Lunch Links: Live TF Updates Tonight on Presidential Debate; Trump Plan Questioned on Whose Taxes Get Raised; IRS Stiffens Security for Online Access; Revenue Updates for North Dakota and Rhode Island

September 26, 2016

Today is September 26, the date of the first televised presidential debate, between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon in 1960. While most scholarship on the debate focuses on Nixon’s haggard appearance (he had just been in the hospital for a knee infection and refused makeup to cover his stubble and sweat) or Kennedy’s flouting of the rules (it was supposed to be on domestic policy, and Kennedy opened with a long discussion of foreign policy), taxes did come up.

Kennedy was asked how he would boost federal spending while keeping the budget near balance; he replied that policies to boost economic growth would boost tax revenues and thus keep the budget near balance. Nixon retorted that Kennedy would have to raise taxes or unbalance the budget and that either would spark inflation.

Interestingly, Kennedy twice referenced property taxes—rarely a presidential campaign topic—saying greater federal aid to education would help keep property tax burdens under control.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

IRS Announces Two-Step Verification as of October 24: To access IRS services as of that date, you’ll have to validate your identity using financial information and a texted confirmation number. The move comes after hackers made off with personal information on taxpayers. (Don’t Mess With Taxes)

NYU Prof Says Trump Tax Plan Raises Taxes for Some: NYU Law Professor Lily Batchelder calculates that the Trump tax plan would raise taxes for about 7.8 million tax filers, primarily those using head of household filing or who have several children and use personal exemptions. (SSRN)

Las Vegas Room Tax Broken Down: With Nevada considering an 0.88 percentage point room tax increase to fund construction of an NFL-ready football stadium, the Las Vegas Sun runs down the tax’s history and where it currently goes. (Las Vegas Sun)

North Dakota Revenues Off $9 Million: The state’s tax collections continue to fall due to slumping crop and oil prices. (Associated Press)

Rhode Island Revenues Up $28 Million: Income tax and sales tax revenues came in under projection, but estate tax revenues came in far above projection. Next year’s budget has a $180 million shortfall. (Providence Journal)

Kansas Ends Quarterly Economic Report: Set up in 2011 by Gov. Brownback (R), the report listed key indicators on state employment, personal income, and energy production. The Topeka Capital-Journal learned that the May report will be the last one; one columnist thinks it was because it showed the governor’s tax policies weren’t working out. (Topeka Capital-Journal / Kansas City Star)

“Suicidal Calls” to Tax Credits Firm: The British government hired a firm to help clamp down on fraud associated with their low-income tax credits, and the call center workers dealing with appeals were overwhelmed by the emotional nature of many of the calls: people crying and threatening suicide if their tax credit was cut off. (BBC)

Follow Tax Foundation on Debate: Tonight at 9 ET is the first presidential debate, with the moderator-selected topics of NBC's Lester Holt being America’s Direction, Achieving Prosperity, and Securing America. Follow our experts on Twitter during the debate: @taxfoundation, @kpomerleau, @AlanMCole, and @ScottElliotG!

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