The Tax Policy Blog

August 05, 2008

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal's editorial page took another much-deserved thwack at Barack Obama's execrable "windfall profits tax" proposal. (Unfortunately, between this idea and John McCain's gas tax holiday plan, we know that stupid energy tax gimmicks are de rigueur for today's presidential candidates.) The WSJ correctly notes that oil companies'...

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August 05, 2008

The seemingly constant budget struggle in California took an interesting turn last week when the Governor ordered the termination of 10,000 state employees, while lowering another 200,000 workers' wages to $6.55/hour. Since then, the State Controller refuses to comply with the Governor's orders. California's desperate financial situation has prompted desperate proposals, including higher taxes.

A ...

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August 04, 2008

John Nordloh ("Government should look to Internet for tax solutions," Chicago Tribune, July 7) suggests raising revenues for the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois by taxing out-of-state businesses. He claims the new policy is only fair, as it will put all "transactions on the same 'tax' playing field." Unfortunately, Nordloh misses the point.

Taxation is not...

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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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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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