Lunch Links: Indiana Surplus; New Pennsylvania Taxes Begin; Virginia County Cracking Down on Car Tax Avoidance

August 1, 2016

Today is August 1, the date in 1876 when Colorado became the 38th state. Colorado has a single-rate 4.63 percent individual and corporate income tax, and a low 2.9 percent state sales tax (but high local sales taxes). It’s also the first state to legalize and tax recreational marijuana.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

  • Trump Says Romney Lost Due to Tax Returns: The Republican presidential nominee told George Stephanopoulos that Romney “lost because of a couple of really minor items in a tax return, where he did nothing wrong…. It is unfair.” He then said, however, that he’s not releasing his returns because the IRS told him not to release them publicly while they’re under audit (the IRS said the opposite publicly) and demurred when Stephanopoulos said Trump could release past years’ returns. (The Hill)
  • Hurricane Season Tax Preparation: With tropical storms beginning to gather in the mid-Atlantic, Don’t Mess With Taxes reminds everyone about preserving tax records and keeping an eye on tax implications of natural disasters. (Don’t Mess With Taxes)
  • Indiana Ends Year with Record Surplus: The state ended its budget year on June 30 with $50.6 million left over, adding to the $2.24 billion reserve fund. It’s achieved this while cutting taxes each year. The state is one of only 12 with a AAA credit rating. (Indiana Business Journal / Tax Foundation)
  • Pennsylvania Cigarette & Digital Purchase Taxes Take Effect Today: Starting August 1, Pennsylvania smokers will pay $1 more per pack (making it $2.60 in state tax per pack). (The 40 percent e-cigarette tax starts October 1.) Also, the previous exemption on digital product purchases (apps like Pokemon Go, subscription services like Netflix and Hulu, Apple store purchases, etc.) will end, with the state’s 6 percent sales tax applying to those just like all other products. (Penn Live)
  • Georgia Reflects on Transportation Sales Tax Progress: Four years ago Atlanta voters rejected the T-SPLOST transportation sales tax, but three regions approved it. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reviews progress on the $1.5 billion in revenue and the 871 projects it’s funding. They even quote a few former opponents who now support the program. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
  • Fairfax County, Virginia Cracking Down on Out-of-State Cars: Virginia counties impose a property tax on cars, while Maryland doesn’t. Consequently, a lot of Virginians have registered their cars in other states. Over the past year, Fairfax County in suburban Washington, D.C. has targeted 2,300 incorrectly registered cars and collected $600,000 in unpaid taxes.
  • TaxProf Passes Baton to Roth & Co: Paul Caron, the blogging king of the tax world (his TaxProf Blog gets 50,000 visitors a day), is pulling back on weekly roundup blog posts. In-depth posts will still happen and he says more changes will come soon, but no more roundups. Joe Kristan, a tax expert in Iowa, steps into the void with a roundup post. (TaxProf Blog / Roth & Co.)

Related Articles