The Tax Policy Blog

December 10, 2008

While we enjoy seeing our material cited by reporters, we equally enjoy coverage of our research by columnists and editorial writers in the opinion pages of newspapers, large and small.

Last week, syndicated columnist Deroy Murdock rails against the federal bailout package and talk about a shift President-Elect Barack Obama makes about the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts:

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December 10, 2008

Biotech companies, notorious for being risky investments that take many years to turn a profit (assuming they don’t go under first), are having trouble raising money in the current economic climate. So they are turning to… You guessed it: Congress. The New York Times reports on the “Little Biotech” bailout proposal, which contains an interesting tax policy twist:

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December 10, 2008

Last week, the Dutch Supreme Court ruled that sex shows are theater, and therefore were eligible for a reduced tax rate for cultural performances.  The AP reports:

The judges said in their written ruling that because the strippers are on a stage being watched by a paying public their acts are theatrical.

The...

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December 09, 2008

Today, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford announced a sweeping tax reform proposal that would vastly improve the state's business tax climate.  The proposal has several planks:

  • Beginning in 2010, personal income tax filers could choose an optional flat tax rate of 3.65% with no deductions.  The graduated table, which would continue to be...
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December 09, 2008

Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana is touting an innovative plan (first announced in August, before his reelection this fall) that he hopes will limit taxes and spending in the Hoosier state.  At the ALEC States and Nation Policy Summit last week, Governor Daniels first reviewed the property tax reforms that he put into place earlier this year...

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December 09, 2008

Just yesterday, showing an uncanny knack for timing, Rod Blagojevich declared himself to be "a governor who tirelessly and endlessly figures out ways to help average, ordinary working people."

Now we know that Blago helped average, ordinary working people by trying to auction a U.S. Senate seat.  Before...

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December 08, 2008

Arguments were heard last Thursday before the Indiana Supreme Court in a case urging that the court recognize a judicially enforceable right to a "quality" education.

The Indiana Constitution's Education Clause, which guarantees a free public education, was at the center of the discussion. The justices seemed very skeptical of the notion that this clause empowers the judiciary to order funding increases or even that additional funding necessarily means better schools.

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December 08, 2008

Oklahoma revenue officials are celebrating the fact that their recent tax amnesty has brought in over $81 million in previously unpaid taxes, twice the goal. Taxpayers had until November 14 to pay, and in return had penalties, interest, and fees waived.

Tax amnesties are a favored tool used by states in a crunch to raise some quick money. The revenue raised is at least theoretically money that would...

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December 08, 2008

The Politico has a story about how some on the left are upset at Pres.-Elect Barack Obama's "policy" positions and cabinet choices to date, particularly on the economic side. This includes his position to abandon a windfall profits tax on oil companies.

Of course, the liberal writers like those on Campaign for America's Future quoted in the Politico piece use the term "wealthiest corporations," which...

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December 08, 2008

Today's Best of the Blogosphere covers federal tax policy ...

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December 08, 2008

A smoking ban will soon take effect in Oregon, and it has given a surprising boost to the state lottery. From the (Eugene) Register-Guard:

Starting early next month, an actor dressed as a knight will urge Oregonians to try their hands at video gambling.

In one TV ad, this "knight of fun" gives a novice a ride on a white horse from his...

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December 05, 2008

New York City residents may soon face a top state and local personal income tax rate of 11.375%, by far the highest in the country.

Governor David Paterson and other political leaders in New York State have endorsed a regional payroll tax to cover a large budget gap at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and to fund the authority's ongoing capital program.  The 0.33% tax would...

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December 05, 2008

Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal has proposed granting a homestead exemption on primary residences.  The exemption would apply to the first $5,000 of taxable value, but because Wyoming assesses residential property at 9.5% of fair value, that's equivalent to about a $50,000 exemption in real terms. To qualify for the exemption, the homeowner would have to be a full-...

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December 04, 2008

This morning, the Indiana Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on whether Indiana's Constitution provides a right to a quality education, to be enforced by judicial orders to increase spending or raise taxes. I'm in Indianapolis for the hearing in the case, Bonner v. Daniels, and will report on the blog how it goes.

The Tax Foundation filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, arguing that such a ruling would violate the text and original meaning of the...

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December 04, 2008

Yesterday, Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge spoke to the Idaho Taxpayers Conference in Boise. The Idaho Statesman reports:

State and local taxes account for 10.1 percent of state income in Idaho, ranking 13th highest in the nation, Hodge said. Wyoming ranks 48th, Montana 40th, Washington 35th and Utah 22nd.

"You stand out...

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