The Tax Policy Blog

February 29, 2016

California is currently experiencing a two-fold crisis that threatens to create an even deeper hole in the state’s budget. Experts argue that California’s freeways and bridges are due for extensive repairs. At the same time, gasoline tax revenues, the backbone of the transportation infrastructure budget, are on a long-term downward trajectory. The inability of lawmakers to find a long-term solution leaves the state with a sizeable budget shortfall. California must confront this imbalance...

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February 29, 2016

UPDATE: The tax increase discussed here failed in a 56-44 vote.

Professor Jeremy Horpedahl at the University of Central Arkansas has a great blog up today about a local ballot measure being considered in Pulaski County, Arkansas tomorrow. The measure would raise the local sales tax rate by a quarter of a...

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February 29, 2016

There are dozens of itemized deductions that are available to American taxpayers each year. Which ones are claimed most often?

The most popular itemized deduction is the...

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February 26, 2016

An exciting presidential race has brought attention to tax policy, and frequently, to Tax Foundation’s analysis of candidate plans. The three most popular candidates in the Republican race have all put together tax reform proposals.

Tax cuts can increase the size of the economy by improving incentives to work or invest. To some extent, all three candidates’ proposals do this, and our modeling results for each plan show growth. But our model shows more growth from the Rubio and Cruz...

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February 25, 2016

Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge was on the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal today to compare and discuss some of the presidential candidates’ tax plans, how they’re structured, and what their impact would be on the economy and federal revenue. Watch the interview below:

...

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February 24, 2016

Louisiana has a big budget problem this year. The state is a bit bruised from passing perhaps an overly ambitious income tax cut in 2009 while flush with federal Katrina rebuilding cash, and as the federal transfers have dried up, the state has faced additional complications from then-Governor Bobby Jindal (R) vetoing any revenue increases during his tenure. Add in the recent low price of energy commodities, and the state is currently looking at a $900 million budget deficit this year, and...

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February 24, 2016

Today, the Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on international tax reform. One issue that came up was profit shifting. Most people agree that profit shifting happens and reduces that amount of corporate tax revenue the government collects, but academic research suggests there is significant uncertainty about the magnitude of the problem. Even so, lawmakers may still want to address it. If they do, what should be done about it? Fortunately, some research tells how we could reduce it....

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February 23, 2016

Over the weekend, Governor Jeb Bush suspended his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. As journalists and pundits take stock of the campaign, tax policy wonks have an opportunity to look back at the Bush tax...

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February 22, 2016

As tax filing season gets underway, many taxpayers are figuring out whether to take the standard deduction or to itemize. How many Americans choose each option?

According to the most recent IRS data, for the 2013 tax year,

  • 30.1 percent of households chose to itemize their deductions (44 million returns).
  • 68.5 percent of households chose to take...
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February 19, 2016

Some of the most substantial deductions in the federal tax code are the itemized deductions for state and local income, sales, and real estate taxes. This map shows the variation, by county, in the amounts of these deductions. The measurement used here is mean deduction amount taken per return: in other words, the total of all of the deductions for state and local taxes, divided by number of returns filed. The results show that the benefits of these deductions vary substantially from county...

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February 18, 2016

I just e-mailed this letter (PDF version here) to IRS Commissioner Koskinen, CCing several others. Paper copies of the letter and supporting documents are being hand-delivered to Commissioner Koskinen, Representative Chaffetz, and Senator Crapo.

February 18, 2016

John Koskinen
IRS Commissioner
1111 Constitution Avenue NW, Suite 5480...

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February 17, 2016

Over at Bloomberg View, Noah Smith has an interesting column about the future of U.S. economic policy. He begins with the worry that the U.S. has run out of ideas for growing the economy:

This presidential election has driven home a problem that others have been noticing the last few years: The U.S. seems to be out of ideas for economic growth… We’ve been...

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February 16, 2016

In its newly released budget plan, the Obama Administration calls for an additional tax on oil of $10 per barrel. A budget document explains that the tax would actually be the “equivalent of $10.25 per barrel of crude oil” and that the tax rate would be indexed to inflation. The tax would be assessed on domestic and imported oil but exempt exported oil.

The Administration says much of the...

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February 13, 2016

Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away today at the age of 79, certainly left his mark on American law.

Appointed to the Supreme Court by President Reagan in 1986, he quickly became part of the majority’s federalism revolution, putting limits on the Court’s Commerce Clause power for the first time since the 1930s. He wrote the majority opinion in the 2010...

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February 12, 2016

At one point during last night’s Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton argued that Bernie Sanders has overestimated the benefits and underestimated the costs of his Medicare-for-all plan on the average American household. Clinton said:

CLINTON: Last week in a CNN town...

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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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