Lunch Links: Illinois Tax Proposal Dies, Not Starving the Beast in Kansas, Sales Taxes on High-End Art

May 5, 2016

Today is May 5, the date in 1896 when the Treasury Department gathered up all the tax returns and records from the Civil War-era federal income tax (1862-1872) and burned them.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

  • Trump Now Presumptive Republican Nominee: With the withdrawal of Ted Cruz and John Kasich from the race, Donald Trump is now the last one standing. My colleague Alan Cole opines on the tax legacy of the Ted Cruz campaign, and be sure to compare the candidates’ tax plans and see how they affect you. (Tax Foundation)
  • Taxes and Cinco De Mayo: Today is also Cinco de Mayo, the anniversary of the 1862 Battle of Puebla where Mexican forces defeated French troops seeking to re-establish a New World presence. (America was distracted by the Civil War, and while the French sent more troops, they pulled out of the country in 1866 under U.S. pressure.) The French exploited an internal debate in Mexico about whether to tax the property of the Catholic Church. (Forbes / Kelly Phillips Erb)
  • Bill to Change Illinois Constitution to Allow Progressive Income Tax Dies in House: The votes didn’t materialize for the plan to hike the state’s top income tax rate, meaning the proposal won’t be on the November ballot. The state Department of Revenue had concluded the plan would cost the state 20,000 jobs and Gov. Rauner said the proposal would be “the straw that breaks the camel’s back for Illinois’s economic competitiveness.” (Northwest Herald / Illinois Policy Institute / State Journal-Register / Tax Foundation)
  • Starving the Beast in Kansas: National Review’s Kevin Williamson sharply criticizes Kansas’s decision to cut taxes sharply without concern for how the budget would balance. He cites the recent decision to put off $96 million in pension fund payments as poor policy. (National Review)
  • Donuts Are Not Groceries, Missouri Supreme Court Rules: Missouri taxes prepared food at 4 percent and groceries at 1 percent, and the justices unanimously ruled that donuts belong in the “prepared food” category. Krispy Kreme had argued that customers often take doughnuts home. (Associated Press)
  • Yes, the Sales Tax Applies to High-End Art Purchases: Real estate developer Aby Rosen agrees to pay $7 million to New York, which is the 8.875 percent sales tax bill on $80 million of art sales. (Forbes / Ashlea Ebeling)
  • Sales Tax Cooperation Board Setting Up Sanctions Structure: The Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board adopts best practices for making sales tax compliance easier for taxpayers. But the entity had trouble doing something when states deviate from those practices in minor and major ways. A working group will examine the idea of tiers of sanctions for states not complying with the rules. (State Tax Notes – subscription required)
  • New Yorker Going to Jail for Not Reporting Online Income: Michael Stern earned $656,780 from online retail sales of sunglasses and eyeglasses but didn’t report it to the IRS. He now faces three years in jail and a big fine. Income is income, wherever you earn it! (U.S. Department of Justice)

Also, Teamsters rallied against the proposed Philadelphia soda tax yesterday.

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