The Tax Policy Blog

December 10, 2008

While we enjoy seeing our material cited by reporters, we equally enjoy coverage of our research by columnists and editorial writers in the opinion pages of newspapers, large and small.

Last week, syndicated columnist Deroy Murdock rails against the federal bailout package and talk about a shift President-Elect Barack Obama makes about the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts:

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December 10, 2008

Biotech companies, notorious for being risky investments that take many years to turn a profit (assuming they don’t go under first), are having trouble raising money in the current economic climate. So they are turning to… You guessed it: Congress. The New York Times reports on the “Little Biotech” bailout proposal, which contains an interesting tax policy twist:

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December 10, 2008

Last week, the Dutch Supreme Court ruled that sex shows are theater, and therefore were eligible for a reduced tax rate for cultural performances.  The AP reports:

The judges said in their written ruling that because the strippers are on a stage being watched by a paying public their acts are theatrical.

The...

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December 10, 2008

Since our October report on the subject, we've been looked to as an authority on the unraveling of transit agencies' SILO transactions and their request for a federal bailout.

Quick primer: From 1988 to 2003, transit agencies entered into sale/leaseback transactions whereby the government agencies realized tax savings by selling $16 billion worth of railcars and other assets banks and investors, who could then take tax...

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December 10, 2008

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) announced this week that they are cutting their budget by $11.5 million, primarily by firing 28 employees and eliminating 24 vacant positions:

Projected income from NAHB’s two principal sources -- membership and trade shows – will be down significantly in 2009.  To balance NAHB’s operating budget, we will be eliminating 52 positions of which...

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December 10, 2008

Prosecutors in Wisconsin are pressuring the state legislature to raise the state’s alcohol taxes by an unspecified amount. The plan, which has the support of the Wisconsin District Attorneys Association (WDAA), is to use the increased revenue to help pay for 121 more prosecutors and raise salaries to help slow job turnover among assistant district attorneys.

The argument that the WDAA uses to justify their...

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December 09, 2008

Today, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford announced a sweeping tax reform proposal that would vastly improve the state's business tax climate.  The proposal has several planks:

  • Beginning in 2010, personal income tax filers could choose an optional flat tax rate of 3.65% with no deductions.  The graduated table, which would continue to be...
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December 09, 2008

Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana is touting an innovative plan (first announced in August, before his reelection this fall) that he hopes will limit taxes and spending in the Hoosier state.  At the ALEC States and Nation Policy Summit last week, Governor Daniels first reviewed the property tax reforms that he put into place earlier this year...

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December 09, 2008

Just yesterday, showing an uncanny knack for timing, Rod Blagojevich declared himself to be "a governor who tirelessly and endlessly figures out ways to help average, ordinary working people."

Now we know that Blago helped average, ordinary working people by trying to auction a U.S. Senate seat.  Before...

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December 08, 2008

Arguments were heard last Thursday before the Indiana Supreme Court in a case urging that the court recognize a judicially enforceable right to a "quality" education.

The Indiana Constitution's Education Clause, which guarantees a free public education, was at the center of the discussion. The justices seemed very skeptical of the notion that this clause empowers the judiciary to order funding increases or even that additional funding necessarily means better schools.

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December 08, 2008

Oklahoma revenue officials are celebrating the fact that their recent tax amnesty has brought in over $81 million in previously unpaid taxes, twice the goal. Taxpayers had until November 14 to pay, and in return had penalties, interest, and fees waived.

Tax amnesties are a favored tool used by states in a crunch to raise some quick money. The revenue raised is at least theoretically money that would...

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December 08, 2008

The Politico has a story about how some on the left are upset at Pres.-Elect Barack Obama's "policy" positions and cabinet choices to date, particularly on the economic side. This includes his position to abandon a windfall profits tax on oil companies.

Of course, the liberal writers like those on Campaign for America's Future quoted in the Politico piece use the term "wealthiest corporations," which...

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December 08, 2008

Today's Best of the Blogosphere covers federal tax policy ...

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December 08, 2008

A smoking ban will soon take effect in Oregon, and it has given a surprising boost to the state lottery. From the (Eugene) Register-Guard:

Starting early next month, an actor dressed as a knight will urge Oregonians to try their hands at video gambling.

In one TV ad, this "knight of fun" gives a novice a ride on a white horse from his...

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December 05, 2008

New York City residents may soon face a top state and local personal income tax rate of 11.375%, by far the highest in the country.

Governor David Paterson and other political leaders in New York State have endorsed a regional payroll tax to cover a large budget gap at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and to fund the authority's ongoing capital program.  The 0.33% tax would...

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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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