The Tax Policy Blog

January 13, 2009

The Tax Foundation is looking for a new Director of Development.  The position requires eight to ten years of fundraising experience with individual, foundation, and corporate donors. The ideal candidate is expected to communicate and implement a clear strategy for accelerating the organization's growth over the next three to five years. The candidate must have solid managerial skills, including the ability to mentor junior staff, and strong writing and oral communication skills....

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January 13, 2009

The State Corporate Income Tax Rates table has been updated for 2009. States have largely avoided major changes in their corporate tax structures this year. Some of the changes for 2009:

  • Kansas lowered its top tax from 7.35% to 7.1% on taxable income over $50,000.
  • Nebraska doubled the income level, from $50,000 to $100,000, at which its top tax rate of 7.81% kicks in.
  • Ohio will complete the phase-in of its new...
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January 12, 2009

Tax Foundation State Projects Director Joe Henchman recently appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal to discuss the economic situation facing the states and how individual states are dealing with budgets and related tax issues. Click here to watch the video.

In addition, we wrote 50 blog posts summarizing each state’s budget...

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January 12, 2009

From Online Athens:

The state hopes to persuade the legislature to approve a new tax on hospital revenue. Although the governor's people insist on referring to these measures as fees, let's call them what they are: taxes.

The new hospital money would be spent on shoring up Medicaid to the tune of $208 million. It also would fund trauma centers and...

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January 12, 2009

Rhode Island Governor Don Carcieri (R) last week outlined his proposal to address the state's budget shortfall. Not mentioned in the speech, but included in the supporting...

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January 09, 2009

Responding to a CBPP report that favored federal grants to the states over loans, Tax Counsel Joseph Henchman argues that loans for state infrastructure could steer the money toward more worthwhile projects, and that a bailout of state government budget shortfalls should include tax reform obligations. Read it here.

January 09, 2009

From the St. Petersburg Times:

Desperate for cash, lawmakers will impose a new charge of $10 on all traffic infractions ranging from driving with an expired tag to running a stop sign. The state also is eliminating an 18 percent discount available to scofflaws who go to traffic school and taking away the right of judges to waive fines, regardless of whether the...

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January 08, 2009

Yesterday at the 2009 AVN Adult Video Expo in Las Vegas, Larry Flynt of Hustler Magazine and Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild announced their request for a $5 billion government bailout of the porn (excuse me, "Adult Entertainment") industry, along the lines of the bailout recently provided to auto manufacturers.

From...

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January 08, 2009

Ah, tax withholding. That law which requires employers to collect a part of each paycheck and forward it to the government. It was devised as a wartime measure in 1943 by none other than Milton Friedman, who later urged its peacetime abolition.

Why? The U.S. Treasury says it best. From their Fact Sheet on the History of the U.S. Tax System:

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January 08, 2009

A year ago, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) estimated that the 2009 $6 billion budget would be $369 million in surplus, and urged that this "new money" be spent wisely. A year later, that 6.5% spending growth turns out to have been a bad idea with that same budget now in a $454 million shortfall. Revenues...

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January 07, 2009

We have updated our State Individual Income Tax Rates table for 2009. Some notable changes from 2008:

  • Maryland added two rates, including a 6.25% rate on income over $1,000,000.
  • Ohio reduced all nine of its income tax rates for 2009. Tax reform measures enacted in Ohio in 2005 included a 21 percent reduction for all income tax rates, phased in over a five-year period from 2005 to 2009. 2009’s rates...
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January 07, 2009

As the 111th Congress starts, the Democratic majority is proposing to reauthoirze the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which might include increased funding and expanded coverage, from children in families making twice the poverty level to possibly three or four times the poverty level. All of this would be paid for by an increase in the federal cigarette tax from 39 cents for $1 per pack. Phil Kerpen, Director of Policy for...

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January 07, 2009

I noted last month that a rush budget package rammed through by the California Legislature was probably an unconstitutional way to get around the two-thirds requirement:

The first phase of the two-phase plan involves eliminating the gas tax and raising other taxes, the idea being that because the two taxes zero each other out, it's not a ‘tax increase' and can pass the legislature with a simple majority. The second...

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January 06, 2009

So part of Barack Obama's stimulus plan is this, as explained in today's New York Times:

To encourage businesses to expand their workforces and operations, Mr. Obama wants a tax credit for each new job created. During the campaign, he proposed $3,000 for each new job. Advisers said he is now also trying to figure out a way to give...

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January 06, 2009

A humorous article from today's St. Petersburg Times discusses Florida's entry into Powerball. Florida is the last state, among those that have lotteries, to join a multistate game such as Powerball or Mega Millions. Like legislators in other states, Florida policymakers are not content with the huge amount of revenue the lottery is bringing in already.

An excerpt from the article:

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