The Tax Policy Blog

March 24, 2009

The Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives has introduced a bill to raise the state cigarette tax from 7 cents to 57 cents, a 714% increase expected to raise $139 million.

The increase would push South Carolina's tax higher than its neighbors, so it may not bring in the revenue they expect. More importantly, the fairness of...

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March 24, 2009

Yesterday night, Tax Foundation Communications Director William Ahern appeared on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight to discuss rising local property taxes across the country, noting that, in many instances, setting property tax rates is more of an administrative matter than a legislative matter.

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March 23, 2009

The Congressional Budget Office last week estimated budget deficits for the current Fiscal Year 2009 will be $1.8 trillion and for Fiscal Year 2010 will be $1.4 trillion. The White House had estimated the numbers at $1.75 trillion and $1.2 trillion, respectively. The previous deficit record, set last year, was $459 billion.

Over the next ten years, the deficits will total $9.3...

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March 23, 2009

On Friday, the North Carolina Supreme Court handed down its ruling in Heatherly v. State, the case determining whether the state lottery in part imposes a tax because its purpose is to raise money for broadly available government services. The Tax Foundation had filed an amicus curiae brief in the case, arguing that the lottery is subject to...

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March 20, 2009

Last night, Tax Foundation Staff Economist Josh Barro (not Barrow, the northernmost point in the United States) was on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight discussing how high tax rates and a poor business tax climate have played a part in Rhode Island's bleak economic situation.

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March 20, 2009

"Listen, I'll take responsibility. I'm the president." Those were President Obama’s words at a town hall meeting in California this week. What makes this statement so surreal is that he was not referring to matters of foreign policy or the US economy. He was referring to bonuses paid out by AIG, a company which has received $180 billion in government aid in less than a year. We...

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March 19, 2009

Bloomberg has an interesting article about one California congressman's use of a Maryland home as his primary residence in order to claim a special Maryland tax break. Here's more from Bloomberg:

A senior member of the U.S. House’s tax-writing Ways and Means Committee from California has been taking advantage of a tax break for a home in Maryland that he...

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March 18, 2009

The Obama administration has recently presented its budget in the midst of a recession. Denver Post columnist David Harsanyi believes that while most "presidents helped ease us out of these tough spots by easing the burden on Americans," the tax provisions within the budget show that "Obama has engaged in the opposite."

In this edition of the Tax Policy Podcast, Tax Foundation...

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March 18, 2009

The American Legislative Exchange Council has released this week the second edition of Rich States, Poor States, authored by Arthur Laffer, Stephen Moore, and Jonathan Williams.  

According to the...

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March 17, 2009

With climate change legislation becoming a top congressional priority in recent months, Tax Foundation Adjunct Scholar Andrew Chamberlain has written a new study showing that a cap-and-trade system curbing greenhouse gas emissions would place an annual burden of $144.8 billion on American households. The average annual household burden would be $1,218, which would be approximately 2% of the average household income.

Chamberlain explains that this burden would be disproportionately...

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March 16, 2009

Last week, Governor Mark Sanford (R-SC) announced a different plan for some of the stimulus money his state is receiving. This from David Shuster, host of MSNBC's 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, last Thursday:

"South Carolina is due to receive $2.8 billion in stimulus money aimed at creating or saving jobs.  This week, Governor Sanford announced he will seek a waiver to use part of the money his state...

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March 16, 2009

At the Tax Foundation we wrestle with big ideas about economics, taxation, and public policy, and at times it can seem a bit abstract and academic. But this morning tax policy felt very personal.

The reason is that when I took a look at my pay stub I was pleasantly surprised to see a slightly higher-than-usual dollar amount listed under “Total Net Direct Deposit.” At first I thought it was a mistake, and then I wondered if I had received a tiny...

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March 13, 2009

As reported by Lori Montgomery in yesterday's edition of the Washington Post, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) has been advocating a repeal of the tax exclusion for employer-based health insurance benefits.

"With President Obama's plan to tax the rich to pay for health care facing deep skepticism on Capitol Hill, key lawmakers are pressing a different way to...

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March 13, 2009

President Obama has plans to raise taxes on upper income taxpayers, and he has often quoted $250,000 as the income level at which these tax increases will start to take effect for married couples. These plans include letting the top two income tax rates revert to their pre-Bush levels of 36% and 39.6% (currently 33% and 35% respectively), limiting itemized deductions, and imposing a 20% rate on...

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March 13, 2009

Which states enacted the first and second state-level individual income taxes? (Note: One or both may have been a territory at the time the tax was enacted.)

Click on your choice to see whether it's correct.

A) Utah in 1895 and Oregon in 1899

B) Hawaii in 1901 and Wisconsin in 1911

C) Arizona in 1901 and Oklahoma in 1907

D)...

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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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