The Tax Policy Blog

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...

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January 14, 2008

The Office of the National Taxpayer Advocate has released its 2007 report to Congress, outlining several recommendations, including:

  • Create a process to update Congress on the impact of last-minute tax changes (referring in part to the late-year AMT patch, which has delayed the production of AMT deduction forms until February)
  • Enact a taxpayer "bill of rights" outlining rights and obligations of U.S...
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January 12, 2008
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January 11, 2008

Hillary Clinton unveiled her economic stimulus package today as Congress and the Administration continue to discuss quick fixes for the economy.

The Tax Foundation weighed in on the issue with a proposal to focus on long-term solutions instead, such as lowering the corporate tax rate, currently the second highest in the...

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January 11, 2008

Investor's Business Daily cartoonist Michael Ramirez draws a pretty funny picture, contrasting the presidential campaign's "change" rhetoric with the feelings of many U.S. taxpayers. Enjoy!

Change

credit: IBD/Michael Ramirez 

January 11, 2008

Carroll County Circuit Judge Thomas Stansfield yesterday dismissed a lawsuit challenging Maryland's recent tax increases.  The suit alleged that during the special session called to enact the tax increases, the Senate violated a constitutional requirement to obtain consent of the House before adjourning for more than three days.  The case turned on what the state constitution means by "consent...

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January 11, 2008

The Tax Foundation is often asked which states exempt certain items from their general sales taxes, especially as they relate to food. The following is a list of the states that do tax groceries, and if applicable, which ones apply a special rate on grocery items. All other states do not tax groceries.

States that tax groceries (rate if not fully taxed): Alabama, Arkansas (3%), Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois (1%), Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri (1.225%), Oklahoma, South Dakota,...

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January 10, 2008

Yesterday, former New York City mayor and GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani unveiled his plan for tax reform and relief. It's built largely on the ideals that Giuliani has espoused throughout the campaign but never fleshed out in any detail.

The highlights of the plan:

    ...
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January 10, 2008

Last year a handful of states considered selling or leasing their lotteries, but so far no state has taken the plunge. As we have said before, an outright lottery sale, not a lease, would be good news as it would get the state out of the lottery business entirely.

Vermont is the most recent state to catch the lottery "privatization" bug, and is even hoping to beat the other states to the punch. A...

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January 10, 2008

The Tax Foundation is pleased to announce that Dr. Robert Carroll had joined its staff as Vice President for Economic Policy.  Dr. Carroll will oversee the Tax Foundation's tax research program, with a special focus on business taxation and the need for corporate tax reform.

"As someone who has often used and always respected the Tax Foundation's work, I'm excited to now take part in that work," said Dr. Carroll.  "This position is a great fit for me, as I will be able to...

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January 10, 2008

A bizarre story out of New York City where two men attempted to use a man's corpse to cash his Social Security check, courtesy of the Associated Press:

Detective Travis Rapp has seen his share of corpses, but this was new: two men wheeling a rigid, pale body down a Manhattan street in a red office chair, drawing a crowd of suspicious onlookers.

Looking out the window of...

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January 10, 2008

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, architect of one of the worst state tax reform proposals in recent history early last year, is at again. This time he is basically holding hostage the Chicago mass transit system's general funding source so that he can try to buy some more senior citizens' votes. A truly sad story showing one downside of democratic rule courtesy of the ...

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January 09, 2008

Last year, France enacted a "solidarity" tax on airline ticket sales originating from France, ranging from 1 euro ($1.47) for short flights up to 40 euros ($58.67) for longer international flights. The money raised, according to Daily Tax Report's Lawrence J. Speer, goes to "a new international financing facility dedicated to funding health projects in poor countries, particularly for drugs against pandemics like AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis."

Whether this is the best way to fund...

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January 08, 2008

An Investor's Business Daily editorial by Lawrence Kudlow yesterday discussed the "Goldilocks economy" and Kudlow's proposal for "perk[ing] up the slowdown." Among his suggestions was a corporate tax rate cut:

Right now, the single best thing President Bush and Congress can do is slash the corporate tax rate for large and small businesses. Bush must reach out to Charlie Rangel and...

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January 08, 2008

In Lake Tahoe, property owners were heard today by the Nevada Supreme Court over their property taxes. Some 300 of the landowners won in the lower court after they convinced a judge that their property had been overassessed for tax purposes.

Rather than order a reassessment, though, the judge ordered the taxes rolled back two years to the 2002-03 level. The local government, for equity reasons, extended...

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