The Tax Policy Blog

February 12, 2007

 The Tax Foundation has recently published a number of charts and tables that may be helpful for lawmakers, staff and media.  The following tables represent the most recently available data. 

 Federal Individual Income Tax Burden
     Analysis | By County |...

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February 09, 2007

If Governor Edward Rendell gets his way, consumers, investors and workers in the Keystone State will face a massive tax hike. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

"A controversial "gross profits tax" on oil companies was one of the centerpieces of Mr. Rendell's budget address yesterday, and the governor devoted a healthy portion of his annual speech to the issue of ExxonMobil's record profits over the last...

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February 08, 2007

Lawmakers have proposed many tax plans in Michigan recently. Governor Granholm's new "Service Tax" is easily the worst.

Governor Granholm just released details on her proposed 2 percent sales tax on services to help plug the state's budget deficit, which experts say ranges from $800 million to $1.1 billion. Her plan would raise $1.47 billion in the next fiscal year by applying the 2...

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February 08, 2007

An amusing tale of a man, a dream, and the burden of the federal individual income tax, courtesy of the good folks at CNN.com.

First the bad news, from a January 29th story, "Uncle Sam Spoils Dream Trip to Space": 

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Brian Emmett's childhood fantasy came true when he won a free trip to outer space.

But the 31-year-old was crushed when he had to...

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February 07, 2007

On the heels of Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell's massive tax hike proposal yesterday, Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell proposed a tax hike today that could cause equal economic harm.

Governor Rell wants to increase tax rate from 5 percent  to 5.5 percent on income over $10,000 and increase the cigarette tax from $1.51 to $2.00 per...

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February 06, 2007

President Bush and the Office of Management and Budget released their fiscal year 2008 budget yesterday. Tax collections have been increasing much more rapidly than usual: 7.5% annually from 2002 to 2006. Therefore, the culprit in any deficit analysis is bound to be government spending, the rapid growth of which we've commented on elsewhere.

What we focus on here is the enormous size of...

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February 05, 2007

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell today announced plans for a significant tax increase because of what he calls "an extraordinarily difficult budget year," according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Gov. Ed Rendell is expected to propose increasing the 6 percent state sales tax to 7 percent when he unveils his 2007-08 budget. Over the course of a year, the move would raise about $1.4 billion...

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February 02, 2007

Today, ExxonMobil reported the largest corporate profits in U.S. History. From Yahoo Finance:

"Oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. on Thursday posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company -- $39.5 billion -- even as earnings for the last quarter of 2006 declined 4 percent. The 2006 profit topped the previous record, also by Exxon Mobil, of $36.13 billion set in 2005." [...

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February 01, 2007

Economists teach that an inefficient tax is one that changes people's behavior for the worse. Good policy encourages us to do things only when they make economic sense. Bad policy rewards us for doing things we'd never do otherwise if it weren't for tax reasons--something economists call "economic distortion" from taxes.

Usually we think of economic distortion in prosaic terms of dollars and cents. For example, a country...

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February 01, 2007

We recently posted the 2006 sales tax and excise tax rates for every state in addition to our state individual income tax rate tables and corporate income tax tables posted previously.

No state increased its individual income tax rates in 2006, a sure sign that strong economic growth is keeping state coffers full. However, a few...

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February 01, 2007

The governor of Illinois is hoping to win a large sum of money from his state's lottery--but he's not planning to purchase a single ticket. Instead he wants to sell the lottery to a private company for a lump-sum payment. From the New York Times:

The state of Illinois yesterday took the first steps in...

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January 31, 2007

We have co-published a paper with the Council on State Taxation (COST) on the many problems of gross receipts taxes. The in-depth paper is written by Professor John Mikesell of Indiana University and echoes the arguments we put forth against gross receipts taxation in a recent Special Report.

One of the arguments covered in the...

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January 30, 2007

We have posted an interview with Katherine Baicker, who is a member of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, an associate professor of public policy at the School of Public Affairs at UCLA, and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, as today's Tax Policy Podcast.

Baicker discusses the President's health care tax initiative, the origins and inequities of our current employer-provided health care system, and the effect of the...

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January 29, 2007

A project which has been discussed by Niagara County resident Lee Bordeleau for the past few months has finally become a reality. Bordeleau saw the Tax Foundation report which ranked Niagara County as having the highest median real estate taxes as a percentage of median home value, out of 775 high-population counties. Those numbers come from the 2005 American Community Survey, which looked...

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January 29, 2007

We have released an updated version of Facts & Figures: How Does Your State Compare?, a pocket-sized handbook that compares the 50 states on 40 different measures of taxing and spending, including individual and corporate income tax rates, business tax climates, property tax collections, excise taxes, tax burdens and state spending.

If you're wondering how high your state's income taxes are compared to other states'; how much your state collects in pre-capita...

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