The Tax Policy Blog

August 24, 2007

Always wanting to appear as standing up for the little guy (remember him as Attorney General fighting the "evils" of "price gouging" during hurricanes?), Florida Governor Charlie Crist rallied Realtors on Thursday to fight for his policies to lower property taxes and take on "greedy" insurance companies. From the Associated Press:

Gov. Charlie Crist urged real...

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August 24, 2007

California's State Board of Equalization voted 3-2 on Tuesday to raise the liquor tax on "alcopops"—sweetened alcoholic drinks—to the level of distilled spirits. Many of these drinks have an alcoholic volume of 4 to 7 percent (compared to as much as 40 percent for distilled spirits), and the tax hike will...

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August 24, 2007

The Congressional Budget Office has released new deficit numbers for the fiscal year 2007, which ends on Sept. 30th. From CBO:

The nation's budget outlook for fiscal year 2007 has improved in the five months since the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its previous set of baseline projections, but prospects for the long term remain daunting. CBO now expects that the budget deficit for 2007 will total $158 billion-$19 billion lower than the estimate published in...

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August 23, 2007

Looking for ways to possibly expand government health care programs in Colorado, a commission has made various recommendations on how to fund such an expansion, including raising payroll taxes, as well as a favorite of many nanny-staters -- taxing products that some bureaucrat has deemed "unhealthy." Oh, and of course, we have to tax smokers even more, because they shouldn't be smoking in the first place, according to the saintly bureaucrats who eat only healthy products and never...

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August 23, 2007

In his recently proposed energy bill that would raise gas taxes and impose a carbon tax in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Michigan Democrat John Dingell also took a shot at the sacred cow of tax policy: the deduction for home mortgage interest (MID). His proposal would call for the MID to be suspended for homes that exceed 3,000 square foot. From the Detroit News:...

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August 22, 2007

Last month, a federal trial judge held that the 4 percent use tax in the U.S. Virgin Islands violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The case, Molloy v. Government of the Virgin Islands, was brought by Robert Molloy, who moved from Virginia to the Islands and was forced to pay $2,365 in use taxes...

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August 21, 2007

Every year state legislators face a myriad of tough tax and budget issues: state income  taxes, budget shortfalls, property taxes, etc. And of course there is that most controversial of all taxes: the sales tax on animal bathing.

From the Tennessee Department of Revenue's Web site:

Effective June 22, 2005, Public Chapter 499, Acts of 2005, amends Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-6-102(...

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August 20, 2007

The highest court of France, the Constitutional Council, last week upheld most parts of President Nicolas Sarkozy's first round of tax reductions in a challenge brought by opposition Socialist Party leaders. One provision that did not survive was a proposed mortgage interest deduction.

The deduction would have allowed French homeowners to deduct their mortgage interest payments for the first 5 years of a mortgage on a...

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August 20, 2007

We've written extensively on nexus (see here for a primer and here for more in-depth research), arguing that physical presence is a better nexus standard than economic presence, especially given the realities of the 21st century economy. With the Supreme Court refusing to hear a case on nexus earlier this year, we recently wrote that the ultimate resolution of the issue now...

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August 17, 2007

With the Fred Thompson for President campaign now in full swing, his tacit support for the FairTax has become an issue in the race. The question is, Does he support the FairTax or doesn't he? Many other candidates, mostly on the Republican side (as well as Gravel on the Democratic side), support switching to the FairTax, or a national retail sales tax.

One of the arguments commonly made in favor of such a plan is that it...

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August 17, 2007

Senator Max Baucus, chairman of the poweful Senate Finance Committee, came out Thursday opposing a proposal put forth by Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-MN) that would raise the federal excise tax on gasoline by 5 cents. From the Associated Press:

There's no need to raise the federal gasoline tax, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee says, dimming the hopes of some in his party who...

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August 16, 2007

Trouble seems to follow former Major League Baseball star Darryl Strawberry. As is frequently the case, once the regular law enforcement (for drug charges, etc.) is done with you, the IRS will come calling. Sometimes the two are directly connected (income earned from illegal activities), while in other cases, it's merely the fact that those who are likely to engage in one type of illegal behavior are more likely than others to...

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August 16, 2007

With a style reminiscent of Huey Long and other populists who have gushed rhetoric about the evils of capital and wealth, John Edwards has called our tax code a "war on work." Here it is in a nutshell from the Edwards08 website:

"In America, when the middle-class makes money from hard work they shouldn't pay higher taxes than when the rich make money from money."

Usually "money...

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August 16, 2007

Kip Viscusi was recently interviewed by the Richmond Fed's Region Focus magazine. He discusses the issue of the government's role in tobacco regulation, as well as the government's role in controlling everyday lifestyle choices. Here's an excerpt:

Q: In your view...

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August 15, 2007

The New York lottery has recently changed the way it reports video lottery terminal (VLT) sales data. States whose lotteries offer VLTs do not all report sales data consistently: some report total revenue (cash in) while others report revenue minus prizes (cash in less cash out). This causes problems for taxpayers, lawmakers and researchers trying to...

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Subscribe to Tax Foundation - Tax Foundation's Tax Policy Blog The Tax Policy Blog is the official weblog 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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