The Tax Policy Blog

April 16, 2007

Misconceptions about Vermont's highest-in-the-nation tax burden persist since the Tax Foundation released its annual report on state-local tax burdens.

The misconceptions originate from an Issue Brief from the Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office. Perhaps under pressure to show Vermont's tax burden is not so high, the Joint Fiscal...

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April 12, 2007

  

Just five days from the April 17th tax deadline, we've released our third annual survey of U.S. opinions about taxes. You can read the full report here, or just browse the topline survey data here.

As you finish filling out your own tax returns, here are a...

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April 12, 2007

In 2001, North Carolina enacted "temporary" tax hikes in sales and income tax rates. Six years after enactment and four years after the first deadline for expiration, North Carolinians are still paying these taxes.

To address a "budget crisis" that is long gone, the 2001 law raised the sales tax from 4.0 to 4.5 percent and the top income tax rate from 7.75 to 8.25 percent. These tax hikes were supposed to expire in 2003.

...

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April 10, 2007

The issue of property taxes is continuing to heat up in Florida. But before any major reform is done, Florida Governor Charlie Crist has cut property taxes for one select group: senior citizens. From the Orlando Sentinel:

Gov. Charlie Crist on Monday signed into law a bill that will give low-income seniors a property-tax break.

The...

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April 05, 2007

During the early 1980s, the Massachusetts-based Citizens for Limited Taxation called their monthly newsletter "Taxachusetts," and back then the nickname rang true.

Well, times have changed, and Massachusetts not only can't be singled out as a high-tax state -- it's now a beacon of moderation that prevents New England from ranking as a high-tax region.

The Tax Foundation's annual ranking of state-local tax burdens is out, and...

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April 04, 2007

We released the 2007 state-local tax burdens today. State-local taxes will take a record setting 11 percent of the nation's income in 2007.

States, especially those with progressive income tax codes, are collecting more revenue as the economic expansion continues and income continues to grow. On the local level, localities are collecting more revenue due to the surge in real estate prices that has increased property tax revenues.

...

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April 04, 2007

A proposal in Nassau County, NY could have cigarettes going up to near $7 a pack. More from WABC:

Lawmakers in eight counties outside New York City are pushing to impose a new cigarette tax that would raise the cost of a pack to around $7.

Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi and Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs are pushing the bill, sponsored by Hempstead Democrat...

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April 03, 2007

Every year around this time, stories appear of tax cheats trying to abuse one of the myriad of tax deductions that permeate the federal individual income tax code. According to federal investigators, this time one of those tax cheats is the second biggest tax preparer in the country. From Fox News:

Federal investigators have filed suit against five companies that operate Jackson Hewitt Tax Services Inc....

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April 02, 2007

As economists, researchers at the Tax Foundation spend most of their time talking about tax efficiency. But tax fairness matters also. So which taxes do Americans view as fair, and which are unfair?

Last week we released our third Annual Survey of U.S. Attitudes on Tax and Wealth, which surveys a representative sample of roughly 2,000 U.S. adults age 18 and over about their views on tax policy. One improvement this year is that...

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March 29, 2007

The popular study of "Who Pays Taxes and Who Receives Government Spending" that was released by the Tax Foundation last Friday has prompted considerable attention due to the statistic showing that governments overall spend about $8.21 for each dollar of taxes paid on households in the lowest 20 percent of income, while the same number for the highest 20 percent is only 41 cents. 

But what is important to note...

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March 28, 2007

Tax Freedom Day is April 30 this year.

America will work 120 days, from January 1 to April 30, to earn enough income to pay the tax bills of governments at the federal, state and local levels. America will work 105 days to pay for housing, clothing and food by comparison.

Tax Freedom Day is two days later this year because of the growing economy. A growing economy increases the tax burden because...

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March 28, 2007

We have just released a frequently asked questions section regarding our study entitled "Who Pays Taxes and Who Receives Government Spending?" This FAQ answers many questions that are common in the fiscal incidence literature.

The questions addressed include:

• Why did you publish this study?
• Has this type of study ever been done before?
• Is your study relevant to tax and...

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March 28, 2007

Governor Rod Blagojevich has been busy. Recently, he has been spending a good amount of time promoting his proposal to raise taxes by $7.1 billion through the creation of a gross receipts tax and a tax on business payroll.  As we reported earlier, Blagojevich's tax plan would represent the largest hike enacted by any of the 50 states in the last decade - nearly three times larger than the next largest. (To read our full study on the magnitude of the Illinois tax increase,...

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March 26, 2007

With the April 17th tax filing deadline approaching we've released a new "Fiscal Fact" reminding Americans that federal income taxes—while obviously important—are just one among many federal, state and local taxes paid each year. 

What's often overlooked in discussions of the nation's tax burden is that the federal individual income tax only accounted for about 26 percent of the roughly $3 trillion of federal, state and local taxes paid...

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March 23, 2007

Villanova's always-interesting Prof. James Maule has a thoughtful post on strategies for addressing the so-called federal "tax gap." He boils down 28 years of experience teaching tax law into six basic ways Congress can make the U.S. tax code do its job better, ranging from tax education to tax simplification.

Here are his thoughts on the relationship between tax compliance and the...

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