Today is May 6, the date in 1862 when Henry David Thoreau passed away. Thoreau famously refused to pay his taxes because of his opposition to war and slavery, spending a night in jail until someone paid his overdue taxes...
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.
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.
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).
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.
Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact No. 392, "State and Local Sales Tax Rates Midyear 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."
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.
Case Study Links
- The Mortgage Interest Deduction for Owner-Occupied Housing
- The Property Tax Deduction for Owner-Occupied Housing
- Reduced Tax Rates on Capital Gains and Qualified Dividends
- The Deduction of State and Local Income Taxes or General Sales Taxes
- Accelerated Depreciation
- The Exclusion for Employer Provided Health Insurance
- The Earned Income Tax Credit
- Education Credits
- The Child Tax Credit
- The Exclusion of Social Security Retirement Benefits from Taxable Income
- The Deduction for Charitable Contributions to be released Monday, August 12th
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.
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."
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.
The Buckeye Institute's Greg Lawson discusses tax reform efforts in Ohio.
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.
- Tax Policy Blog, "Joint Filing in the Tax Code" by Nick Kasprak (6/26/13)
- Tax Policy Blog, "Supreme Court Decides Same-Sex Marriage Estate Tax Case" by Joseph Henchman (6/26/13)
- Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact No. 352, "Effects of Marriage on Tax Burden Vary Greatly with Income Level, Equality" by Nick Kasprak (1/10/13)
- Monday Map, "Does Your State Have a Marriage Penalty?" by Nick Kasprak (8/20/12)
- Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact No. 373, "North Carolina Considers Impressive Tax Reform Options" by Elizabeth Malm and Scott Drenkard.
- Testimony of Scott Drenkard before the North Carolina Senate Finance Committee.
- The book North Carolina Tax Reform Options: A Guide to Fair, Simple, Pro-Growth Reform by Joseph Henchman and Scott Drenkard.
- A debate over North Carolina tax policy with Elizabeth Malm on video.
- The North Carolina Tax Fairness Calculator.
- All of our North Carolina-related material gathered in one location.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tax Foundation Chief Economist William McBride discusses Tax Freedom Day 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.
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.
Tax Foundation Fellow Michael Schuyler discusses the advantages of cutting the U.S. corporate tax rate.
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, 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.
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.
Tax Foundation president Scott Hodge reflects on the tax policies in President Obama's fifth State of the Union address.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Party guests lend their voices to the Tax Policy Podcast to help celebrate our 75th anniversary.
Cato Institute Director of Tax Policy Studies Chris Edwards discusses his recent report, the Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors 2012.
Lee Schalk, Manager of State Government Relations at the National Taxpayers Union, analyzes the outcome of the 2012 state and local ballot measures.
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.”