The Tax Policy Podcast is the official podcast 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 via email: podcast@taxfoundation.org.

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Podcast on Hiatus (Update) October 24, 2013

The Tax Policy Podcast will be taking a break for a while as we look to improve and restructure the podcast to be a more effective tool for promoting principled tax policy. Thanks for listening, and stay tuned for more details.

Elizabeth Malm on Amendment 66 in Colorado October 17, 2013

Tax Foundation Economist Elizabeth Malm discusses her new study on the economic effects of Amendment 66 that found the increased taxes on low and middle income earners and small businesses could prove harmful to Colorado's economy.

Scott Drenkard on the Best States for Business October 10, 2013

Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard discusses the 2014 edition of the State Business Tax Climate Index, which enables business leaders, government policymakers, and taxpayers to gauge how their states’ tax systems compare.

Joseph Henchman on Pro-Growth Tax Reform for Nebraska October 04, 2013

Tax Foundation Vice President for Legal and State Projects Joseph Henchman discusses his latest study (with Scott Drenkard) on what The Cornhusker State can do to reform its tax code and build on its current economic successes.

William McBride on Fostering Investment and Growth with Tax Reform September 26, 2013

This week Tax Foundation Chief Economist William McBride discusses his new study on the nation's low investment rate and how a few key reforms can help turn it around and stimulate new economic growth.

The "Why Not Move?" State Tax Calculator with Pam Villarreal  September 19, 2013

Thinking about moving? The National Center for Policy Analysis has created a free online calculator to determine how the decision to move to another state will impact your family’s standard of living. On this episode of the Tax Policy Podcast we chat with NCPA Senior Fellow Pamela Villarreal about how the tool works and what users can learn from it.

Andrew Bagley on the Massachusetts Tech Tax September 12, 2013

Andrew Bagley of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation discusses the problematic creation and implementation of Massachusetts' new tax on computer and software services.

More on Massachusetts here.

Online Tools for Making Sense of Economic Policy September 05, 2013

This week we examine a couple of new interactive tools that our listeners can use to help them understand economic policy. First, we talk with Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute, and take a look at the customizable federal spending chart on DownsizingGovernment.org. Next we have a conversation with Avik Roy and Yevgeniy Feyman of the Manhattan Institute (starting at 8:03 minutes in) on their state-by-state map of health care costs, which highlights the impact of the Affordable Care Act (better known as ObamaCare).

Scott Drenkard on State and Local Sales Taxes in 2013 August 29, 2013

Retail sales taxes are one of the more transparent ways to collect tax revenue. While graduated income tax rates and brackets are complex and confusing to many taxpayers, the sales tax is easier to understand: people can reach into their pocket and see the rate printed on a receipt.

Less known, however, are the local sales taxes collected in 38 states. These rates can be substantial, so a state with a moderate statewide sales tax rate could actually have a very high combined state-local rate compared to other states. In this episode, economist Scott Drenkard discusses his latest report on state and local sales tax rates and how they affect consumers, and offers advice for states moving forward with sales tax reform efforts.

Additional resources:
Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact No. 392, "State and Local Sales Tax Rates Midyear 2013."

William McBride on the History of Credits and Deductions August 22, 2013

The various credits, deductions, and loopholes in the tax code known collectively as “tax expenditures” have increased dramatically since the last major reform effort, and now account for almost twice the cost that they did in the early 1990s. In this episode, Tax Foundation chief economist William McBride discusses how that happened and what should be done now to reform the system.

More information is available in Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact No. 391, "A Brief History of Tax Expenditures."

Chris Bergin of Tax Analysts on the IRS Political Targeting Scandal August 16, 2013

Christopher Bergin, president and publisher of Tax Analysts, discusses his organization's recent legal action against the Internal Revenue Service, and how Congress and the media have responded to the accusations of political targeting of nonprofit groups.

Scott Hodge on the Economics of the Blank Slate August 09, 2013

Tax Foundation president Scott Hodge on the so-called “Blank Slate” approach to tax reform, and what the economic impact would be of eliminating various credits and deductions in the tax code.

Background material:

The Economics of the Blank Slate: Estimating the Effects of Eliminating Major Tax Expenditures and Cutting Tax Rates by Michael Schuyler and Stephen J. Entin.

Case Study Links


William McBride on Obama's Jobs Plan August 02, 2013

Tax Foundation chief economist William McBride discusses President Obama's recent proposals to cut corporate tax rates while increasing tax burdens on U.S. multinational companies operating abroad.

Kyle Pomerleau on Education Tax Credits July 25, 2013

Tax Foundation economist Kyle Pomerleau discusses new legislation to simply the multiple federal programs that subsidize higher education. More information available in Kyle's latest study, "The Higher Education and Skills Obtainment Act: A Proposal to Reform Higher Education Tax Credits."

Candidates for Governor of Virginia July 18, 2013

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (Republican) and attorney and entrepreneur Robert Sarvis (Libertarian), both candidates for Governor of Virginia this year, join us to talk about their plans for the state's tax system. Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard starts us out, discussing his latest study on Virginia's tax system, and to discuss the tax plan of Terry McAuliffe (Democrat), who we were unfortunately not able to schedule as a guest.

Note: The Tax Foundation is a non-partisan research organization and neither endorses nor opposes any candidates for elected office.

Greg Lawson on Tax Reform in Ohio July 12, 2013

The Buckeye Institute's Greg Lawson discusses tax reform efforts in Ohio.

Scott Pattison on State Budgets July 05, 2013


Scott Pattison,  Executive Director of the National Association of State Budget Officers, discusses the recent rise in state revenues and what we can expect state budgets to look like going forward.

Nick Kasprak on Marriage and Taxes June 27, 2013

Tax Foundation analyst Nick Kasprak discusses the Supreme Court's recent decision in United States v. Windsor, which struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Additional resources:


David Brunori on the Virtues of the Gas Tax June 20, 2013

Tax Analysts Executive Vice President David Brunori discusses gasoline taxes and the advantages to connecting the person who pays a tax with the benefits it pays for. See more from David on Twitter.

Additional resources:

Elizabeth Malm on Tax Reform in the North Carolina General Assembly June 13, 2013

Tax Foundation economist Elizabeth Malm discusses the latest negotiations over comprehensive tax reform in The Tar Heel State.

Additional resources:

Michael Kaiser of WineAmerica June 06, 2013

Michael Kaiser of WineAmerica, a trade association of American wineries, discusses the tax and regulatory issues facing winemakers at the state and national level.

Check out wine tax rates in all 50 states with this map.

Demian Brady on Spending Trends in Congress May 31, 2013

National Taxpayers Union Director of Research Demian Brady discusses the latest version of the BillTally report, which details all of the federal budget increases and spending cuts proposed during the 112th Congress.

Kyle Pomerleau on Apple and International Taxes May 23, 2013

Tax Foundation economist Kyle Pomerleau explains the issues behind the Senate hearing this week at which Apple executives were grilled over the company's international tax planning strategies.

Additional material:

Video: Kyle Pomerleau on Apple's Tax Hearing in the Senate

Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact No. 370, "U.S. Multinationals Paid More Than $100 Billion in Foreign Income Taxes," by Kyle Pomerleau.

Tax Foundation Special Report No. 202, "A Global Perspective on Territorial Taxation" by Philip Dittmer.

Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact No. 294, "The Countdown is Over. We're #1" by Scott Hodge.

Lester Jones on Beer Taxes May 17, 2013

Beer Institute Chief Economist Lester Jones explains the tangled web of federal, state, and local taxes that get applied to the beer we drink. Find out more about the economic impact of beer on the U.S. economy here.

Nick Kasprak Calculates Tax Reform in North Carolina May 10, 2013

Tax Foundation analyst and programmer Nick Kasprak explains his newest interactive creation, the North Carolina Tax Reform Calculator.

More on North Carolina here.

Scott Moody on Tax Reform Options in Maine May 02, 2013

Maine Heritage Policy Center CEO (and former Tax Foundation Senior Economist) J. Scott Moody discusses the recently-announced tax reform plan unveiled by a group of 11 Pine Tree State legislators. The so-called "Gang of 11" plan, chiefly written by Sen. Richard Woodbury (I-Yarmouth), would cut some tax rates but raise others, resulting in a net tax increase in the state.  Moody is critical of the plan and advises focusing on spending discipline until a revenue-neutral (or revenue-negative) reform plan becomes an option.

Joseph Henchman on the Marketplace Fairness Act April 25, 2013

Vice President for Legal and State Projects Joseph Henchman discusses online sales taxes and the proposed "Marketplace Fairness Act". Read more on the issue here.

Scott Drenkard on Reforming Business Taxes in Texas April 18, 2013

Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard discusses the proposal by Gov. Rick Perry to reform the complicated, burdensome, and unpopular "margin" tax in Texas.

Additional material:

Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact No. 279, "Texas Margin Tax Experiment Failing Due to Collection Shortfalls," by Joseph Henchman.

Podcast with Will Newton of the National Federation of Independent Business - Texas.

Texas state overview.

John Stapleford on "Temporary" Tax Increases April 11, 2013

Our guest this week is John Stapleford, the Director of the Center for Economic Policy and Analysis at the Caesar Rodney Institute in Delaware. Dr. Stapleford discusses the recent move in Delaware to permenently extend "temporary" 2009 tax increases that had been scheduled to sunset.

William McBride on Tax Freedom Day 2013 April 04, 2013

Tax Foundation Chief Economist William McBride discusses Tax Freedom Day 2013.

Joseph Henchman on Taxes and Fees March 28, 2013

Tax Foundation Vice President for Legal and State Projects Joseph Henchman discusses his latest background paper, How Is the Money Used? Federal and State Cases Distinguishing Taxes and Fees.

Stephen Entin on the Dueling Budget Resolutions in Congress March 21, 2013

Tax Foundation Senior Fellow Stephen Entin discusses the dueling budget plans in Congress: the Republican plan from House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan and the Democrats' plan from Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Patty Murray.

Read Steve's full analysis, "The Ryan and Murray Budget Plans" on the Tax Policy Blog.

Michael Schuyler on the Benefits of Cutting the U.S. Corporate Tax Rate March 15, 2013

Tax Foundation Fellow Michael Schuyler discusses the advantages of cutting the U.S. corporate tax rate.

Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson on Fixing the IRS March 07, 2013

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson returns to the podcast to discuss the most serious problems with the Internal Revenue Service and how to fix them. Olson leads the Taxpayer Advocate Service, a nationwide organization of approximately 2,000 taxpayer advocates who help U.S. taxpayers resolve problems and work with the IRS to correct systemic and procedural problems.

The National Taxpayer Advocate is required by statute to submit an annual report to Congress discussing the top 20 problems that taxpayers face in their dealings with the IRS. The report also makes administrative and legislative recommendations for protecting taxpayer rights and mitigating taxpayer problems.

In this episode of the Tax Policy Podcast, Olson discusses her 2012 report to Congress.

Marc Scribner on Virginia's Transportation Taxes February 28, 2013

Marc Scribner, Fellow in Land-use and Transportation Studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, discusses the recent changes in transportation funding and state taxes approved by the Virginia state legislature.

For more background on the plan, see "Virginia Legislators Approve Increases in Sales Tax, Car Tax, Regional Taxes" by Joseph Henchman.

Alan Viard on the 3.8% Health Care Tax February 21, 2013

American Enterprise Institute Resident Scholar Alan Viard discusses the 3.8% tax on investment income that was part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the health care legislation also known to some as "ObamaCare." Originally passed in 2010, the tax just went into force this year. 

Alan explains the details behind this tax - misleadingly named the "Unearned Income Medicare Contribution" - and what economic effects we're likely to see from its implementation in the long term.

For more information: see "The other tax increase on saving" in Tax Notes of February 18, 2013 by Alan Viard.

Scott Hodge on the State of the Union February 15, 2013

Tax Foundation president Scott Hodge reflects on the tax policies in President Obama's fifth State of the Union address.

Elizabeth Malm on Budget Changes in Maine February 07, 2013

Tax Foundation economist Elizabeth Malm discusses recent budget proposals by Governor Paul LePage of Maine.

For more background, see Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact No. 356, "Maine Governor Sneaks Subtle Income Tax Hike into Budget; Suspends Funding to Local Governments" by Elizabeth Malm and Stephen J. Entin.

Joseph Henchman on North Carolina Tax Reform February 01, 2013

Tax Foundation Vice President for Legal & State Projects Joseph Henchman dicusses his new study (with Scott Drenkard) North Carolina Tax Reform Options: A Guide to Fair, Simple, Pro-Growth Reform.

Michael LaFaive on Cigarette Smuggling January 25, 2013

Why is cigarette smuggling so rampant across state borders? Michael LaFaive of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy answers that question on the podcast this week, citing his latest research (with co-author Todd Nesbit) on how high excise taxes on cigarettes have created a flourishing black market.

For more on cigarette smuggling, see Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact No. 351, "Cigarette Taxes and Cigarette Smuggling by State" by Joseph Henchman and Scott Drenkard.

Scott Drenkard on Repealing Louisiana's Income Tax January 18, 2013

Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard explains the tax reform plan being proposed by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, which would eliminate the state's corporate and individual income taxes.

Harris Kenny on Taxing Marijuana in Colorado January 10, 2013

Reason Foundation policy analyst Harris Kenny discusses the tax and regulatory policies being developed by the state of Colorado in reaction to the passage of Amendment 64, which legalized the possession and sale of marijuana in the state.

Scott Hodge on the Fiscal Cliff Compromise January 03, 2013

Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge discusses the fiscal cliff compromise recently approved by Congress and what it means for economic growth and tax reform efforts going forward.

Will McBride on Taxes and Economic Growth December 20, 2012

Tax Foundation Chief Economist William McBride discussion the conclusions of new new study, "What Is the Evidence on Taxes and Growth?"

Follow Will on Twitter at @EconoWill.

David Brunori on the Best in State Tax Policy 2012 December 14, 2012

Tax Analysts Executive Vice President David Brunori discusses the awards that were recently given out for the "Best of 2012" by State Tax Notes, including the recognition of the Tax Foundation as Organization of the Year for the second year in a row.

Tax Foundation's 75th Anniversary Party December 07, 2012

Party guests lend their voices to the Tax Policy Podcast to help celebrate our 75th anniversary.

Chris Edwards Grades the Governors November 29, 2012

Cato Institute Director of Tax Policy Studies Chris Edwards discusses his recent report, the Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors 2012.

Nick Kasprak on the Impacts of the Fiscal Cliff November 15, 2012

Tax Foundation analyst and programmer Nick Kasprak discusses the state-by-state impacts of expiring "fiscal cliff" tax provisions and the MyTaxBurden calculator.

Lee Schalk on the 2012 Elections November 08, 2012

Lee Schalk, Manager of State Government Relations at the National Taxpayers Union, analyzes the outcome of the 2012 state and local ballot measures.

Stephen Entin Runs the Numbers on the Obama Tax Plan November 01, 2012

Tax Foundation Senior Fellow Stephen Entin estimates the economic impact of President Obama's tax proposals. For more information, see Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact No. 339, “Simulating the Economic Effects of Obama’s Tax Plan.”