The Tax Policy Blog

August 01, 2008

Thanks to all who came yesterday evening to the Tax Foundation's Chicago Reception at the annual conference of the American Legislative Exchange Council! We had a packed room of state lawmakers, members of think tanks, economists, and others to listen to remarks by Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge and Dr. Richard Vedder of Ohio University.

And congratulations to Rep. Phyllis M. Heineman of South Dakota (in last picture with Dr. Vedder) who won the drawing for an iPod...

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August 01, 2008

The IRS has shed some new light on the high-income Californians who are the targets of the state legislature's tax-raising approach to budget balancing (IRS spreadsheet or Tax Foundation tabular summary).

By breaking out state-by-state its popular analysis of income and tax data, the IRS shows us that the top one percent of California taxpayers (150,000 people)—the same...

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July 31, 2008

Rebekah Diller from the Brennan Center notes Florida's new court charges in a USA Today op-ed:

Consider Florida's new court fees, which went in effect July 1. Faced with a budget crisis, Florida has raised its filing fees to among the highest in the country: $300 for most civil cases, $397.50 for divorce and $270 for eviction actions. Florida does not, as do other states...

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July 31, 2008

With gas prices on the rise, some states have considered providing relief to their citizens by suspending their state gas taxes. However, many states are also faced with budget shortfalls which make it difficult to forgo any tax revenue. Not so in Alaska, where Gov. Sarah Palin has proposed suspending the state’s gas tax and sending a sizable “resource rebate” check to every resident. Bob Tkacz from...

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July 31, 2008

A humorous new Tax Foundation YouTube video titled "Dream Job" addresses the problem of the United States' high corporate tax rate.

While Americans pay close attention to individual tax rates, many tune out when the conversation turns to business taxes. This is a mistake. The tax climate for business should be important to all Americans, regardless of whether they actually own businesses themselves. Businesses pass their tax burdens on to their customers, employees, and shareholders...

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July 31, 2008

There isn't much honesty in this presidential campaign from two candidates who supposedly were of a new type of politics. Earlier this week, Sen. McCain distorted Obama's position on energy taxes in a recent advertisement (the one that featured Britney Spears and Paris Hilton). And today, Sen. Obama made misleading statements saying that McCain wants to cut taxes on oil companies by $4 billion. But what Obama didn't...

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July 30, 2008

A new ad from Sen. John McCain is questioning whether Barack Obama is just a rock star, or whether he is ready to lead. But in the ad, McCain gets specific by accusing Obama of wanting to raise taxes on electricity. According to Newsday blogger John Riley, the source of this statement is based on a comment that Obama made to a newspaper in which he said "What We Ought To...

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July 30, 2008

Governor Paterson, in a televised speech, called for action to combat New York's growing deficit. From the New York Times article:

ALBANY - Gov....

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July 29, 2008

Given the indictment today of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), we thought it would be nice to share this Boston Globe article from 2006 that described the workings of the Ted Stevens Foundation, now the North to the Future Foundation. It's priceless:

Meanwhile, the Ted Stevens Foundation, a charity named after the Republican senator from Alaska, was...

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July 29, 2008

Please join the Tax Foundation
for a reception with state lawmakers,
state think tank leaders, state tax
economists, and Dr. Richard Vedder!

Thursday, July 31, 2008
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers
301 East North Water Street
Chicago, IL

Business attire

July 28, 2008
  • McCain: Please Stop with the Gas Tax Holiday Talk: It's common for politicians (on both sides) to take shots at economists like McCain did in this interview, arguing that they are heartless and don't understand the plight of hard-working Americans who don't get to sit behind a desk all day.[...] It's a baseless argument designed to distract from the core question, which in this case is "will the price at the pump fall significantly from a temporary...
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July 28, 2008

The Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP) is a working group of revenue officials and experts, with the stated purpose of bringing simplicity and uniformity to sales taxes in the United States. There are nearly 8,000 sales taxing jurisdictions, each with their own bases and rates, and the enormous complexity involved in tracking borders and changes is a huge stumbling block to state efforts to impose tax on online sales. Member states (of which there are 22 so far) must adopt...

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July 27, 2008

This morning on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, John McCain was interviewed by Stephanopoulos. And during a discussion on energy, McCain mentions his gas tax holiday proposal again as a way to relieve consumers, and then Stephanopoulos steps in.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Not a single economist in the country said it'd work.
MCCAIN: Yes. And there's no economist in the country that knows very well the low-income American who drives the furthest, in...
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July 26, 2008

Once again, the United States Congress is making the tax code worse. Not that it should surprise any of the readers of this blog. Members of Congress, however stupid their policies may be, just want to appear as if they are doing something right now as it relates to housing. And if that means making the tax code more complicated and more distortionary and more discriminatory, then so be it.

The housing bill that Congress is set to pass and the President is now willing to sign is set...

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July 25, 2008

We've discussed before why sales tax holidays are bad ideas from a sound tax policy perspective. The narrow list of what is exempt and what is not often misleads consumers, while imposing a heavy administrative and complexity burden on business owners. Many states exempt rewrite whole parts of the tax code for the duration of the holiday, resulting in instability in the tax code (for instance,...

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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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