The Tax Policy Blog

January 14, 2009

An article in Monday's Wall Street Journal discussed Obama's plans for the federal estate tax:

Mark it down as the first tax increase of the new Democratic era. The Journal reported yesterday that President-elect Obama and Congressional leaders intend to maintain the estate tax rather than let it expire on schedule in 2010.

They will do so even though their economic stimulus...

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January 14, 2009

Bloomberg is reporting that Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) has told reporters that the cost of the stimulus plan Congress is negotiating may grow to $800 billion to $850 billion. This is substantially higher than the reported $775 billion cost of President-elect Obama's stimulus plan.

The Obama camp maintains that their plan will "create or save" between 3 million and 4 million...

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January 14, 2009

Last month, the Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates released updated tax collection statistics. As the only state to raise every major tax in 2008 to fund new spending programs, it is a good case study to follow, particularly since it's turning out to be a study of what not to do.

For instance, Maryland doubled its cigarette tax from $1 to $2, notwithstanding the smuggling induced by...

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January 13, 2009

In what could possibly be a promising sign of things to come, the Washington Post is reporting that Barack Obama is dropping his $3,000 per job tax credit given the backlash it has received. Many fellow Democrats and many in the fiscal policy research community (and if I had to guess probably some on Obama's economic staff) had reservations about its implementability. From the...

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January 13, 2009

Last week, the National Taxpayers Union launched Statebooks.org to create a Web 2.0 community that tracks and comments on state fiscal news:

The 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU), with the help of other free-market...

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January 13, 2009

The Tax Foundation is looking for a new Director of Development.  The position requires eight to ten years of fundraising experience with individual, foundation, and corporate donors. The ideal candidate is expected to communicate and implement a clear strategy for accelerating the organization's growth over the next three to five years. The candidate must have solid managerial skills, including the ability to mentor junior staff, and strong writing and oral communication skills....

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January 13, 2009

The State Corporate Income Tax Rates table has been updated for 2009. States have largely avoided major changes in their corporate tax structures this year. Some of the changes for 2009:

  • Kansas lowered its top tax from 7.35% to 7.1% on taxable income over $50,000.
  • Nebraska doubled the income level, from $50,000 to $100,000, at which its top tax rate of 7.81% kicks in.
  • Ohio will complete the phase-in of its new...
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January 12, 2009

Tax Foundation State Projects Director Joe Henchman recently appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal to discuss the economic situation facing the states and how individual states are dealing with budgets and related tax issues. Click here to watch the video.

In addition, we wrote 50 blog posts summarizing each state’s budget...

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January 12, 2009

From Online Athens:

The state hopes to persuade the legislature to approve a new tax on hospital revenue. Although the governor's people insist on referring to these measures as fees, let's call them what they are: taxes.

The new hospital money would be spent on shoring up Medicaid to the tune of $208 million. It also would fund trauma centers and...

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January 12, 2009

Rhode Island Governor Don Carcieri (R) last week outlined his proposal to address the state's budget shortfall. Not mentioned in the speech, but included in the supporting...

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January 09, 2009

Responding to a CBPP report that favored federal grants to the states over loans, Tax Counsel Joseph Henchman argues that loans for state infrastructure could steer the money toward more worthwhile projects, and that a bailout of state government budget shortfalls should include tax reform obligations. Read it here.

January 09, 2009

From the St. Petersburg Times:

Desperate for cash, lawmakers will impose a new charge of $10 on all traffic infractions ranging from driving with an expired tag to running a stop sign. The state also is eliminating an 18 percent discount available to scofflaws who go to traffic school and taking away the right of judges to waive fines, regardless of whether the...

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January 08, 2009

Ah, tax withholding. That law which requires employers to collect a part of each paycheck and forward it to the government. It was devised as a wartime measure in 1943 by none other than Milton Friedman, who later urged its peacetime abolition.

Why? The U.S. Treasury says it best. From their Fact Sheet on the History of the U.S. Tax System:

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January 08, 2009

A year ago, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) estimated that the 2009 $6 billion budget would be $369 million in surplus, and urged that this "new money" be spent wisely. A year later, that 6.5% spending growth turns out to have been a bad idea with that same budget now in a $454 million shortfall. Revenues...

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January 08, 2009

Yesterday at the 2009 AVN Adult Video Expo in Las Vegas, Larry Flynt of Hustler Magazine and Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild announced their request for a $5 billion government bailout of the porn (excuse me, "Adult Entertainment") industry, along the lines of the bailout recently provided to auto manufacturers.

From...

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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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