The Tax Policy Blog

July 09, 2014

The House is voting this afternoon (maybe this minute) on permanent bonus depreciation, which would allow all businesses to immediately expense 50 percent of investments in equipment and software with the remainder to be written-off according to the normal depreciation system. We have argued that expensing is ideal for investment and economic growth. Our simulations indicate that bonus depreciation...

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July 09, 2014

As of 2:30pm on July 9, 2014, Zack Danger Brown has amassed over $70,000 in pledges from donors using Kickstarter—a website that matches donors to projects—to make potato salad.

Nearly 5,000 backers from across the world have chosen Brown’s potato salad project, and tens of thousands of dollars will be dished to Brown on August 2. But once these funds...

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July 09, 2014

Senator John Walsh (D-MT) has reintroduced the Bring Jobs Home Act. The act would provide a tax credit for 20 percent of a firm’s costs incurred “bringing jobs back” to the United States (text here). Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) first introduced the act in 2012, though it ...

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July 08, 2014

This week the House will take up a bill that will permanently extend what is called “bonus depreciation,” or 50 percent expensing. 50 percent expensing was one of the over 50 “extender” tax provisions that expired at the end of last year.

50 percent expensing allows businesses to immediately write off, or expense, 50 percent of an investment in new equipment or short-lived structures. It does not apply to commercial or residential buildings or factories.

We find that...

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July 07, 2014

The U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering tax extenders, the renewal of expiring or recently expired tax provisions. Among other provisions, the House is considering a permanent extension of 50 percent bonus expensing, otherwise known as bonus depreciation.  This allows businesses to immediately deduct, or expense half of their investment in equipment and short-lived structures, unlike the current depreciation system that delays these deductions for years or decades.

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July 07, 2014

SB 2380, which substantially increases penalties for illegal cigarette sales in Rhode Island are now in effect after being signed by Governor Chafee. The legislation, signed into law last week, increases fines and imprisonment periods by as much as twenty times, and reclassifies violations as felonies. While such measures will discourage many potential criminals, they are not the most effective deterrent to...

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July 03, 2014

Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell says “right now, the IRS desperately needs a champion.” Further, she says, “Our country’s fiscal future — not to mention taxpayers’ collective mental health — depends on it.”

Rampell is among a growing number of...

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July 03, 2014

Tax Foundation Economist Will McBride, PhD, and Fellow Michael Schuyler explain tax expenditures and the importance of saving and investment.

For more videos, click here, or ...

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July 03, 2014

Capital is a term to describe the tools that people use to work. More capital is a good thing. Generally speaking, the more tools we have, the more productive we can become.

Think of a man who is hungry. He lives by a stream, which is home to plenty of fish. The man walk down to the stream, steps into the water and attempts to grab a fish with his bare hands. He won’t be very successful will he?

Now let’s give the man a fishing pole, line, and flies. His job suddenly becomes...

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July 03, 2014

A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research assesses several different state business climate indexes, investigating their relationship to economic growth and inequality. The authors look at 10 different business climate indexes spreading across a wide range of priorities from the Progressive Policy Institute’s State New Economy Index to the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom Index. Our...

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July 03, 2014

Yesterday, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy released a great new policy brief outlining the effects of Proposal 1, a Michigan initiative that would significantly decrease personal property tax burdens. The proposal will be put to a vote on August 5th.

According to the report, personal property taxes currently raise nearly $1.3 billion in tax revenue for Michigan. As we’ve written previously, personal property taxes...

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July 02, 2014

We've released a new video in which Tax Foundation Fellow Michael Schuyler explains the consumed income tax.

For more videos, click here, or follow us on YouTube.

July 02, 2014

We missed Flag Day this year, which we've honored in past years by providing information about which states exempt flags from their sales taxes. Flag Day is the anniversary of when 19-year-old Wisconsin teacher Bernard J. Cigrand asked his students to write essays on the U.S. flag and its significance. This fell on the anniversary of...

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July 02, 2014

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.

(Click on the map to enlarge it. ...

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July 01, 2014

With Independence Day around the corner, millions of Americans will be purchasing celebratory fireworks to shoot off on July 4. However, fireworks, like many other products, sometimes have significant government costs built into their price. This July 4, consumers in at least 3 states (Texas, Indiana, and Michigan) will pay excise taxes on fireworks, and consumers in the vast majority of states will face fireworks price tags that include often high license fees paid by distributors.

...

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About the Tax Policy Blog

Subscribe to Tax Foundation - Tax Foundation's Tax Policy Blog The Tax Policy Blog is the official weblog 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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