The Tax Policy Blog

March 02, 2008

Early Saturday, the Cook County Board voted 9-8 to raise their sales tax by a percentage point, to 10.25 percent, making it the highest in the country. The tax increase, which is estimated to raise an additional $426 million per year and will close a budget deficit and fund 1,100 new (patronage?) government...

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February 29, 2008

While America's political establishment has been self-absorbed on the Democrat and Republican primaries, the U.S. has again fallen behind in the global race for better business climates. Over the past six weeks, at least a half-dozen of our major economic competitors have taken steps to cut their corporate tax rates in order to boost their economies and save jobs.

Here's a headline we would not see in the United States: ...

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February 29, 2008

This morning, the Virginia Supreme Court unanimously held that the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) is unconstitutional in Marshall v. NVTA.

The court found that the NVTA, created in 2002 and given the power to tax in 2007, exceeded its powers when it levied 7 taxes on residents of Northern Virginia. The taxes will have to be refunded in their entirety. They are:

    ...
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February 28, 2008

Nevada voters might get to weigh in on property tax changes this November if former state legislators Sharron Angle and Don Gustavson collect enough signatures to qualify an amendmet for the ballot. From Tax Analysts' State Tax Today (subscription required):

In her fourth attempt to put a Proposition 13-style constitutional amendment on...

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February 27, 2008

The Minnesota state legislature has overridden a veto by Gov. Tim Pawlenty that will raise the gas tax per gallon by a nickel. Pawlenty argued that it wasn't right to raise taxes on Minnesota families. While that question is certainly worth debating, where was this Gov. Tim Pawlenty two years ago when he signed into law a bill passed by the state legislature that raised sales taxes on families in Hennepin County (...

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February 27, 2008

Today's Wall street Journal contains an article titled "Piercing Some Common Tax Myths" that may be helpful to confused taxpayers trying to decipher the labyrinthine tax code between now and April 15:

Just when you think you've finally figured out your taxes, count on Congress to tweak the rules.

Keeping up with rapidly changing tax laws, phase-ins, phase-outs, regulations,...

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February 26, 2008

A commentary on the Cato Institute website and in the Wall Street Journal Europe today responds to the controversy over the stolen data that Germany purchased from a Liechtenstein bank. The author, Daniel J. Mitchell, argues that tax havens such as Liechtenstein play an important role.

Wealthy tax evaders may not be sympathetic figures, especially...

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February 26, 2008

A recent article on Stateline.org provides a detailed explanation of the growing trend of state tax incentives for the movie industry:

Along the desert outskirts of Albuquerque sits a collection of cavernous buildings the size of airplane hangars, some more than six stories tall. Built for $75 million, with another $15 million expansion in the works, they house make-believe...

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February 25, 2008

The Cato At Liberty blog has been reporting on the wave of tax simplification and corporate rate cuts taking place across the world:

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February 25, 2008

Proponents of state-run lotteries frequently argue that if lotteries are to be legal, they must be run by the state to prevent or decrease lottery-related crime. There are several problems with this argument.

First, government involvement in gambling has the potential to increase certain types of crime, notably bribery. In the nineteenth century, members of the Louisiana legislature accepted bribes from a private company in exchange for a 25-year charter naming the company...

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February 22, 2008

Stateline.org recently compiled a useful list of governors' 2008 speeches to their legislatures.  This page contains a summary of each governor's speech as well as a link to the full-text speech. As expected, taxes are a major theme that comes up in state after state.

February 21, 2008

New Jersey's disgraceful actions came up in last week's hearing in front of the House Small Business Committee about H.R. 5267, the Business Activity Tax Simplification Act of 2008 (BATSA). The recently introduced bipartisan bill would prevent states from reaching across their borders to tax businesses that have no physical property or employees within a state. Many...

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February 21, 2008

Property taxes are such a hot topic in state and local government finance right now that it's easy to forget that property tax battles are nothing new. California's historic Proposition 13, for example, took place thirty years ago.

From our archives, a 1978 article titled Property Taxation after the California Vote provides a brief overview of Proposition 13 as well as a...

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February 20, 2008

George Washington University tax law professor David Brunori (also Tax Analysts columnist) has written a column this week in State Tax Notes that makes us at the Tax Foundation realize that somebody else out there is as fed up as we are at the "asinine" tax proposals that come from many state lawmakers (and members of Congress...

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February 19, 2008

From Niki Lohrmann of Tax Analysts:

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) on February 15 blasted the General Assembly, and his Republican colleagues especially, for overriding a veto on a film incentive bill (HB 1388) he blocked last year.[...]

The bill authorizes a refundable tax credit for some media production...

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