The Tax Policy Blog

December 18, 2007

If there were a future's market on whether an AMT patch is going to be passed by this weekend (before Congress recesses for the year), the odds would most likely still be yes, but the stock would be falling. The latest from the Washington Examiner:

The congressional struggle over how to protect millions of middle-class people from getting soaked by the alternative minimum tax this year...

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December 18, 2007

We're looking for bright, motivated college students to fill open spring and summer internships. More information on the Tax Foundation internship program and application is here. Spread the word to friends and family who might be interested!

Internship Areas

Economics & Public Policy interns work with our team of economists on issues at the federal and state levels, with emphasis on data...

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December 18, 2007

55,000 Egyptian tax department employees are returning to work after a work stoppage where they demanded higher wages:

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December 18, 2007

It's hard to say no to children in need. The desire to help children is so fundamental that it can be hard for some people to reject poor public policy if it's enacted in the name of needy kids. This conflict between the desire to protect children and the desire to enact sound fiscal policy is at the center of the S-CHIP debate, a topic we have written about numerous times (here, here and...

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December 18, 2007

With the recent surge in the polls of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, the FairTax is a hot topic these days. The FairTax, which would replace the current income, payroll, estate and corporate income taxes with a national retail sales tax, has a large following of grassroots supporters, as well as many members of Congress (Senate and ...

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December 17, 2007

We've already written extensively on Maryland's recent tax hikes:  income, sales, and cigarette tax rates will go up next month.  Governor O'Malley's original plan would have also extend the state sales tax to "luxury" services, including real estate management, landscaping, tanning, massage therapy, auto repairs, and health club memberships. 

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December 17, 2007

It turns out that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, the man who vehemently argued earlier this year that corporations are avoiding paying their fair share in taxes to the State of Illinois, may be avoiding paying his fair share -- to the IRS. An AP article cites how Blagojevich has used large sums of state-funded travel since taking the governorship in 2003, some of which could be considered part of adjusted gross income according to federal tax law. Here's the story from...

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December 14, 2007
  • USASpending.org—the federal government's new searchable database providing information about all federal grant and contract spending above $25,000—is launched. This year's Coburn-Obama Act required the creation of the database.
  • House of Representatives votes 226-193 to pass a one-year revenue-neutral AMT patch, which would increase...
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December 14, 2007

Yesterday, the French government announced that it would actively engage in Pigouvian taxation/subsidization in order to promote a better environment. From The Times Online:

France set itself on collision course with Brussels yesterday as it announced green taxes on gas-guzzling cars and a state-funded discount for vehicles that emit small quantities of carbon dioxide.

...

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December 13, 2007

In what is quite possibly the most blatant attempt to use government power to take from one group to give to another, teachers unions in Nevada are proposing to tax casinos to give themselves a pay raise and to pay for some other government services. From the Las Vegas Sun:

Two ballot initiatives to raise taxes on Nevada's biggest casinos by about 20 percent and...

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December 13, 2007

We have written about Warren Buffett's misconceptions on taxes here, here, and here, and, once again, we need to inject some truth and perspective into his recent public statements on the income tax. Buffett made a joint appearance with Hillary Clinton earlier this week and argued for increased progressivity in the tax code....

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December 12, 2007

Retailers in 45 states have the responsibility to collect sales taxes on most purchases made to consumers. In Connecticut, for instance, a consumer buying a new car must pay sales tax on the purchase price to the dealer, who then forwards the money to the state.

If a consumer returns the purchased item to the store, they are refunded the full cost, including the sales tax they paid. The retailer can then claim a refund of the sales tax money forwarded to the state, because...

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December 11, 2007

The Senate's energy bill (H.R. 6, The Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007 ) hits the major domestic oil companies with a $13.5 billion tax hike over ten years by denying them the domestic manufacturing credit—known as the section 199—which is otherwise available to all domestic manufacturers.

The ostensible purpose of this exceptionally bad piece of tax policy is to punish the "evil"...

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December 10, 2007

One of the ten principles of sound tax policy is neutrality—the fundamental purpose of taxes is to raise necessary revenue for programs, not micromanaging a complex market economy with subsidies and penalties. Unfortunately, our tax code is crammed with provisions designed to encourage politically-favored activities, discourage politically-disfavored activities (and occasionally to encourage and discourage the same activity...

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December 10, 2007

Should adult entertainment establishments be charged an extra fee by the government for adults to enter places like topless bars? Governor Perry and many Texas legislators think such discriminatory "taxation" is good public policy. From the Dallas Morning News:

Lawyers for Texas' adult entertainment industry are...

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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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