The Tax Policy Blog

October 12, 2016

In November, Maine citizens will vote on Question 2, The Maine Tax on Incomes Exceeding $200,000 for Public Education Measure, which imposes an additional 3 percent tax on individual income taxes for earnings over $200,000 in order to supplement funding for K-12 public education. If enacted, Maine would jump to the 2nd highest top individual income tax rate in the country at 10.15 percent, trailing only California’s 13.3 percent top rate.

Maine’s Current Individual Income Tax...

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October 12, 2016

Today is October 12, the date in 1492 when Christopher Columbus landed in the Bahamas, the first lasting European contact with the Americas and initiating the colonization of the New World. The Italian explorer had been promised, by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, 10 percent of all revenues from any lands discovered, in perpetuity. His heirs ...

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October 11, 2016

If you're shocked by the taxes on your phone bill, you have good reason. Our new study, done jointly with Scott Mackey of KSE Partners, today finds the average U.S. customer pays more than 18 percent in taxes and fees on their wireless bill, several times the state sales tax rates. Other key findings:

  • Each year, consumers pay an estimated $17.2 billion in wireless taxes, fees, and...
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October 11, 2016

Today is October 11, the date in 1311 when a series of Ordinances were published after their approval by English lords sitting as a Parliament and King Edward II. The ordinances limited royal authority over appointments, taxation, and spending; one notable regulation was that royal revenue go to the exchequer rather than directly to the royal household. The ordinances were repealed in 1322 and never reissued but set a precedent...

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October 11, 2016

Without comment, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari (declined to hear the case) in Gillette Co. v. Franchise Tax Board, No. 15-1442. We had asked the Supreme Court to take up the case, in which California passed a state law voiding taxpayer protections...

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October 10, 2016

About halfway through Sunday night’s presidential debate, the conversation turned to taxes, and specifically to the topic of candidate Donald Trump’s tax returns. Following revelations that Trump claimed more than $900 million in business losses in 1995, debate moderator Anderson Cooper wanted to know if Trump had used those losses to lower his tax bill.

COOPER: Did you...

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October 07, 2016

Voters in Missouri will be asked to make an important choice in November: Should the sales tax apply to services? Dubbed the “Taxpayer Protection Amendment,” Amendment 4, pushed by the Missouri Association of Realtors, would prohibit adding any “service or transaction” to the state or local sales tax base if it was not taxed as of January 1, 2015. If proponents of Amendment 4 get their way, the Missouri legislature and governor would not be able to add any new service to the sales tax base...

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October 07, 2016

Today is October 7, the date in 1765 when the Stamp Act Congress gathered in New York City to develop a unified response to the British Stamp Act, going into effect on November 1. It was the first-ever gathering of elected representatives from the various American colonies, and it produced a petition to the King and Parliament asking that the act be repealed. Parliament considered the Stamp Act Congress to be illegal and ignored...

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October 06, 2016

Today is October 6, the day in 1723 when a 17-year-old Benjamin Franklin (“In this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes”) ran away from his Boston home and moved to Philadelphia.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

International Tax Competitiveness Index: Estonia, New Zealand, Latvia, Switzerland, and Sweden top our annual report...

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October 05, 2016

Today is October 5, which is apparently National Do Something Nice Day. So pay it forward today!

Here are some interesting links I came across:

VP Debate on Taxes: Gov. Mike Pence briefly explained net operating losses while Sen. Tim Kaine brought up Trump’s tax returns several times Tuesday night. Eric Trump,...

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October 04, 2016

Vancouver, as well as many other large metropolitan centers, has been facing a well-documented housing crisis. Recently, Canada announced new rules concerning foreign ownership of real estate as one of many attempts to fix this problem using the tax code.

The rules include a move to tighten the restrictions surrounding the Canadian...

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October 04, 2016

Today is October 4, the date in 1877 when the Bureau of Engraving and Printing printed its first federal tax stamps. The federal government had previously contracted with various private vendors but a bill passed earlier that year made the BEP the exclusive printer of federal tax stamps, so long as the costs were below private vendors. The BEP still does so today, although its main job is...

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October 03, 2016
Today is October 3, the anniversary of the passage of the Underwood Tariff Act of 1913, which imposed the federal income tax that is still with us today. Democrats, in control of both houses of Congress and now with President Wilson in the Oval Office, pressed for a significant reduction in tariffs. The federal income tax was intended to make up the revenue gap. The top rate was set at 6 percent.
 
Here...
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October 02, 2016

The New York Times reports that it has obtained pages from Trump’s 1995 state tax returns. The Times reported late Saturday night that it had received an envelope containing the first pages of Trump’s alleged 1995 state tax returns in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The documents...

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September 30, 2016

Today is September 30, the date in 2008 when the national debt passed the $10 trillion mark. Today it stands at $19.5 trillion.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

California LAO Reviews Film Tax Credit Program: While careful to note that the state can justify the program as a defensive measure against other states’ programs, ...

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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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