Blog Post Round-Up

  • Gas Tax Holiday Rhetoric on Both Sides Void of Economic Logic: Anytime you hear some lobby in Washington (or anywhere) talk about how many jobs a certain spending policy will create, you can take it with a huge grain of salt because they always ignore the fact that jobs in other industries are lost.
  • Nationals Ballpark Strikes Out: Since collections for the Ballpark Revenue Fund are now threatened by the “unforeseen” lack of attendance, the Council wants to claim more tax dollars with this 5% increase. Does that make sense? Raising taxes to save the Nationals’ ballpark is like bailing water out of a ship fashioned from Swiss cheese: doomed to fail.
  • BATSA, the Amazon Tax, and the Physical Presence Rule: Limiting states to taxing only individuals within the state, and only businesses with property and employees within the state, protects interstate commerce from double taxation, preserves democratic accountability, and shields businesses from the burden of tracking 7,400+ sales tax bases and rates. “Economic nexus”-taxing Internet commerce based on where customers are located, but brick-and-mortar commerce based on where property and employees are-creates an uneven playing field and allows states to export their tax burdens to non-voting out-of-staters.
  • MEGA-Silly Tax Credits in Michigan: Michigan would do better to make its tax climate more inviting to all businesses, not just selected businesses deemed MEGA-worthy.
  • Economic Stimulus: Take Two: Every time the government collects revenue, holds it, then sends it back in the form of rebates, some of that money disappears. The first round of stimulus checks will cost up to $862 million in lost enforcement revenue and administrative costs, an absolute deadweight loss to the economy. Instead of utilizing this “revolving door” of taxation, perhaps citizens could keep just a little more of their paychecks and buy gasoline with their own money.
  • California Releases Income Tax Rules for Same-Sex Spouses: As in other states that have legalized gay marriage or civil unions, same-sex married couples in California will face added tax complexity. This is because they will be required to file as single for federal income tax purposes, but jointly (or married-filing-separately) for state income tax purposes. The California process will include determining a dummy joint federal Adjusted Gross Income, representing what the IRS would have deemed a couple’s AGI to be, had they been able to file jointly at the federal level.

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