The Tax Policy Blog

October 14, 2008

In the wake of Paul Krugman's awarding of the Nobel in economics, a rumor has circulated the internet saying that the cash award of around $1.4 million is not subject to income taxation by the IRS. Here is one such claim (on a website that says Krugman should have a special tax imposed on him). Let's see what the IRS says about this:...

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October 13, 2008

While Paul Krugman is best known to the general public for his New York Times column that has for the past eight years been primarily an outlet to attack the policies of the current administration over and over again, Mr. Krugman does have a brilliant economic mind, especially on issues of international trade and finance. This is not an Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize moment that has little substantive backing. If anything, I (along with Tyler Cowen) thought that Krugman's...

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October 13, 2008

On page 279 of the 451-page bailout bill was this provision:

SEC. 308. INCREASE IN LIMIT ON COVER OVER OF RUM EXCISE TAX TO PUERTO RICO AND THE VIRGIN ISLANDS.
(a) IN GENERAL.-Paragraph (1) of section 7652(f) is amended by striking "January 1, 2008" and inserting "January 1, 2010".
(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendment made by this section shall apply to distilled spirits brought into the United States after December 31, 2007. 

The cited...

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October 13, 2008

Lots of love for the Tax Foundation in the past couple days from some editorial pages:

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October 12, 2008
  • Latest Obama Ad on Taxes Contains Half-Truths, Misleading Claims: Claim: "No tax hikes on any families earning less than a quarter-million dollars." Truth: Not correct. Tax Policy Center has shown that some tax units making less than $250,000 would actually face higher tax bills under Obama because Obama raises corporate income taxes, and Tax Policy Center rightly accounts for that as being paid by individuals. In fact, TPC...
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October 12, 2008

Once again, Barack Obama is living up to the norm that him and Sen. McCain have set this campaign season when it comes to advertisements: If it sounds good, just make it up.

Take for example this claim that Obama makes in an ad in which he just talks to the camera about the economy:

"For eight years, you've been told that the way to a stronger economy was to give huge tax breaks to corporations and the wealthiest Americans, and somehow prosperity...

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October 11, 2008

Barack Obama's latest ad on the issue of taxes makes many claims about his own tax plan and that of John McCain that stretch the truth and mislead voters.

Here's the transcript of the ad:

Announcer: "On taxes, who's on your side? John McCain pledges hundreds of billions in corporate tax breaks. Billions for oil companies. But for 100 million households -- nothing. And McCain's health plan would tax benefits for the first time ever, meaning higher income taxes for...

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October 10, 2008

As has been apparent if you're a regular reader of this blog, our Senior Economist Gerald Prante has been our in-house fact-checker on all tax policy claims from the ads, speeches and debates of the Obama and McCain campaigns. While the Democratic and GOP nominees for President might not be paying attention, at least some in the media appreciate our efforts.

Gerald has written a fact-check post...

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October 10, 2008

Contestants have until next Wednesday, October 15, to submit their videos to the Tax Foundation's CompeteUSA YouTube Contest, a campaign to raise awareness of America's high business tax rates and how those taxes have an impact on our competitiveness, wages and living standards. The winner will earn $5,000 while second and third prize winners will receive $1,000 and $500, respectively.

The rules are simple

  • First, the video must be no shorter than 1 minute and no...
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October 10, 2008

A few days before North Dakota's new sales tax went into effect in the middle of the Great Depression, this appeared on the front page of the Bismarck Tribune (Apr. 27, 1935):

Mrs. Citizen Will Pay Sales Tax Wednesday

Shoppers to Need Extra Pennies to Pay Two Per Cent Fee Voted by Last Legislature;
Nichols Explains Merchants Must Remit on Total Volume of Sales

...
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October 10, 2008

On Monday, we released our 2009 State Business Tax Climate Index. Wyoming ranks first, while New Jersey ranks last. Because of New Jersey's "achievement," we decided to go up to Trenton on Monday to unveil our Index to a group of Garden State lawmakers, while they were holding hearings on what to expect regarding revenue through this economic crisis. Josh Barro, the...

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October 09, 2008

Les. R. Reid must pay $8,000 in penalties for filing a frivolous tax appeal, on top of his back taxes and other penalties and interest, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled on October 7. United States v. Reid, No. 08-50356.

This opinion is characteristic of many such opinions dealing with tax deniers-it's terse and uninformative. Aside from two pithy...

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October 09, 2008

Iowa-Virginia states

States are geographic entities and can tax to the extent of their geography. However, many businesses today are not confined by geography and transactions occur across multiple jurisdictions. The question then becomes who can properly tax such a transaction?

If I in Washington, D.C. buy something on the Internet from a Minnesota vendor...

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October 09, 2008

A couple weeks ago, I received a call from Richard Richtmyer, an Associated Press reporter based in Albany, NY. Since we're in relatively tough economic times, he asked whether or not state and local governments would try to target "tax cheats" in order to gain more revenue, and which group of taxpayers would be targeted.

Today, Richtmyer's story came out and has been circulated through many local...

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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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