The Tax Policy Blog

August 18, 2008

If this campaign has taught us much of anything, it's that tax policy is not Sen. McCain's area of expertise. That's hopefully why if elected he will rely on advisor Doug Holtz-Eakin regarding all things tax policy. His lack of knowledge on the topic was evident on Saturday night when asked to "define rich" by Pastor Rick Warren (a very good question yet one that a more confrontational interviewer should ask in order to follow-up/pin-down both Obama and McCain ). Here's what...

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August 18, 2008

In a new Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact, Robert Carroll, the Foundation's Vice President for Economic Policy, examines tax relief proposals from Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama. With the economy as one of the top issues among the American electorate this presidential election cycle, both candidates have been using the issues of health care, gas prices, and housing devaluation, among others, to preface their economic proposals. But Carroll explains that the candidates have...

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August 18, 2008

Florida's tax swap Amendment 5 is off the ballot, at least for now. Judge John Cooper ordered it removed after concluding that the ballot title was misleading and confusing. The initiative's proponents are now appealing the removal.

We discussed the swap proposal here:

The amendment calls for the Legislature to remove all...

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August 17, 2008

It's been a busy week on our blog! Here are some highlights:

  • Maine Policymakers Agree: Maine's Income Tax Too High: Earlier this week, Maine politicians reacted with surprising unanimity to the Tax Foundation's new State & Local Tax Burdens report. Governor John Baldacci (D) and Republican and Democratic leaders in the state legislature all acknowledged that Maine's personal income tax, with a rate that tops out at...
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August 17, 2008

New analysis of Barack Obama's tax plan by the Tax Policy Center puts a hard number on the extent in which Obama would shift the nation's tax burden on to the so-called rich. Obama has been very clear that he would increase taxes on couples earning more than $250,000 (and singles earning more than $200,000) while cutting taxes for all other households.

Obama's rhetoric gives the impression that middle-class taxpayers are paying a greater share of the tax burden than upper-income...

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August 15, 2008

We sometimes get asked which state is best for retirement, from a tax perspective. Answering such a question depends entirely on an individual's income and wealth, consumer habits, and how strongly they weigh taxes over other concerns (such as climate, proximity to family, etc.). So besides providing data about state tax rates, we usually recommend such questions be asked of investment and tax advisors.

That said,...

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August 15, 2008

You've heard all the advertisements from both sides. Obama accuses McCain of supporting "big oil." McCain accuses Obama of wanting higher taxes on energy, as a newly released ad does again. But what both sides won't tell you is that each supports a policy that is designed (intentionally) to raise the price of motor gasoline.

McCain says he wants offshore drilling to expand supply...

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August 15, 2008

With complaints of high property taxes in NY, Gov. David Paterson has proposed limiting property tax increases to 4 percent per year. However, the plan has some politicians and voters worried that schools will no longer receive adequate funding. Another bill recently introduced in the NY legislature is meant to help schools avoid cutting their budgets. The Educational Tax Incentives Act would...

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August 15, 2008

Earlier this week, Maine politicians reacted with surprising unanimity to the Tax Foundation's new State & Local Tax Burdens report.  Governor John Baldacci (D) and Republican and Democratic leaders in the state legislature all acknowledged that Maine's personal income tax, with a rate that tops out at 8.5%, is too high and needs to be cut.

...
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August 15, 2008

One feature of the Obama tax plan that is beginning to get more attention is the high tax rates that will be imposed on those with high incomes. A simple back-of-the-envelope calculation gets one to a nearly 50-percent tax rate, rates that have not been seen since before the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

The calculation is straightforward: Obama's 39.6 percent top income tax rate plus the 2.9 percent Medicare tax rate plus his additional 2-to-4 percent hike in the Social Security tax rate...

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August 14, 2008

This November, Colorado voters will decide Amendment 51, which will raise the state sales tax from 2.9% to 3.1% over two years. The estimated $186.1 million per year raised by the tax increase would be dedicated to services for the developmentally disabled.

More on Colorado here.

August 14, 2008

In an op-ed in this morning's Wall Street Journal, Obama economic advisors Austan Goolsbee and Jason Furman make this claim:

"In contrast (to Obama's plan), Sen. McCain's tax plan largely leaves the middle class behind. His one and only middle-class tax cut -- a...

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August 14, 2008

Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania says that his state needs $1.7 billion to repair and maintain the state’s transportation system. So far a few proposals for raising the funds have surfaced. One idea that is receiving much support from authorities is to place tolls on I-80, the interstate highway that runs east and west across the center of the state. Another option under consideration is a 75 year lease of the...

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August 14, 2008

As stated in an earlier blog, Chicago recently increased local sales taxes, making rates in the city 10.25%. The rate, which is the highest in that nation, may soon rank second to Los Angeles.  The current sales tax in Los Angeles is 8.25%, which breaks down as follows:

6.25%  State sales tax
1.00%  State mandated local sales tax (which funds, in part, local government)...

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About the Tax Policy Blog

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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