Lunch Links: EU Approves Tax Haven Resolution; States Calling Special Sessions; Dittos in Illinois

June 8, 2016

Today is June 8, the birthday of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron White (1917-2002). Justice White wrote 994 opinions during his 31-year tenure on the Court, including the dissent in Quill v. North Dakota (1992), the case that reaffirmed a standard of physical presence for state sales tax jurisdiction. White called physical presence “anachronistic,” “artificial,” and not premised on “economic reality,” and argued that technology had made tax collection no longer burdensome. White stood alone in the 8 to 1 decision, but states continue to echo his arguments in their efforts to expand their tax authority beyond their borders.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

  • European Parliament Approves Corporate Tax Avoidance Resolution: The EU Parliament voted 486 to 88 to establish an EU blacklist of tax havens, sanctions against uncooperative jurisdictions, a cap on the deductibility of borrowing costs, and other measures. The EU Council would now need to approve the measure. Irish MEPs argued with each other on the floor, alternately attacking and defending their home country’s corporate tax system. (European Parliament / Irish Times)
  • Hillary Clinton Now Presumptive Democratic Party Presidential Nominee: Our analysis of her tax plan is here. My colleague Alan Cole wrote this week that her plan includes a pretty good idea on itemized deductions. And compare all the candidates’ tax plans here. (Tax Foundation)
  • IRS Restores Get Transcript: The page allowing you to download your tax information from the IRS is back online, now with basic web security features like two-step authentication. The previous lack of those features allowing identity thieves to steal information on about 500,000 taxpayers. Kelly Phillips Erb of Forbes tries it out. (IRS / Forbes)
  • State Special Sessions: Louisiana’s special legislative session opened yesterday, and my colleague Scott Drenkard is on hand. He reports lots of discussion about fundamental tax reform. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) has called a special session to address school funding and budget issues, but hasn’t yet set a date. And Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL) will call a special session to fix a one-word problem with the budget bill he pocket vetoed. (Wichita Eagle / Tax Foundation)
  • Arkansas Governor Says He Wants Income Tax Cuts: Gov. Hutchinson (R) says he’ll work with legislators to develop a plan for 2017. (Arkansas Democrat Gazette)
  • Nanny State Index 2016: A report compares European countries by how much they tax eating, drinking, and smoking. Finland, Sweden, and Britain tax that stuff the most; Luxembourg, Germany, and the Czechs, not so much. (European Policy Information Center)

And don’t miss this sad exchange in the Illinois House yesterday: Rep. Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) debating budget priorities with Majority Leader Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), with lots of “ditto”s. And Kay only got partly through the Agriculture budget! Also, the Philadelphia City Council may ram through a beverage tax today.


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