Blog Post Round-Up

October 12, 2008

  • Latest Obama Ad on Taxes Contains Half-Truths, Misleading Claims: Claim: “No tax hikes on any families earning less than a quarter-million dollars.” Truth: Not correct. Tax Policy Center has shown that some tax units making less than $250,000 would actually face higher tax bills under Obama because Obama raises corporate income taxes, and Tax Policy Center rightly accounts for that as being paid by individuals. In fact, TPC (who is the source Obama uses for many of his claims), 14.8 percent of tax units earning between $111,645 and $160,972 would face a tax increase.
  • Tax Foundation’s YouTube Contest Deadline Days Away, Winner Gets $5000: Contestants have until next Wednesday, October 15, to submit their videos to the Tax Foundation’s CompeteUSA YouTube Contest, a campaign to raise awareness of America’s high business tax rates and how those taxes have an impact on our competitiveness, wages and living standards. The winner will earn $5,000 while second and third prize winners will receive $1,000 and $500, respectively.
  • Federal Court Halts Iowa Attempt to Tax Internet: The Iowa Court of Appeals should be lauded for not knuckling under to their revenue officials’ overreaching. The officials had demanded that America Online (AOL) cough up sales taxes for services it provided from 1995 to 1999 (conveniently back when everyone had AOL and such taxes meant something). AOL refused, saying that these transactions were interstate and thus beyond Iowa’s taxing power, and demonstrated that to access AOL one must have gone through their Virginia servers. Iowa responded saying that they were local communications services. The court rejected that argument as contrary to the evidence and ruled for AOL.
  • Fact Checking the Tax Talk: Economic Policy Dominates Second Presidential Debate: [T]he candidates largely stuck to their campaign scripts and used many of the same sound bites they’ve used for the past six months on the campaign trail. Unfortunately, many of those common talking points on tax issues often sound good, but are either factually incorrect or highly misleading
  • McCain’s Health Care Tax Plan Is Not Budget Neutral: Sarah Palin and John Lott are wrong in claiming that John McCain’s health care tax plan was “budget neutral.” In fact, Tax Policy Center and the Tax Foundation have estimated that it’s a tax cut over the next ten years in the area of $1.3-$1.4 trillion.
  • Time to Rehab New Jersey’s Tax Climate: [This week], the Tax Foundation released the 2009 State Business Tax Climate Index (SBTCI), our sixth annual report ranking the 50th states on the business-friendliness of their tax codes. New Jersey ranks last overall on this year’s index, unchanged from its 2008 score. For 2007 and earlier, New Jersey did not rank last; the statewide sales tax rise to 7% for fiscal year 2008 moved it to the bottom of the barrel. Generally, the state suffers from high tax rates, narrow tax bases, and distortionary tax rules that interfere with the functioning of the economy.

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