The Tax Policy Blog

February 05, 2008

We recently released a new Tax Foundation Tax Policy Podcast interview with Nina Olson, the nation's Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS and the recipient of the Tax Foundation's 2007 Public Sector Distinguished Service Award. In this interview, Ms. Olson discuses with Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge the role of the Taxpayer Advocate in protecting taxpayer rights, the independence of the office, and the...

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February 04, 2008

At TaxProf Blog, tax professors comment on the Wesley Snipes trial verdict. Snipes was convicted of failing to file tax returns, although acquitted of more serious conspiracy and fraud charges. Snipes's co-defendants, who pushed the "§ 861 argument" to evade taxes, were convicted of all counts. Professor Buchanan at GW analyzes...

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February 03, 2008

On this date (February 3rd) in history 95 years ago...the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified.

Or did Ohio never truly approve of it? What is your favorite 16th Amendment "it was never really ratified" theory?

February 01, 2008

Some people in New Mexico are skeptical of the Sierra Club's proposal to tax people who make decisions with which they disagree:

Dave Gilligan remembers being pushed outside to play baseball and other sports, but feeling it just wasn't for him.[...]

"If you take a kid that's just playing his X-Box or whatever and you...

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February 01, 2008

With the upcoming 2008 presidential election, tax policy will soon be on voters' minds more than ever. Taxes are one of the central issues in any national election, and it is important for the public to understand candidates' general views toward tax policy as well as their positions on specific issues, such as the alternative minimum tax (AMT) and corporate tax rates. While some candidates have been more forthcoming and specific than others about their stance on various tax issues, they...

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January 31, 2008

This month the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal released the 14th edition of the Index of Economic Freedom, a publication that ranks countries on nine measures of economic freedom: business freedom, trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government size, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, freedom from corruption, and labor freedom.

The U.S. ranks...

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January 30, 2008

The stimulus package just passed by the House and now under consideration by the Senate, is designed as a 2008 tax cut, with part of the refund you would normally get in spring 2009 advanced to be mailed out this spring ($600 under the House, maybe...

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January 30, 2008

The Senate will likely cave to the demands of AARP and others to expand the stimulus to include rebates to elderly Americans who pay little or no taxes (and the rebates dropping from $600 to $500 to keep the cost the same). As we noted:

When dealing with a policy that is designed primarily to stimulate the economy, any arbitrary policy can almost be justified to some degree. But what this shows is that there is a problem in trying to...

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January 29, 2008

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Rep. Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta) is pushing legislation co-sponsored by leaders of both parties to make sure Georgians don't have to pay state income taxes on the stimulus checks they might be receiving from the federal government.

The final stimulus plan hasn't been approved by Congress...

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January 29, 2008

In a rush to relieve Virginia motorists of steep "abusive driver fees," state legislators have run head-on into a 130-year-old Virginia State Supreme Court case that is thwarting their attempts. The controversial law passed last year requires drivers charged with abusive driving to pay heightened charges (taxes) to the state. They are currently charged in three installments over the space of three years and...

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January 29, 2008

In this week's edition of The Onion, their weekly "interview" of guests on the street asks the question "Congress agreed on an economic stimulus package that would give individual taxpayers a rebate of up to $600. What do you think?"

Our favorite response was from Neville Head, who is a dog trainer:

"I hope buying $600 worth of waffles helps the economy, because that's what I'm going...

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January 29, 2008

The anti-property tax fervor that has swept the nation over the past couple of years has registered another victory. This time it was in the State of Florida. On Tuesday night, the voters approved Amendment 1, a measure that would scale back property taxes in the Sunshine State, mostly on primary homes. This was in addition to the property tax cut that the state legislator and Gov. Crist put into law in 2007. For more on the vote, here is an...

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January 28, 2008

As many states continue debating the issue of cutting of property taxes while raising other taxes, a friendly reminder to policymakers and voters on the public finance of property taxes: there is no such thing as a free lunch. How to provide property tax relief can basically be summed up in one simple equation:

Local Property Tax Burden  =    Level of Local Government Services   X    Cost Per Unit of Local Government Services    X    Local Share of Financing Local...

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January 28, 2008

In tonight's State of the Union Address, President Bush proposed the right prescription of short-term stimulus to calm American's economic jitters in the near term and long-term confidence-building by challenging Congress to make his signature tax cuts permanent.

But the President missed a golden opportunity to use his bully pulpit to jump-start the debate over the nation's lagging business tax competitiveness in the global economy. With the second highest corporate tax rate among...

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January 26, 2008

You knew it was coming. It was only a matter of time before one of the biggest interest groups in the country weighed in on the fiscal stimulus agreement reached between the White House and the House leadership. The AARP is pressuring senators to expand the fiscal stimulus so that more money can go to senior citizens who don't pay income taxes. The stimulus already includes money for those who work yet pay no...

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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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