The Tax Policy Blog

June 24, 2016

Today is June 24, the date of the UK’s enactment of the Iron Act 1750, which repealed taxes on British exports of finished goods to America, and on American raw material exports to Britain. Because other trade taxes remained, its purpose was to focus American trading with Britain and discourage American manufacturing. The law wasn’t repealed until 1867, long after it was made obsolete by intervening events.

Here are some...

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June 23, 2016

Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump has proposed lowering the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent – one of the highest rates in the world – to 15 percent. This proposal, much like any other tax cut, has been criticized heavily for reducing federal revenue. The critics have a point – the tax cut will lead to revenue loss even on a dynamic basis. Policymakers interested in...

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June 23, 2016

Today is June 23, the date in 1921 when the Bureau of the Budget was established as part of the executive branch. Today called the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), it serves as the White House’s analytical arm, preparing the budget and overseeing federal executive agencies. Its creation was important for a functioning federal budget and audit system...

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June 22, 2016

Today is June 22, the date in 1936 when the U.S. first adopted a graduated corporate income tax. Unlike individual income taxes, a progressive corporate income tax doesn’t make much sense. The tax is paid in some combination by shareholders,...

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June 21, 2016

Today is June 21, the date in 1788 when New Hampshire joined the Union. New Hampshire has no sales tax and no income tax (aside from a tax on interest and dividends). When Massachusetts announced a sales tax holiday of a couple days, New Hampshire responded with billboards reminding everyone that they have a sales tax holiday of 365 days each year.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

  • ...
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June 21, 2016

This past Friday, two prominent tax economists released a detailed and thoughtful tax reform proposal, calling for a major overhaul of the U.S. corporate income tax. In a report titled “A Proposal to Reform the Taxation of Corporate Income,” Eric Toder of the Tax Policy...

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June 20, 2016

Broader bases and lower rates: these are the two pillars of tax reform. Unfortunately, when it comes to reforming America’s tax code, Donald Trump’s tax plan has only half of the blueprint; while Mr. Trump’s plan slashes tax rates across the board, it fails to broaden the tax base to make up for lost revenue.

First of all, what...

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June 20, 2016

Today is June 20, the anniversary of West Virginia statehood in the midst of the Civil War. Because the Constitution requires that a state consent to any division, the Unionist government of Virginia in exile approved the decision. Two additional counties were annexed to West Virginia shortly thereafter, and efforts by Virginia, after the war, to repeal the act of cession were rebuffed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A few notable tax items for today:

Joint AEI/TPC...

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June 17, 2016

In my previous post, I discussed one variant of a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG), the Negative Income Tax (NIT). In this post, I will examine the BIG specifically and discuss some of the pros and cons of this approach.  

Unlike a means-tested transfer such as the EITC, Basic Income Guarantees (BIGs) would offer all citizens, regardless of income and employment, a yearly cash grant. This would...

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June 17, 2016

Today is June 17, the date in 1930 when President Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley tariff act into law. As the Great Depression began, Congress acted to protect American industry from foreign competition by raising tariffs to about 59 percent, some of the highest levels in history. One thousand economists of all schools of thought signed a petition to President Hoover urging him to veto the bill, and business leaders sent delegations to...

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June 16, 2016

Today is June 16, Adam Smith’s 293rd birthday. The Scottish author of The Wealth of Nations was arguably the first person to put pen to paper about what makes a good tax system, and the principles of sound tax policy that we follow today are traced to him.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

  • IRS Impeachment Hearings...
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June 16, 2016

In December, Congress passed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, also known as the Extenders Bill. This bill extended a number of tax provisions that were set to expire at the end of the year for both businesses and individuals. One such provision that was extended was expensing for the film and television industry. The expensing provision was expanded to include...

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June 15, 2016

Louisiana’s budget shortfall has been a constant source of consternation for legislators, who are now convened in their third legislative session of the year (one special session ran Feb.-March, one regular session ran March-June, and now another special session is running June 6-June 23). The singular focus by some legislators and many in the media has been on generating new revenue, but there are some opportunities for true tax reform. Today, the biggest opportunity is on the House floor...

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June 15, 2016

Today is June 15, the 801st anniversary of Magna Carta. Among the other principles advanced—albeit in their infancy—in the Great Charter were the precept of taxation only with the consent of the governed, and that taxation must be neither ruinous nor arbitrary. More about the Magna Carta and principles of taxation here.

A few links coming across the transom, and one from across the pond:

  • U.K....
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June 15, 2016

The share of infrastructure expenditures funded by tolls, user fees, and user taxes ranges from 14.3 percent in Alaska to 79.8 percent in Hawaii. Within the continental United States, Florida relies the most on dedicated transportation revenues (72.1 percent), while Wyoming (25.8 percent) relies on them the least.

...

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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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