The Tax Policy Blog

August 13, 2014

Income data from the IRS and the Census Bureau have their uses, but measuring equality isn’t one of them. This is because income data lacks context.

A single year snapshot of income data misses how income fluctuates significantly over the course of an individual’s life. For example, a person who is a poor medical student today will later be a doctor who makes a high salary.

In fact, the average tax return for an 18- to 25-year-old shows about $15,000 in adjusted...

Continue Reading...
August 13, 2014

Pennsylvania State Representative John Lawrence (R) has circulated a memo (paywalled) stating his intention to “introduce legislation proposing an 80 cents per pack cigarette tax to fund significant school property tax relief for low-income seniors.” The memo indicates that seniors with under $35,000 in annual income everywhere outside of Philadelphia (subject to a separate...

Continue Reading...
August 11, 2014

This week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on “New Markets Tax Credits” (NMTC) at the request of Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK). In addition, Senator Coburn also released a report of his own outlining the program.

New Market Tax Credits were introduced in 2000 as part of the Community...

Continue Reading...
August 11, 2014

I'm in Anchorage, Alaska, where on Saturday I presented on tax incentives to an audience of state legislators. Drawing on our research and reports by the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, the Pew Center on the States, and the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, here’s what I said:

  • There are different definitions of incentives, ranging from inherent non-tax advantages to regulatory and legal environment to overall tax structure to focused tax incentives to...
Continue Reading...
August 11, 2014

Last month we released our updated study on sales tax holidays, reporting that 16 states (mostly in the southeastern U.S.) will hold a sales tax holiday in 2014, down from the peak of 19 states in 2010. As we note, political gimmicks like sales tax holidays distract...

Continue Reading...
August 10, 2014

Our work makes the Washington Post pretty frequently, but I wanted to alert you that today we're in it twice! First up, my colleague Liz Malm on sales tax holidays:

...

Continue Reading...
August 08, 2014

The American Legislative Exchange Council recently released a report on the unseen costs of tax cronyism that offers for the first time a number figure on how much states give away in tax favoritism per year.

The report finds that states awarded $220 billion for personal income and business earnings exemptions and $260.1 billion in sales tax exemptions. These figures don’t even include tax breaks for individual...

Continue Reading...
August 07, 2014

Per a Politico report, President Barack Obama says he will act on inversions:

“Obama has asked Congress to address the practice, known as inversions. However, he made clear Wednesday that he also plans to take whatever unilateral steps he can to rein in the phenomenon.

“What we are doing is examining: Are there elements to how...

Continue Reading...
August 06, 2014

Big news out of Michigan: voters yesterday approved Prop 1, a personal property tax cut that will amount to about $500 million per year on net.

While individuals only pay property taxes on their real estate, businesses in many states have to pay an additional tax on all of their property that can be touched and moved—from staplers to desk chairs to manufacturing equipment. We’re...

Continue Reading...
August 06, 2014

We’ve had a tremendously successful year here at the Tax Foundation, and we want to share our successes and progress with you. Even though our Weekly Newsletter covers our most popular releases, it doesn’t offer any insight to our work on the ground, traveling around the country and speaking with legislators, business owners, and taxpayers about the importance of well-structured tax policy.

In order to fill you in on the weekly happenings here at the Tax Foundation, we are excited to...

Continue Reading...
August 06, 2014

Since the 1940’s the United States has relied most heavily on the individual income tax, which accounts for 40 to 50 percent of total federal revenue. Income is currently defined as consumption plus change in net worth – also known as the “Haig-Simons” definition of income. This definition of income leads to the double taxation of...

Continue Reading...
August 06, 2014

If there is one thing that Americans are not good at it is learning lessons from the experiences of other countries. We tend to look upon issues and events as unique to the American experience and struggle to find our own solutions, often failing to realize that other countries have suffered similar problems and have already discovered viable remedies.

So it is with the latest “wave” of corporate inversions. To read this morning’s latest article on...

Continue Reading...
August 05, 2014

In recent weeks there has been an excessive amount of hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth about corporate inversions. The comments range from the White House calling these companies unpatriotic to reporters claiming that inversions are eroding the corporate tax base.

It is time for a little perspective.

First, while the number of companies moving their headquarters abroad has increased in recent...

Continue Reading...
August 05, 2014

This week’s tax map takes a look at when each state first adopted its distilled spirits excise tax, if it has one. Federal taxation of alcohol dates back to the earliest years of the republic but state excise taxes all followed swiftly on the heels of the Twenty-first Amendment. With the end of federal alcohol prohibition in 1933, states retained the authority to permit or prohibit alcohol...

Continue Reading...

Pages

Follow Us

About the Tax Policy Blog

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.

Monthly Archive