The Tax Policy Blog

June 17, 2015

Australia is in the grips of a long running debate over the tax treatment of "negative gearing”. Negative gearing is a situation when one borrows money to invest and the return on that investment is less than the borrowing and other costs. In Australia, your loss from negatively geared property for a given year is deductible.

Imagine you borrow money from a bank to buy a property, which you then rent out to tenants. In the early years of your investment, the holding cost on the...

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June 17, 2015

I wrote last week about the European Commission’s (E.C.) investigation into multiple member states’ tax treatment of multinational corporations. This probe has expanded to include all member states’ tax rulings, with Estonia and Poland possibly facing legal action in the European Court of Justice if they do not respond to an injunction ordering them to release detailed records of their tax rulings within...

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June 17, 2015

UPDATE: Updating this morning's alert on the House Judiciary Committee markup of three key state tax bills, the committee passed all three to the full House for consideration. The Mobile Workforce bill was approved on a bipartisan 23 to 4 vote, with Reps. Conyers (D-MI), Nadler (D-NY), Chu (D-CA), and Jeffries (D-NY) voting no. Rejected amendments included to reduce the 30 day threshold to 14 days (Nadler, failed 7 to 21), to add income...

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June 16, 2015

This week, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush formally announced his presidential bid in Miami. One number that caught a lot of attention was “four percent:” the goal for economic growth that he would hope to reach if he were elected president.

This is an ambitious number, much higher than what economists are expecting from the next decade; the latest CBO baseline puts the long-term...

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June 16, 2015

We have a new report up on a recent bill proposed in the North Carolina Senate that would continue to build on the state’s successful 2013 tax reform. From the report:

In recent months, the North Carolina House has responded to calls from Governor Pat McCrory to renew tax incentive programs with a bill that allocates $45 million to Job Development Investment...

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June 15, 2015

The IGM Forum, a University of Chicago project that surveys academic economists on issues, last month found that economists broadly agree that real median income numbers understate real growth in standards of living.

In short, it’s difficult to measure how production in an economy changes over time. As technology makes new products available, the output of the country changes...

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June 15, 2015

Last week, Spanish Princess Cristina de Borbon was stripped of her title as the Duchess of Palma de Mallorca as she awaits trial amid tax fraud charges. The princess and her husband are accused of using a sports charity to embezzle 6 million euros ($6.75 million) during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. This scandal is one of many reasons former Spanish King Juan Carlos...

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June 15, 2015

A Swiss ballot initiative proposing a federal inheritance tax was roundly rejected yesterday, with 71 percent of voters opposing the measure. The proposed inheritance tax, which is a type of tax similar to the U.S. federal estate tax, would have imposed a 20 percent tax on all estates left directly to children.

Switzerland ranks highly on the Tax Foundation’s 2014 International Tax...

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June 15, 2015

Nadine Riedel is Professor of Public Finance and Economic Policy at Ruhr University Bochum in Germany.

Professor Riedel is a leading researcher and rising star in the field of international taxation and tax competition. A prolific author of peer-reviewed publications, Professor Riedel has published studies across a broad spectrum of areas related to the taxation of multinational firms and profit shifting....

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June 15, 2015

Magna Carta is rarely remembered as an instrument of tax reform; rather, we tend to celebrate it for its ban on fish-weirs, standardization of corn measures, exclusion of the d’Athee family from royal service, and, okay, perhaps also its contribution to the development of the rule of law.

But even if we don’t usually think of taxes as Magna Carta’s bailiwick (still less the d’Atheés': “We will...

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June 12, 2015

Summer may be upon us but we’re still working with the states in session. Here’s a quick list of the studies, testimonies, and updates we’ve put out in the last two weeks:

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June 12, 2015

The Kansas Senate just voted 21-19 to concur in the House tax plan (SB 270/HB 2109), sending it to Governor Brownback who has said he will sign it. The plan has eight major components:

  • Increases the state sales tax from 6.15 percent to 6.5 percent, effective July 1, 2015 (although retailers have 30 days to implement, which may push back the actual effective date). Coupled with local sales taxes, Kansas now leapfrogs California to have the ...
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June 12, 2015

Earlier today, Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy (D) announced proposed revisions to the $2 billion in tax increases in the recently-passed biennial budget. The proposal would cancel a planned increase of a tax on data processing, delay a planned switch to combined income reporting until 2016, and eliminate...

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June 12, 2015

1969: the year Nixon took office, the year of the first manned Moon landing, and the year that Butler County, Pennsylvania completed its last property tax assessment.

Now, there’s really no reason to single out Butler County other than the fact that I once lived there—the reality is, going decades without a reassessment isn’t all that unusual in Pennsylvania, just one of several quirks in the Commonwealth’s tax structure discussed at a Pennsylvania Senate Finance Committee hearing...

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June 12, 2015

Yesterday evening, Louisiana legislators passed a large set of tax-related bills as a part of the state’s overall budget package. Louisiana has had an interesting legislative session. The budget shortfall was $1.6 billion, and statutory dedications in the state make it very difficult to cut spending in programs other than higher education and health care.

Another important wrinkle is that Governor Jindal, a presidential hopeful, is an Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) ...

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