The Tax Policy Blog

May 14, 2007

In the Washington Post's lead story today, Steven Mufson shined a light on rural electric cooperatives and the power plants they operate, and the gas stations they operate, and the Dairy Queens they operate.

Rural electric co-ops pay no corporate income tax, a huge advantage over the taxable power producers they compete with. Do they use that tax advantage to help...

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May 11, 2007

Yesterday Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge testified during a Senate Committee on Finance hearing titled "Can the Middle Class Make Ends Meet? Economic Issues for America's Working Families."

He discussed recent Tax Foundation research on the middle-class tax burden and the changing demographics of the middle class. He explained that, due...

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May 08, 2007

One county offiicial in Nassau County, NY (Long Island) is proposing a county-level cigarette tax to help fill the county government's coffers. From Newsday:

Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi is headed to Albany Tuesday to lobby state legislators for his proposals to enact a county cigarette tax and install red-light cameras, even though some lawmakers...

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May 02, 2007

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article today regarding a paper by Harvard economists N. Gregory Mankiw and Matthew Weinzierl. The two economists look at how imposing a flat income tax with the rate based on the taxpayer's height, since height is highly insensitive to change, could lead to a more efficient economic outcome given a revenue constraint. From the Wall Street Journal:

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May 02, 2007

The Tax Foundation has calculated Tax Freedom Day since the early 1970s, and we thought we had seen every possible criticism of it since. Turns out we were way off.

Professor Thad Williamson of the University of Richmond caught us off guard with his bizarre critique of "freedom." ["No Taxes Would Mean No Prosperity," Richmond Times-Dispatch, April 30, 2007. Also...

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May 01, 2007

Whenever we release a report that ranks states we hear complaints from two groups. One group complains their state is not as bad as we found, and the other group complains their state is much worse than we found.

Our recently released State-Local Tax Burden Report always draws complaints from both groups. Not surprisingly, states at the top of the tax burden ranks complain the most...

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April 27, 2007

Kudos to the Michigan House Democrats whose Single Business Tax (SBT) replacement plan is one of the best we have seen. The foundation of their plan is a business income tax levied at 7 percent, a net worth tax levied at just under .5 percent, and substantial cuts in the personal property tax. It definitely gets the fundamentals...

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April 27, 2007

Democrats in Congress are once again focused on the issue of the alternative minimum tax and its projected growth over the next few years. The latest proposal put forth is highlighted below courtesy of the Baltimore Sun:

House Democrats are looking to unravel many of President Bush's tax cuts for wealthy people to...

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April 26, 2007

A 2006 Tax Foundation study estimated that Americans spent a staggering 6 billion hours in 2005 complying with the federal income tax code—filling out forms, gathering documentation, and hiring tax professionals—with an estimated compliance cost of over $265.1 billion. That's the equivalent of imposing a 22-cent tax compliance surcharge for every dollar the income tax system collects.

A new study from...

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April 24, 2007

When our chief economist and I sat down to write a policy paper on gross receipts taxes (GRTs) last year, we made a surprising discovery. There was almost nothing in the recent public finance literature on gross receipts taxes. After a series of studies in the 1940s, the literature was essentially silent on GRTs for almost six decades. And after a little historical digging, we learned why.

It turns out...

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April 24, 2007

As a champion of Gov. Blagojevich's proposal for a huge new gross receipts tax, Douglas Kane, former state rep and now economic consultant to the Governor, is scrambling to deflect the volley of criticism that comes from every corner of academia.

See J. Fred Giertz, professor of economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:

"The good news is that the governor finally recognizes the serious budget problems facing the state. The bad news is...

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April 20, 2007

Taxation without representation has been the theme of the residents of the District of Columbia in their march towards obtaining a seat in the House of Representatives. And yesterday, the advocates of such representation received a large push in their direction. From the Washington Post:

A bill giving the District its first full seat in Congress...

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April 20, 2007

If you have followed this blog, you will know that the Sunshine State is in the midst of a huge debate on the issue of property tax reform. Proposals range from eliminating the property tax on homeowners to merely scaling back the property tax. Both would be funded by hikes in the state's general sales tax. (Florida has no individual income tax.) The most recent news from the...

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Subscribe to Tax Foundation - Tax Foundation's Tax Policy Blog The Tax Policy Blog is the official weblog 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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