The Tax Policy Blog

June 11, 2008

D.C. officials and soccer team D.C. United are in negotiations regarding a $150 million to $225 million subsidy for a new soccer stadium at Poplar Point....

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June 11, 2008

Across the country people are upset about property taxes, and New York is no exception. In fact, New York State has some of the highest property taxes in the nation. But it looks like there might soon be some improvements to the state's property tax system.

A new Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact analyzes the recommendations in a report recently issued by the New York State Commission on Property Tax Relief. The bipartisan panel was...

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June 11, 2008

As oil prices have hit record highs along with oil company profits (and thereby the returns to shareholders), many in Congress are calling for a windfall profits tax on oil companies. They argue that those profits are somehow unjustified.

But what about another industry where producers are currently reaping windfalls from previous investments due to skyrocketing commodity prices: agriculture? Should we...

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June 10, 2008

At this moment, the Senate is debating a package of punitive measures against the major domestic oil companies, including a new windfall profits tax. We've been down this road before and to disastrous consequences.

Twenty eight years ago, President Jimmy Carter sign into law the Crude Oil Windfall Profit Tax Act (P.L. 96-223).  According to a 2006 report by Congressional Research Service economist Salvatore Lazzari:

"The WPT had the effect of reducing the domestic supply of...

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June 10, 2008

While the cap-and-trade debate has essentially died for the time being in the United States (as long as Bush remains in the White House), it is interesting to check out the debate on the carbon tax that our friends north of the border are having. From CTV:

A political "air war" has been launched over a policy proposal that hasn't yet been released.

...

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June 09, 2008

New York and Georgia are the two states that have collected the most money to satisfy back taxes by seizing stimulus payment checks being sent out by the federal government, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

New York has seized 11,359 checks worth $4.7 million, and Georgia has seized 16,051 checks worth $4.66 million. States can intercept tax refunds and other Treasury...

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June 09, 2008

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit last week upheld the firing of an IRS agent, who had appealed the termination as arbitrary and capricious. He had been fired after it was discovered that he had failed to file income tax returns for four years. The decision is Wesley v. Dep't of Treasury.

(Hat tip Tax Prof Blog)...

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June 09, 2008

The Tax Foundation is seeking a new manager of media relations. This position involves promoting the work of Tax Foundation scholars to the media. Candidates should have at least a bachelor's degree, strong writing skills, and, ideally, experience in television news, print media, or promoting the work of scholars at other nonprofit organizations.

For more details on this position, click here. Interested candidates should send a cover...

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June 09, 2008

When the Democratic Congress and President Bush both started talking up the idea of sending "stimulus checks" to most Americans, they deliberately ignored the administrative nightmare they would inflict on the Internal Revenue Service.

The IRS does not fill out our tax returns, and thankfully, it is not charged with keeping track of where we live from year to year. Nevertheless, the Service was forced to administer two massive mailings in 2001 and 2003, and Congress and the President...

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June 06, 2008

To Americans who complain about high taxes in the U.S. I say, "it can always be worse." While American taxpayers celebrated Tax Freedom Day this year on April 23rd, our friends at the Liberal Institute in Prague have announced that Tax Freedom Day will arrive on June 7th in the Czech Republic. http://www.praguemonitor.com/en/351/czech_national_news/23770/

For those keeping score at home, this means...

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June 06, 2008

A few days ago we wrote about some of the reasons why film tax credits are poor tax policy. They are corporate welfare for a profitable industry, they almost never weigh costs and benefits after enactment, they distort economic behavior, and they paper over deeper business tax climate problems. We also mentioned censorship—Canada has started vetting movies financed with film tax credits and other subsidies.

The recent proposal to expand...

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June 05, 2008

Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge recently published an article in the Heartland Institute's Budget & Tax News on the opportunity for federal tax reform during the next administration—regardless of who wins. The article outlines five basic steps to politically realistic tax reform:

For the first time since 1986, the stars may be aligning for a grand bipartisan compromise on fundamental federal...

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June 05, 2008

The Onion's what-do-you-think column recently:

The Democratic National Committee ruled that delegates from Michigan and Florida will get only half votes at the party's convention in August. What do you think?

"Given the emigration rate in Michigan and the mortality rate in Florida, I bet the revised delegate counts will actually be more...

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June 05, 2008

The council of Madison County, Indiana voted 4-3 last evening to enact a $25 wheel tax for cars, sedans, and small trucks and $40 dollars for large trucks, buses and recreational vehicles. The Council estimates the wheel tax will raise approximately $3 million for road repairs in the county.

This could be considered a user fee, given the high cost of maintaining roads for the county and the wear and tear caused to them from daily driving. However, is a registration fee for...

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June 03, 2008

South Carolina will continue to have the lowest state cigarette tax in the U.S. (7 cents per pack) following Governor Mark Sanford's veto of a bill (H. 3567) that would raise it by 50 cents per pack. The House sustained the veto on May 27. The tax increase would have made South Carolina's cigarette tax higher than neighbors Georgia and North Carolina. We've written extensively on how the wide variety of state cigarette...

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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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