The Tax Policy Blog

January 11, 2008

Carroll County Circuit Judge Thomas Stansfield yesterday dismissed a lawsuit challenging Maryland's recent tax increases.  The suit alleged that during the special session called to enact the tax increases, the Senate violated a constitutional requirement to obtain consent of the House before adjourning for more than three days.  The case turned on what the state constitution means by "consent...

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January 11, 2008

The Tax Foundation is often asked which states exempt certain items from their general sales taxes, especially as they relate to food. The following is a list of the states that do tax groceries, and if applicable, which ones apply a special rate on grocery items. All other states do not tax groceries.

States that tax groceries (rate if not fully taxed): Alabama, Arkansas (3%), Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois (1%), Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri (1.225%), Oklahoma, South Dakota,...

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January 10, 2008

Yesterday, former New York City mayor and GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani unveiled his plan for tax reform and relief. It's built largely on the ideals that Giuliani has espoused throughout the campaign but never fleshed out in any detail.

The highlights of the plan:

    ...
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January 10, 2008

Last year a handful of states considered selling or leasing their lotteries, but so far no state has taken the plunge. As we have said before, an outright lottery sale, not a lease, would be good news as it would get the state out of the lottery business entirely.

Vermont is the most recent state to catch the lottery "privatization" bug, and is even hoping to beat the other states to the punch. A...

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January 10, 2008

The Tax Foundation is pleased to announce that Dr. Robert Carroll had joined its staff as Vice President for Economic Policy.  Dr. Carroll will oversee the Tax Foundation's tax research program, with a special focus on business taxation and the need for corporate tax reform.

"As someone who has often used and always respected the Tax Foundation's work, I'm excited to now take part in that work," said Dr. Carroll.  "This position is a great fit for me, as I will be able to...

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January 10, 2008

A bizarre story out of New York City where two men attempted to use a man's corpse to cash his Social Security check, courtesy of the Associated Press:

Detective Travis Rapp has seen his share of corpses, but this was new: two men wheeling a rigid, pale body down a Manhattan street in a red office chair, drawing a crowd of suspicious onlookers.

Looking out the window of...

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January 10, 2008

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, architect of one of the worst state tax reform proposals in recent history early last year, is at again. This time he is basically holding hostage the Chicago mass transit system's general funding source so that he can try to buy some more senior citizens' votes. A truly sad story showing one downside of democratic rule courtesy of the ...

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January 09, 2008

Last year, France enacted a "solidarity" tax on airline ticket sales originating from France, ranging from 1 euro ($1.47) for short flights up to 40 euros ($58.67) for longer international flights. The money raised, according to Daily Tax Report's Lawrence J. Speer, goes to "a new international financing facility dedicated to funding health projects in poor countries, particularly for drugs against pandemics like AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis."

Whether this is the best way to fund...

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January 08, 2008

An Investor's Business Daily editorial by Lawrence Kudlow yesterday discussed the "Goldilocks economy" and Kudlow's proposal for "perk[ing] up the slowdown." Among his suggestions was a corporate tax rate cut:

Right now, the single best thing President Bush and Congress can do is slash the corporate tax rate for large and small businesses. Bush must reach out to Charlie Rangel and...

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January 08, 2008

In Lake Tahoe, property owners were heard today by the Nevada Supreme Court over their property taxes. Some 300 of the landowners won in the lower court after they convinced a judge that their property had been overassessed for tax purposes.

Rather than order a reassessment, though, the judge ordered the taxes rolled back two years to the 2002-03 level. The local government, for equity reasons, extended...

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January 07, 2008

As Mike Huckabee continues to ride momentum from his win in Iowa on Thursday, his tax plan is getting closer scrutiny from the media. Here's a rundown of some of the feature articles on his tax plan, the FairTax, that have run in newspapers over the past month or so.

News Articles:

Huckabee's Tax Plan Appeals, But Is It Fair? - New York Times

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January 07, 2008

The NY Times reports that the New York City Council is threatening to take away the property tax exemption for the World's Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden (MSG). This comes at a time when the Garden's biggest tenant is involved in scandal after scandal, not including the way the team is performing on the court, which could also be...

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January 07, 2008

In what appears to be a growing trend, one state senator in Pennsylvania is seeking to impose a tax on adult entertainment services, arguing that such a tax would "remediate the harm they are doing in communities." More from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

On the heels of a new Allegheny County levy on poured drinks, a McCandless state senator is pitching another sin tax...

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January 07, 2008

Yesterday, the Oregon Tax Court handed down a decision about this Oregon law:

[The following] property owned...by...charitable...institutions shall be exempt from taxation:[...]

All real and personal property...dealing exclusively...to support a welfare program. As used in this subsection, '...

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January 04, 2008

It appears that the General Theory is on the president's reading list once again. Given that the economy appears to be headed for a slowdown this year, the Bush Administration is considering short-term tax relief as part of an "economic stimulus" package, according to an AP story today by Martin...

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