The Tax Policy Blog

November 23, 2008

The article is funny because the logic is in many ways similar to the actual auto bailout given that there is no such thing as a free lunch. (Somebody must pay for it.)

From CarbolicSmokeBall (fake news site):

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressional leaders of both parties huddled behind closed doors on Capitol Hill today in an attempt to work out a...

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November 20, 2008

File this under "What's wrong with this picture?" Bloomberg is reporting that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has announced a sweeping economic package to "prevent the kind of financial crises that shook the country after the collapse of the Soviet Union."

The tax changes in Putin's plan would cut the Russian corporate tax to 20 percent from 24 percent on January...

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November 19, 2008

Tax Foundation Tax Counsel Joe Henchman will be appearing in a segment on Lou Dobbs Tonight tonight on CNN regarding the transit agency/SILO situation. All told some $16 billion in taxpayer-purchased transit assets were sold to European banks, and now agencies face termination penalties of somewhere between $2 billion and $4 billion. This week transit agency heads are heading to Capitol Hill to request a bailout.

Read more on the issue...

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November 19, 2008

The latest sampling from our friends in blogosphere:

  • North Shore Exponent, a blog of the North Shore Strategy and Consulting Group, mentions that Wisconsin is #38 in our State Business Tax Climate Index, declaring that "with Wisconsin facing a five billon dollar...
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November 18, 2008

We've been tracking a situation hitting 30 transit agencies across the country, as they face huge termination penalties from European banks due to the unravelling of "Sale In Lease Out" (SILO) deals they entered into from 1988 to 2003. A quick summary from our longer report:

When a private company builds an asset, they are permitted under federal income tax law to deduct from their taxes the depreciation (wearing out...

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November 18, 2008

Wow! The map I posted of state and local combined sales tax rates got over 900 hits yesterday (not counting people just viewing it as they look at the blog) and lots of links. Here are some shout outs:

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November 18, 2008

My recent Fiscal Fact on New York City's budget shortfall erroneously claimed that the Mayor had the authority to cancel a scheduled $400 property tax rebate without any legislative approval.  In fact, the cancellation would require approval from the City Council, which does not appear likely to grant its assent.  I regret the error.

My source from this error was a document issued by, er, the office of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg...

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November 18, 2008

San Jose, California's Measure B went before voters earlier this month, proposing a 1/8-cent sales tax increase to fund operations of a proposed extension of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system. On the day after the election, though, it looked like Measure B would fall just short with only 66.3% of the vote.

Counting of absentee and provisional ballots has continued, and that percentage has slowly inched up. It looks like many of these ballots split 70-30 for the tax,...

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November 17, 2008

While it's always nice to see Tax Foundation material cited in the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, we are just as excited when we see our studies in student publications at colleges and universities.

Allysia Finley writes an op-ed in The Stanford Daily, an independent publication, on fiscal responsibility in government:

"Under Obama’s tax plan, 48 percent...

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November 14, 2008

The National Association of Realtors, our favorite lobby here at the Tax Foundation, is pressuring its members to urge Congress to steal on its behalf more from taxpayers. Here's the organization's four-point plan:

NAR has urged Congress to include the following provisions in any future legislation:

  • Make the $7500 tax credit available to all purchasers and eliminate the...
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November 13, 2008

Polk County TNPhoto credit Dan Lehr

Earlier this week, the Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled that Polk County, Tennessee's tax on whitewater rafting (a key...

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November 13, 2008

So the auto industry is in trouble, as it has been for about the last decade for a variety of reasons. So what's the solution? Loans, of course, from the taxpayers, and as always when a politician is seeking ways to subsidize an industry in a way that doesn't look like spending, handouts via the tax code. Daily Tax Report reports that Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) is proposing two new tax breaks for the auto industry relating to the consumption side (so it won't look like a handout...

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November 13, 2008

Washington D.C.'s Metro transit agency continues its second day of negotiations with Belgian bank KBC Group, although they reportedly have stalled. The parties will appear again before Judge Rosemary M. Collyer tomorrow.

Bond Buyer wrote up an excellent piece on the transit agency/SILO situation...

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November 12, 2008

Attorneys for DC's transit agency appeared before a federal judge today seeking an injunction preventing a Belgian bank from obtaining $43 million in termination fees:

The hearing, before U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer, is being watched by transit agencies and other public entities across the country. Many of them entered into similar deals years...

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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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