The Tax Policy Blog

June 04, 2015

As Congress works on reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration, the issues facing airports are worthy of extra attention. The current system for airport funding in the U.S. is in need of reform. Passengers face a variety of fees on their air travel, and some of them – like the Passenger Facility Charge – do much better job of funding airports than others – like the taxes levied on tickets. I recently wrote a...

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June 03, 2015

In the New York Times op-ed page today, I noticed an article on residential areas that have suffered since the housing crisis. I don’t have much to say on housing; I’m sure the author knows much more about distressed residential areas than I do. However, the tax proposal in the article caught my eye: “For longtime owner-occupants in such neighborhoods, we should consider a fully...

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June 03, 2015

The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, included several new revenue provisions, intended to fund the federal government’s expanded role in the health care system. Many of these new sources of revenue were excise taxes, levied on specific goods or activities. One of these, the medical device excise tax, has been in the...

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June 03, 2015

I have a new publication up at Libertarianism.org, a project of the Cato Institute. It examines the role that Adam Smith has played in influencing the public debate on tax policy in the last couple of centuries, and includes some critiques that Smith might have had against federal, state, and local tax systems in America today.

Other key discussions include:...

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June 03, 2015

For this week's tax map, we take a look at cigarette tax rates across the country, which vary widely from state to state and are levied on top of a federal rate of $1.0066 per 20-pack of cigarettes.

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June 03, 2015

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner (R) yesterday announced a series of program suspensions, including new targeted tax incentives to businesses, including new film tax credit commitments to film and television studios.

After defeating incumbent Governor Pat Quinn (D) last November, Rauner in February proposed a balanced $31.5 billion budget with no tax increases. Last week, the Democratic majority in the Legislature instead passed a budget totaling $36.3 billion, about $3 billion more...

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June 02, 2015

The New Hampshire Legislature is considering two bills, SB 1 and SB 2, to cut the state’s Business Profits Tax and the Business Enterprise Tax. While New Hampshire generally has a good tax code, a tax cut for businesses could improve the state’s economic climate.

Because the state has no tax on wage income or general sales, New Hampshire...

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June 02, 2015

Dan Reed asks in the Baltimore Sun if a land tax could save Baltimore. This idea, popularized by economist Henry George, is one that historically has had support from left and right. The left supports it in the belief that wealth comes primarily from land, taxing it prevents excessive wealth accumulation and speculation, and that...

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June 01, 2015

The House Ways And Means Committee will tomorrow consider a bill to repeal the Medical Device Tax levied by the Affordable Care Act. The tax, a 2.3% excise tax on sales of devices, has caused trouble for manufacturers and accounting firms due to its difficult base. As a result, it...

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June 01, 2015

Last week, Texas took a step in the right direction when lawmakers passed a bill cutting the state’s controversial Margin Tax. HB 32, the “Franchise Tax Reduction Act of 2015,” reduces the burden of the Margin Tax by lowering rates and administration costs. From 2016-2017, HB 32 will result in an estimated $2.56 billion...

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June 01, 2015

Harry Grubert is a Senior Research Economist in the Office of Tax Analysis at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

As one of the world’s foremost scholars in the field of taxation, Dr. Grubert’s research focuses on profit shifting, the economic effects of taxes on investment, trade, and firm behavior, and assessing tax policy. His research has been published widely in leading scholarly journals and is frequently cited in tax...

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June 01, 2015

One unique aspect of the United States’ tax code is that it taxes the income of all its citizens no matter where they live. In recent years, this has caused a lot of headaches for U.S. citizens living abroad, especially since the passage of FATCA. Many believe this is leading U.S. expatriates to renounce their citizenship.

The practice of a country taxing its citizens’ income no matter where they live is actually very rare in the world. The United States is one of just two countries...

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June 01, 2015

Oregon will become the first state to implement a per-mile tax on driving. The tax is voluntary – an alternative to the state’s fuel tax. Drivers will get the choice of paying one or another. Should they choose the mileage-based tax, they will be charged 1.5 cents per mile, but get a credit to offset the taxes they pay on gas. (The current statutory rate on gasoline is about 30 cents per gallon.) The program...

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May 29, 2015

I recently attended a lecture given by Arnold Kling, who is a former Federal Reserve economist on the Board of Governors staff, former senior economist at Freddie Mac, and all-around financial and monetary expert. The talk was very interesting--his appraisal of the housing collapse is that it was largely caused by priming the housing credit pump to degrees that invited over-speculation and instability. He was particularly critical of all...

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May 29, 2015

Manal Corwin is the National Leader of the International Tax practice of KPMG LLP and Principal in Charge of Washington National Tax—International Tax Policy. She is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Tax Affairs in the Office of Tax Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Ms. Corwin is a world-renowned international tax practitioner and tax policy expert. Her unique insight...

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