The Tax Policy Blog

August 06, 2007

Eleven states had a sales tax holiday this past weekend, among them Virginia, where shoppers could buy school supplies under $20, and clothing and footwear under $100, without paying the state's 5 percent sales tax. The Virginia Department of Taxation helpfully notes, "All retailers selling these items MUST participate in the Sales Tax...

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August 06, 2007

The big weekend tax news in Virginia (besides the tax holiday--see below), was that two judges invalidated Virginia's new traffic fees as unconstitutional. Last Thursday, in Commonwealth v. Price, Judge Yeatts of the Henrico County District Court held that the fees violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions. Then, on Friday, Judge Jones of the Richmond General...

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August 06, 2007

It's back-to-school time again, and that means it's time for sales tax holidays. Sales tax holidays typically occur around the beginning of the school year, making tax-free many of the supplies children need for the upcoming school year. And in some cases, the holidays apply for more items than just school supplies. For the politicians, this appears to be the best of all worlds: a policy that's "for the children" while also appearing to "cut taxes." And the politicians get the...

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August 03, 2007

Barry Bonds' controversial pursuit of baseball's career home run record is finally coming to an end as he is only two home runs away from setting the record.

While there is no end in sight to the controversy over Bonds' suspected steroid use, a new controversy could arise when his 756th home run ball lands in the hands of a fortunate fan.

The lucky fan will undoubtedly be juiced with excitement about his prize, and will be several million dollars richer the second the ball...

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August 02, 2007

New data released by the National Center for Education Statistics, highlighted in a recent Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact, reveal that New Jersey has jumped up to number one in terms of per pupil spending. It's no coincidence that the state also has the highest property tax collections per capita, as well as the highest median real estate taxes on owner-occupied housing...

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August 02, 2007

A new report from the non-profit Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis predicts a huge budget deficit for Virginia and demands higher taxes.

Quoting from the Washington Post account:

"The budget relies heavily on sales taxes, which are volatile during economic downturns."

Both of those claims are false. As a quick...

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August 02, 2007

North Carolina is likely to continue its Ohio-like climb up our tax burden rankings due to the two-year budget just signed by Governor Mike Easley.

As part of the budget, North Carolina's sales tax increased 0.25 percentage points to total 4.25 percent before local add-ons,...

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August 01, 2007

Since the early 1970s, frustrated education activists (including many local school officials) have turned to the courts in an effort to secure more education spending. In at least 27 states, these plaintiffs have secured court orders requiring lawmakers to appropriate more state money for schools. Our new report, Appropriation by Litigation: Estimating the Cost of Judicial Mandates for State and Local Education Spending, chronicles...

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August 01, 2007

A new Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact released Monday analyzes the growing role of the federal government in local education spending. In particular, we highlight the fact that in 1999-2000, the average federal revenue per student sent to local school districts was $578. Five years later, following passage of No Child Left Behind, that number had grown to $919, amounting to a 39 percent increase when adjusted for inflation. Kansas schools...

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July 31, 2007

Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards recently released a plan to increase the capital gains tax rate to 28 percent. The current capital gains rate is 15 percent, so Edwards' plan would nearly double the current rate.

The preferential treatment of capital gains and dividends—both taxed at...

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July 30, 2007

It would be one of the most significant changes in state public finance ever: the elimination of property taxes in the Hoosier State. Here was the scene in Muncie last Thursday:

Fed up with skyrocketing property tax bills, hundreds of people marched to Delaware County's government building Thursday to call for the tax's elimination.

The protest came a day after Gov....

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July 27, 2007

The AMT debate has produced some rather amusing political moments that would make one think Washington was in Bizarro World. A press release from Representative Richard Neal's office, released Wednesday, shows that the congressman is upset over the fact that the AMT is "taking back" some of the Bush tax cuts from those in certain income groups. Yes, those are the same tax cuts that Representative Neal voted against in...

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July 27, 2007

During yesterday's Treasury conference on Business Taxation and Global Competitiveness, Oracle Corp. President and Chief Financial Officer Safra Catz made the insightful comment that many Americans see "taxing corporations as a victimless crime" because they view corporations as abstractions and fail to understand that the economic burden of corporate taxes is actually borne by people—customers, workers, or shareholders—not the company...

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July 27, 2007

Yesterday, Democratic Presidential Candidate John Edwards laid out his economic plan should he become President in 2009, including his tax agenda. Edwards argued that special interests need to be taken out of the tax process, which is true. And then he said the middle class is shouldering the federal tax burden, which is totally untrue. From Yahoo News:

...

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July 27, 2007

We have posted a new Fiscal Fact to the website and an accompanying data page regarding the issue of who itemizes on their federal tax returns. In general, upper-income taxpayers are the most frequent itemizers. In addition, the states with the highest incomes tend to have the largest fraction of taxpayers itemize. Other factors that influence itemization rates across the country include regional housing...

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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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