The Tax Policy Blog

January 24, 2009

Virginia policymakers seem to think that Virginians need a bit of encouragement to file their income taxes online, and that encouragement has finally arrived—in the form of a stuffed, animated mouse wearing a cape and starring in his very own YouTube video.  (No, we're not making this up.)

From CBS News:

Talk about cheesy. Virginia's Tax Department debuted a...

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January 23, 2009

A plan by Governor David Paterson (D-NY) to raise an additional $4 billion through nearly 100 increased taxes and fees to close his state's budget gap for fiscal year 2010 (which may be as large as $15 billion) contains proposals that move the Empire State closer to, and further away from, sound tax policy, as well as proposals that might be good or bad depending on surrounding circumstances.

In Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact No. 159, "New York Governor David Paterson'...

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January 23, 2009

The following charts have recently been updated on our website. As usual, all charts are accessible via FlashPaper, Excel, and PDF.   

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January 23, 2009

Singapore will soon be just one of many countries to cut corporate tax rates recently.

From Bloomberg News:

Singapore cut corporate taxes for the second time in three years and said it will tap its reserves to fund record spending amid efforts to drag the island's economy out of its deepest recession since...

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January 22, 2009

In this morning's Wall Street Journal, Harvard economist Robert Barro (most famous for his work on Ricardian equivalence) discusses the issue of fiscal stimulus. Near the end of his op-ed, Barro says this:

Much more focus should be on incentives for people and businesses to invest, produce and work. On the tax side, we should avoid programs that throw money at people and emphasize instead...

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January 22, 2009

This week Kentucky legislators considered a bill introduced by House Speaker Greg Stumbo that would allow video slot machines at Kentucky horse racing tracks. The video lottery terminals (VLTs) would be administered by the state lottery agency, and the bill has the support of Kentucky Lottery President Arch Gleason. Also supporting the idea is Kentucky's horse racing industry, since the implicit tax revenue brought in by the VLTs, as well as the consumers who would patronize the...

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January 22, 2009

A potential breakthrough in California's perpetual budget crisis, following news that some Republican legislators are open to tax hikes as part of a larger budget package. From the National Taxpayers Union:

The GOP caucus realizes a tax hike will be part of any budget pact but could support it only if agreement were reached on permanent program cuts, a hard spending cap and other issues,...

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January 22, 2009

Tri-Rail, the commuter rail system serving southeast Florida, has been massively successful over the last few years.  Fueled by (until recently) soaring gas prices, ridership has doubled since 2005.  However, even as ridership has risen, Tri-Rail's funding is in doubt, as the three counties within its service area face budget crises.

Tri-Rail is therefore seeking a tax...

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January 22, 2009

Users of Microsoft Excel sometimes encounter a cell filled with pound signs ("###########"). As Thinkquest helpfully explains:

If numerous pound (###) signs appear within a cell, it is only a protective measure taken by Excel. It simply means that the column width isn't wide enough for the number trying to be...

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January 21, 2009

The IRS has started a Tax Tips e-mail service, which anyone can join. From the IRS press release:

The Internal Revenue Service is offering a daily series of tax tips for the 2009 federal tax filing season that began this month.

Tax Tips offer concise, useful information on topics affecting millions of taxpayers. More than 70 tips on federal taxes will be available...

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January 19, 2009

The streets around the Tax Foundation's office, and a large portion of  the rest of Washington, D.C., are filled with out-of-town visitors today, here for Inauguration Day tomorrow.  While everyone in the country will be waiting with bated breath to see what tax policies Obama will try to implement in the coming four years, some D.C. residents and their...

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January 16, 2009

We're pleased to see the impact our research has been making lately: elected officials in four states have recently used Tax Foundation data in speeches and op-eds. Here are the details:

On Jan. 10, California Congressman Devin Nunes (21st District) cited the Tax Foundation’s State-Local Tax Burdens report in a Wall Street Journal op-ed titled...

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January 16, 2009

Just across the Hudson from New York City lies Hoboken, New Jersey, a 2 square mile city of about 40,000 people. Once a thriving port, the city after World War II suffered through failed urban renewal and crime until recent years, when it once again became a thriving community where people (especially commuters to Manhattan) want to live.

Unfortunately, the city's government...

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January 16, 2009

From the "Frequently Asked Questions" section of Indiana's government website:

Question
Do my taxes pay the salaries of State workers?

Answer
Yes. State employees are typically paid from state taxes (e.g., sales, income, corporate, gam[bl]ing, etc.), as well as federal taxes and fees.

I hope...

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January 15, 2009

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) gave his State of the State address last night, and urged that tax reform be a key part of improving his state's economic competitiveness:

First, given the economic times in which we live, and given the global competition that we’re in for jobs, capital and way of life, we need to do things each year to make our business climate more competitive....

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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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