The Tax Policy Blog

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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March 23, 2007

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) submitted his budget proposal last week.  It claims to balance the budge by 2012 by making a number of assumptions about the coming years: namely, the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts by 2010.

Senate Republicans have released a flurry of material...

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March 23, 2007

The Tax Foundation has released the first Special Report based on a comprehensive study conducted on the issue of who pays taxes and who receives government spending. The project attempts to answer these two crucial questions regarding tax burdens and spending received by different income groups, age groups, and other demographic variables.

Fiscal policy at all levels of government is often driven by a...

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March 23, 2007

Spring is here, and that means it's time for the new Spring issue of Tax Watch. As always, you can download the full issue here. Or, maybe browse some back issues here. Or better yet, maybe you'd like to...

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March 22, 2007

An article on the Maryland Lottery appeared on the Lottery Post Web site today. The article discusses recent lottery winners, the state's largest win, and the amount of money raised by the lottery:

Last fiscal year, the Maryland Lottery generated more than $501 million for the state's general fund. These earnings benefited government-funded services and programs such as education, public health,...

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March 22, 2007

We have posted a new Special Report along with multiple tables (see below) to the Tax Foundation website that analyze average federal tax burdens for every county, congressional district, and major city area in the United States for tax year 2004 (most recent data available from IRS). It is no surprise that the areas surrounding New York City sit near the top of most of the lists.

But there are other areas that have average high federal tax...

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March 20, 2007

David Brunori, a professor of public policy at George Washington University and a columnist for State Tax Notes, wrote a piece today explaining why both liberals and conservatives should oppose gross receipts taxes. Here's an excerpt:

The other idea that keeps coming up is adoption of a gross receipts tax. Texas and Ohio went down that road recently. There's a proposal in Michigan to...

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