The Tax Policy Blog

November 12, 2007

New Jersey, especially Gov. Corzine, has taken a lot of criticism from this blog, but on Sunday, sound tax policy prevailed at the governor's mansion. From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

New Jersey Gov. Corzine conditionally vetoed a proposed tax break yesterday sought by major media companies and those looking to lure high-tech firms to the state, but the bill's sponsor said he would look...

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November 12, 2007

♦ "The taxpayer—that's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination."
                      ~Ronald Reagan

♦ "The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has.  Even when you make a tax form out on the level, you don't know when it's through if you are a crook or a martyr."
                       ~Will Rogers

♦ "There may be liberty and justice for all, but there are tax breaks only...

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November 09, 2007

Yesterday, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that Initiative 747, which limits property tax increases to 1 percent per year, is unconstitutional. The court split 5-4 in the case, Washington Citizens Action v. State, with the majority holding that I-747 was ambiguous as to its effects on property taxes.

The majority held that because I-747 was an amendment to a law that had already been declared...

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November 09, 2007

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November 08, 2007

The Maryland Senate's tax committee has so far rejected O'Malley's wise suggestion to expand the sales tax to health club memberships, tanning salons and massage therapists, instead choosing to tax computer service companies and landscaping companies. The Baltimore Sun has correctly excoriated the senators for political cowardice (the health club industry whined) but has not...

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November 08, 2007

Anyone who relocates for a job knows what a hassle it can be: finding a new house, packing everything up, shipping furniture, and transporting pets. It can also be expensive. But these costs, for people who meet certain criteria, are tax-deductible. The details are spelled out in IRS Publication 521:

Household goods and personal effects.
You can deduct the cost of packing,...

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November 08, 2007

Maryland collects more income tax from Montgomery County residents than it does from Baltimore City and Baltimore County combined, even though Montgomery has half a million fewer people. So it must be galling for Montgomery residents to read the Baltimore Sun's insulting dismissal of Montgomery's tax worries. Here's what the Sun wrote:

The same Senate...

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November 07, 2007

♦  "Today, it takes more brains and effort to make out the income-tax form than it does to make the income."  
                    ~Alfred E. Neuman

"Intaxication: euphoria at getting a refund from the IRS, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with." 
                    ~Greg Oetjen, from a Washington Post word contest

♦ "I am proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is—I could be just as proud for half...

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November 07, 2007

As the presidential campaign season continues, politicians on both sides of the aisle have been coming out with all sorts of proposals to use the tax code to achieve whatever social goal they want, many of which appear as if no deep thought was put into them. Politicans like to use the tax code because traditional spending to accomplish these goals would make them look like a "big spender." But if you use the tax code, you can look like a "tax cutter" by targeting some goal via tax...

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November 06, 2007

California wants to expand government-provided healthcare. So how do you raise the revenue? Of course, you do what is politically expedient and raise taxes on a politicial minority, that being smokers. From the San Jose Mercury News:

Democratic leaders on Monday agreed to key elements of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's health care reform plan, including mandatory insurance,...

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November 06, 2007

Receiving more money from the state for education sounds like something most local governments would welcome, doesn't it?  Not necessarily. The more money a local government takes from the state, the less control it has over local issues.

Indiana school superintendents have refused to support Gov. Mitch Daniels' property tax relief plan because of concern over losing local control. The plan includes a proposal to fund $495 million in...

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November 05, 2007

We found an amusing list of the "Top Ten Most Unusual U.S. Sales Tax Laws for 2006"  at AccountingWEB.com. The list includes West Virginia's sparkler tax (which we wrote about here on the Fourth of July), California's vending-machine-fruit tax, and a tax on air in Pennsylvania. Click here for the full list.

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November 05, 2007

I just returned from attending this morning's oral arguments in the CSX and Davis cases, in both of which the Tax Foundation submitted friend-of-the-court briefs supporting taxpayers facing discriminatory taxation. Learn more about the cases and read our briefs here. I will be posting first on CSX, and later in the afternoon on Davis.

First argued this morning was...

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November 05, 2007

The Maryland tax debate dragged on this weekend, with yet another group of taxpayers voicing an opinion on Maryland's fiscal situation. From Capital News Service:

An unlikely alliance of tattoo artists and interior designers testified Saturday against a proposal to extend the sales tax to...

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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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