November ballot.

Proponents need 153,365 petition signatures to put the measure, which would use the increased sales tax revenue for transportation purposes,...

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August 26, 2008

One of today's news items is a proposal in Alabama to increase health insurance premiums on overweight Alabama state employees. Dubbed a "fat tax," it's not, since the money presumably won't be going to the state budget. It remains to be seen whether the increase (a nice round $25 per month) is designed to cover the costs imposed by the overweight on the health insurance program, or just a...

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August 26, 2008

Is this headline accurate? Technically, yes. Sen. Barack Obama wants to raise taxes on high-income Americans, some fraction of whom are veterans. But this headline is also misleading because Barack Obama does not single out veterans for tax increases. I could have also said that he favors raising taxes on people who give to homeless shelters or that he favors tax cuts for convicted felons, and those statements would have been technically true as well, although misleading.

But this...

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August 25, 2008

Don't Mess With Taxes reminds us that the major party conventions (the Democratic one in Denver this week and the Republican one in Minneapolis next week) are in part taxpayer funded, to the tune of $17 million each (but not a major share of the total cost, which is mostly underwritten by sponsors). The funds come from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund checkoff box on the 1040 form,...

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August 25, 2008

Earlier this month, a California activist began gathering signatures to put a state wealth tax on the ballot. The measure would impose a new 35% income surtax (in addition to federal taxes and the existing 10.3% top state rate), and penalize people who leave the state by seizing 55% of assets exceeding $20 million. The money raised would be used to eliminate the state's budget deficit and for purchasing controlling...

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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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