Lunch Links: 86 Tax Reform Options, Taxes and Poverty, New York Warm Cookie Tax

Today is June 7, the date when the 2001 Bush tax cut, the first of two, was signed into law. (My colleague Scott Greenberg wrote a retrospective this morning.) Also today, Democratic primaries are occurring in Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and my home state of California. Republicans are voting in California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

  • 86 Options for Tax Reform: Yesterday we released a new book with 86 different options for changing the federal tax code and estimating each option’s effect on revenue, the economy, jobs, and income distribution. Print copies will be available soon. Our President, Scott Hodge, explained to The Hill why we did it. (Tax Foundation / The Hill)
  • Republicans to Release Policy Agenda: Speaker Ryan is expected to announce a Republican anti-poverty program today, the first of a series of policy roll-outs this month. Others will include health care, taxes, regulatory reform, and congressional authority. (Washington Post)
  • Democrats Back Expanded EITC: Not unrelatedly, the Center for American Progress is hosting an event today with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and several members of Congress to press for an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit as a poverty-reducing measure. (Center for American Progress)
  • Trump Campaign Says His Property Tax Rebate is an Error: Donald Trump is again receiving a $304 STAR credit on his property tax bill, which is strange because only taxpayers with income of less than $500,000 can receive it. Trump’s campaign says it’s a mistake and the City is fixing it. The state and city are supposed to weed out ineligible recipients, using federal adjusted gross income minus taxable distributions from annuities or individual retirement accounts. (Crain’s New York / New York City Department of Finance)
  • New York State May Block City Bag Tax: Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie noted concerns in his caucus. (New York State of Politics)
  • New York Rules Warm Cookies are Taxable: Prepared food is taxable in New York but groceries are exempt, so an unnamed taxpayer sought an advisory opinion asking whether its sale of batches of warm cookies are taxable prepared food or exempt groceries. The “heated state” of the cookies makes them taxable, ruled the Tax Commissioner. (New York State Department of Taxation and Finance)

At Forbes, Tony Nitti does a deep-dive and concludes that John Oliver’s forgiven debtors will face no tax consequences from their discharged debts (but they easily could have). Richard Rubin at the Wall Street Journal asks what Hillary Clinton thinks about the corporate tax rate. And the IRS has finally released the list of the 426 groups they delayed approving tax-exempt status for back in 2012.


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