The Tax Policy Blog

February 03, 2009

As you may have heard, a few nominees to positions in the Obama administration have had some tax troubles.

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February 03, 2009

Okay, so the IRS isn't the devil, but for taxpayers it can be devilishly difficult to figure out your taxes, not to mention paying them, when economic misfortune strikes.

So the IRS has put together a sympathetic Q&A for the economic downturn. Under "Job Related," you'll find answers to questions like: What...

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February 02, 2009

More than anyone else, Senators Baucus and Grassley, the Chairman and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, have led the effort to reduce the size of the tax gap.  Just two years ago they grilled then Treasury Secretary Paulson on the issue in front of the Senate Finance Committee.  They also held up the confirmation of...

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February 02, 2009

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's "nickel a drink" liquor tax increase proposal (which is a hefty increase; the tax on wine would go from 4 cents to 29.6 cents), has some worried:

A proposal to raise the state tax on wine to a level more than six times higher to help close California's giant budget deficit...

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February 02, 2009

On Friday, Mayor Mike Bloomberg's administration released a preliminary...

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January 31, 2009

Joe Biden's new task force on Issues of the Middle Class will be considering ways to improve living standards for Americans.  It might be worth pointing them in one direction that they might otherwise overlook:  There is considerable evidence that reductions in the tax on capital income can have a pronounced positive effect on living standards.

The U.S. tax system taxes capital income in a number of different ways.  Capital income can be subject to the corporate tax, investor level...

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January 30, 2009

So news broke today from the Washington Post that former D.C. mayor Marion Barry is yet again in trouble with the IRS. That doesn't surprise us. But that got us thinking that it is a rather amusing state of affairs in tax policy right now. The current chairman of the Ways and Means Committee (the committee responsible for writing tax law), Charlie Rangel, has tax problems. And as we all know, Obama's Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, whose department oversees the IRS, has tax issues....

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January 30, 2009

In a piece on New York City's income tax revenues, CNN notes:

While city incomes taxes are common in Iowa, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, they are an anomaly in most parts of the country, according to a 2008 report by Tax Foundation, a Washington-based think tank. New York City and Yonkers are the only cities levying...

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January 29, 2009

We have updated our State Sales, Gasoline, Cigarette, and Alcohol Tax Rates table for 2009. Some notable changes during 2008:

  • Alaska's gasoline excise tax of 8 cents per gallon is suspended from September 2008 through August 2009. Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and the Alaska Legislature enacted the gas tax holiday last summer when oil prices reached record highs.
  • Indiana and Iowa each increased their sales...
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January 29, 2009

This is the time of year when governors present to their constituents their visions for the coming year, sometimes full of detailed plans and other times mostly empty rhetoric.  Tax policy, of course, is one of the main topics covered.

For anyone who missed his or her governor's address or wants to know what other states' governors have proposed, Stateline.org is a useful resource. This page contains...

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January 29, 2009

A new IRS report (PDF) analyzing the 400 individual tax returns with the highest AGIs in each year between 1992 and 2006 clearly shows that wealthy Americans are not a static elite club that no one can penetrate. Indeed, the report indicates a great deal of churning among the top 400 over the 15-year period analyzed. As the text below summarizes, some 40 percent of the richest 400 are new to the club each year and only about 27...

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January 29, 2009

In the blog posting below, "IRS Report Shows the "Rich" Are Not Monolithic," Scott Hodge describes new data from the IRS on the top 400 taxpayers that shows that income dynamics are alive and well in the United States.  These data reflect the findings from a more detailed and comprehensive study on income dynamics released by the Treasury Department in November 2007, Income Mobility in the U.S...

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January 29, 2009

With the economy now in recession since December 2007 and shedding nearly two million jobs during this time, the new Administration is quite sensibly focused on how to best get the economy moving again. It has put forward an economic stimulus package of more than $800 billion composed primarily of higher spending, but also with tax cuts.

It should be noted that this stimulus package is the third round of stimulus in less than twelve months. The first round, the Economic Stimulus Act...

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January 28, 2009

Senator Jim Webb makes some excellent points in his proposed amendment to the bill that reauthorizes and expands a public health insurance program (CHIP, formerly called S-CHIP). Webb prefers not to rely exclusively on tobacco taxes.

He makes some of the same arguments that the Tax Foundation has made, that because tobacco is mainly a vice of the poor, the cigarette tax is...

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January 28, 2009

With a new Congress and a new administration focused on a short term stimulus proposal to get America out of the current economic downturn, others are focused on long term plans involving taxes to spur investment, create jobs and increase our standard of living. In this edition of the Tax Policy Podcast, Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge discusses corporate tax reform proposals and global tax competition with...

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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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