The Tax Policy Blog

November 05, 2008

All results are unofficial and subject to change.

Raising and Repealing Taxes and Non-Tax Taxes

  • Arkansas's Constitutional Amendment 3, which would establish a state lottery (Arkansas is one of eight states without a lottery), passed 63%-36%.
  • California had a number of county and regional sales tax increases and extensions for transportation, each of which required a two-thirds vote to...
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November 05, 2008

From TaxProf Blog: fifteen tax professors give their thoughts on how the Obama-Biden administration will affect tax policy.

November 05, 2008

On Monday, Sen. Bob Menendez was on Neil Cavuto's show discussing Sen. Obama's tax plan. Of course, like many campaign spokespersons, he was only able to recite the 50 words that the campaign staff taught him. It's rather entertaining yet frustrating at the same time to realize that a person this clueless is helping shape fiscal policy in the United States Senate. (He should ask Sen. Wyden to give him a 30-minute tutoring session on...

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November 04, 2008

A new Tax Policy Podcast, the first of a three-part series on the State Business Tax Climate Index Tour, examines the "business-friendliness"—or lack thereof—of New Jersey's tax system.

Gregg Edwards of the Center for Policy Research of New Jersey discuses New Jersey's last-place ranking in the Index and suggests ways New Jersey legislators can improve the state's dismal ranking.

...

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November 03, 2008

Tomorrow Marylanders will vote on a constitutional amendment to allow slot machines—also known as video lottery terminals, or VLTs—in five locations around the state to raise money for public education.  Slots opponents and advocates have been fighting bitterly for years, and the issue will finally be decided.

Many opponents of this plan argue that VLTs are more likely than traditional...

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November 01, 2008

The misleading ads and speeches from both John McCain and Barack Obama continue, and they will likely continue through Tuesday. Here's Obama's latest ad on taxes:

Obama: I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message.

Announcer: "Wonder where John McCain would take the economy? Look behind you. John McCain wants to continue George Bush's economic policies. As President he'd provide no tax breaks to 101 million Americans but keep...

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November 01, 2008

There has been a lot of talk in the press recently about various people with the Obama campaign quoting different figures on whom Sen. Obama would cut taxes for or whom he wouldn't raise taxes on (based upon income levels). The campaign had long claimed that nobody making under $250,000 would face a tax hike. (Technically, that's not true since he raises corporate income taxes.) But it's pretty close to true with respect to the individual income tax (assuming a married return; single...

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November 01, 2008

Today's Los Angeles Times had a story about how Obama and McCain differ on taxes, with Obama focusing on questions of vertical equity and McCain focusing on efficiency. In the article, there was a quote from Jared Bernstein of EPI:

"You can't find evidence that low tax rates foster high economic growth," said Jared Bernstein, director of a research program at the...

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October 31, 2008

Voters in 23 states will be considering initiatives and referenda relating to tax issues on November 4. Our new report, Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact No. 154: Voters Will Consider Tax-Related Ballot Initiatives in 23 States, summarizes each of them and the arguments made by proponents and opponents.

For the full list, check out the report. Here are some of the more prominent initiatives:

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October 31, 2008

Throughout this election season, we have lamented the misinformation about the candidates' tax plans that has flowed from both sides of the aisle.  The Obama campaign has attacked John McCain's health care tax credit proposal, actually a $1.3 trillion net tax cut, as a massive tax increase.  Meanwhile, McCain accused Obama of supporting "a tax on electricity" because Obama backs restrictions on carbon emissions—a...

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October 31, 2008

It's Halloween, and taxes will probably be the last thing on the minds of the young ghosts, ballerinas, witches, and superheroes who go door to door collecting candy tonight.  

But the grown-ups who buy the candy might want to give taxes a bit of thought, especially if they live in a state that has ridiculously complex laws regarding the taxation of candy.  At Easter time we lamented the trouble the Easter Bunny has calculating his tax...

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October 31, 2008

With the completion of our CompeteUSA YouTube Contest, the winning video from Andrew Patterson of Edmond, Oklahoma has been well received. Let's take a look at the best of the blogosphere's love for the Tax Foundation:

  • The "Tax Attack" video is popular with our political and economic bloggers, from the national to local level....
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October 31, 2008

Yesterday we released Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact No. 153, "Transit Agencies in Bind Due to SILO Deals and AIG Collapse," outlining the situation that now has 30 transit agencies facing heavy termination penalties from foreign banks. It's a result of (1) a series of leaseback transactions these agencies conducted which included heavy termination penalties, (2) federal policy first to encourage and then to discourage them, and (3) the...

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October 31, 2008

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) yesterday signed an executive order establishing a 12-member panel to review the state's tax code. Schwarzenegger specifically cited the swings in tax revenue caused by heavy reliance on capital gains income:

General Fund revenue over the last several decades has fluctuated dramatically due to changes in the economy in general, but primarily as a...

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October 30, 2008

From the Associated Press:

The Washington area's transit agency is seeking a temporary injunction against a Belgian bank [KBG Group] that is demanding a $43 million payment by Friday.[...]

Metro warns that if a U.S. District Court judge refuses to grant the request made Wednesday, the transit system could find itself in default by Friday. KBC declined...

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