The Tax Policy Blog

November 05, 2007

In its assessment of Charlie Rangel's tax reform bill put forth two weeks ago in an article entitled "No more than a B-," The Economist magazine published what may be the best paragraph on tax reform I have ever read on an editorial page:

With a bit more ambition, Mr Rangel could have suggested reforms that make the tax code more progressive and, at the same time, simpler. America's personal income tax code is riddled with deductions—from the subtraction of...

Continue Reading...
November 05, 2007

We found an amusing list of the "Top Ten Most Unusual U.S. Sales Tax Laws for 2006"  at AccountingWEB.com. The list includes West Virginia's sparkler tax (which we wrote about here on the Fourth of July), California's vending-machine-fruit tax, and a tax on air in Pennsylvania. Click here for the full list.

... Continue Reading...
November 02, 2007

The move towards patching AMT for one more year began yesterday on Capitol Hill as the Ways and Means Committee approved a one-year patch that also included tax increases elsewhere, so as to comply with House PAYGO rules. Details from the Los Angeles Times:

In a sign of changing priorities, the tax-writing panel of the U.S. House on...

Continue Reading...
November 02, 2007

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two discriminatory taxation cases, and among the arguments considered will be those included in two friend-of-the-court briefs filed by the Tax Foundation.

In CSX Transportation, Inc. v. Ga. Bd. of Equalization (No. 06-1287), the Tax Foundation's brief supports a taxpayer railroad's effort to reverse a lower court ruling that barred taxpayers from challenging the methods by which...

Continue Reading...
November 02, 2007

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's recent tax proposal is currently the subject of heated debate in a special session at the state legislature. From the Washington Post:

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's plan to close an expected budget shortfall evoked...

Continue Reading...
November 02, 2007

Tax Watch is the Tax Foundation's bimonthly tax policy newsletter, presenting our economic research and analysis in a simple, non-technical format—ideal for the non-economist looking for a clear explanation of current tax issues. 

 Highlights from the November-December 2007 issue include:

  • Top One Percent...
Continue Reading...
November 01, 2007

Two years ago today, the President's Advisory Panel on Tax Reform released its recommendation for overhauling the nation's tax system. The proposal lowered rates, simplified the tax system, and narrowed the preferences for housing in the tax system, which ultimately killed any prospects of the proposal becoming law.

Groups like the National Association of Realtors went out full force with full page (half-truth) advertisements about how the...

Continue Reading...
November 01, 2007

A week ago, we first blogged on the fact that the state of Iowa had a very odd tax treatment of pumpkins whereby if they were used for consumption (i.e. pumpkin pie), you paid no tax; but if they were used for decorations or other non-food purposes, you paid the state sales tax on the item.

Well it turns out that the blogosphere...

Continue Reading...
October 30, 2007

Last night on the NBC Nightly News, former anchor Tom Brokaw sat down for an interview with stock market mogul Warren Buffett. Forgetting the reporter's role of asking critical questions, Brokaw never once challenged anything Buffett said, even when Buffett reiterated his (false) claim that he pays a lower tax rate than his $60,000-a-year secretary.

Buffett means only to slander President Bush, but he is slandering every congress and...

Continue Reading...
October 30, 2007

In tonight's Democratic Presidential Debate, Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich (whose chances of winning the nomination are about the same as the Miami Dolphins winning the Super Bowl this year) made the following statement on national television: "Right now. It's all about a redistribution upwards. The tax system is about redistributing the wealth upwards. The health care system redistributes the wealth upwards. Our energy policies redistribute the wealth upwards."

Regardless of...

Continue Reading...
October 30, 2007

An editorial in today's South Bend Tribune makes the case for property tax reform in Indiana. Unfortunately, the paper's questioning of property assessments shows a lack of understanding of basic economics. A trip to the local university for enrollment in ECON 101 may be necessary.  From the editorial:

...
Continue Reading...
October 30, 2007

The Tax Foundation recently published Why Taxes Matter, a booklet that explains, in layperson's terms, the reasons every American should care about taxes. The booklet covers property taxes, state income taxes, taxes that affect retirement, taxes that affect business, Tax Freedom Day, and more. It ranks states on a variety of measures and can help taxpayers make informed decisions about which states to open businesses in, buy property in, or retire to.

We announced the...

Continue Reading...
October 29, 2007

We blogged last week about the Iowa Department of Revenue's decision to impose sales tax on carved pumpkins, but not on consumed pumpkins. Whether pumpkins are taxed thus depends on the buyer's intent, which retailers were advised to "keep in mind" when selling pumpkins.

Exemptions like these increase the complexity of our tax system, which increases compliance costs, not to mention legal liability for overcharging or undercharging....

Continue Reading...
October 29, 2007

Last Friday, the Tax Foundation held a press conference in Maryland to discuss a plan to increase taxes on Maryland's families and businesses. We released a report showing the dramatic fall Maryland would take in the State Business Tax Climate Index and the significant tax burden increase Marylanders would face if the plan was implemented...

Continue Reading...

Pages

Follow Us

About the Tax Policy Blog

Subscribe to Tax Foundation - Tax Foundation's Tax Policy Blog The Tax Policy Blog is the official weblog 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.

Monthly Archive