Lunch Links: Europeans Say 14 States are Tax Havens, Trump Tax Returns, No Tax Powers for Arizona Developers

May 11, 2016

Today is May 11, the day Minnesota became a state in 1858. Minnesotans pay 10.8 percent of their income in state and local taxes, the 8th highest in the nation. Happy birthday, Minnesota!

Here are some interesting links I came across:

  • Trump Won’t Release Tax Returns: "There's nothing to learn from them” and voters don’t care about them, he told the Associated Press. (Associated Press)
  • European Greens Say 14 U.S. States Are Tax Havens: They want the European Union to put the United States on a tax haven blacklist, particularly calling out states they blame for not collecting and sharing enough information about limited liability corporations with national and international authorities: Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. They also complain about the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin. The report comes out ahead of a European Parliament delegation from the Special Committee on Tax Rulings visit to the United States from May 17 to May 19. (Greens/EFA)
  • Missouri Real Estate Agents Seek to Block Services Tax: Sales tax is imposed on most transactions, but not on sales by real estate agents in Missouri. They’re looking to amend the state constitution to keep it that way. Richard Mendenhall, head of Missourians for Fair Taxation and former head of the National Association of Realtors, told State Tax Notes that taxing them would be a tax on the American dream. (Associated Press / State Tax Notes)
  • Americans Split on Helping Puerto Rico: 45 percent support a congressional effort to help the territory restructure its debt, 33 percent are opposed, and 21 percent have no opinion. A new bill will be introduced today but Democrats are skeptical. (Morning Consult / Bloomberg)
  • Congestion Pricing A Good Solution: A new report evaluates criticisms of congestion pricing (highway tolls varying with the level of traffic). The author recommends Congress permit it on all interstate highways and suggests states and localities introduce it as an experiment and then hold a referendum on whether to make it permanent. (Mercatus Center at George Mason University)
  • Rhode Island Debates Internet Sales Tax Bill: Legislators debated whether to try to do something or to wait for federal action. (Westerly Sun)
  • Arizona Governor Vetoes Bill to Give Tax Powers to Developers: Gov. Ducey (R) said the bill would create governments without voter accountability. Developers who foot the bill for sewer systems, sidewalks, and other public improvements had sought the tax powers to reimburse their costs. (Associated Press)
  • No Maryland Tax Cut Special Session: Gov. Hogan (R) says he supports across-the-board income tax cuts and help for small businesses but wants to work with legislators to make it happen next year. (Baltimore Sun)
  • Fairfax County (Virginia) to Vote on Meals Tax: If approved by voters in November, restaurant and fast food customers would pay up to an extra 4 percent. 70% of the revenue would go to schools, the rest to the county. (WTOP)
  • Connecticut Budget Document Released: The deal negotiated was posted yesterday but Republicans are calling for more time. It focuses on spending cuts rather than tax increases. (Hartford Courant)

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