Friday Links: Tax Proposals in Idaho, Maryland, Utah; Feds Top Debt Limit and Debate Retroactive Estate Tax
December 18, 2009
- Business Insider looks at the 15 worst states for starting a business. Can you guess which states are on the list? They also put together Pew’s 10 states most likely to have a fiscal catastrophe, and what went wrong in each case.
- Idaho Republicans push for an income tax cut, to take effect in 2012. The officials say that it will help position Idaho for economic growth after the recession. The reporter does a very well-done Q&A with a sponsor.
- Maryland business leaders criticized Governor O’Malley’s proposal to reduce unemployment taxes while increasing benefits, arguing that it would be unsustainable. The change would be required for Maryland to access a pot of federal stimulus money.
- Utah newspapers push for a cigarette tax hike as “a tax hike we can live with.” Well, “we” except for the people that pay it. Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that fella behind the tree!
- The Tax Policy Center hosted a forum on the non-neutral tax treatment of same-sex and opposite-sex couples.
- Congressional Democrats have pledged to re-enact the federal estate tax in 2010 (it will lapse at the start of the year, due to their failure to address it before the clock ran out), and they also pledge to do so retroactively to January 1, 2010. Paul Caron points out the sad truth that retroactive taxes, despite their many constitutional and policy problems, would likely be upheld by deferential judges.
- The federal government maxed out its credit card, going over the nation’s $12.104 trillion debt limit. The Treasury can do accounting gimmicks to buy another $150 billion in breathing room, which equates to about three weeks of federal borrowing. Democrats want to increase the debt limit by $1.8 trillion, which will last past the 2010 elections, and Republicans don’t.