Lunch Links: New Jersey Tax Proposals Anger the Right and the Left; Alaska Shortfall Means Cuts And/Or Taxes; Trump Takes Hits on Taxes from Major Media and The Onion

October 7, 2016

Today is October 7, the date in 1765 when the Stamp Act Congress gathered in New York City to develop a unified response to the British Stamp Act, going into effect on November 1. It was the first-ever gathering of elected representatives from the various American colonies, and it produced a petition to the King and Parliament asking that the act be repealed. Parliament considered the Stamp Act Congress to be illegal and ignored the petition, but it repealed the Act based on merchants’ economic arguments.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

Gross Receipts Taxes: Theory and Recent Evidence: We’ve published a new paper by Professor Justin Ross on the economic effects of gross receipts taxes, summarizing academic studies and other evidence. (Tax Foundation)

New Jersey Tax Vote Today: New Jersey legislators are voting today on a package that raises the gas tax from 14.5 cents per gallon to 37.5 cents per gallon, cuts the sales tax from 7 percent to 6.625 percent, eliminates the estate tax but keeps the inheritance tax, increases the Earned Income Tax Credit from 30 percent of federal to 35 percent of federal, creates a new veterans’ income tax exclusion of $3,000, and exempts retirement income up to $75,000 for individuals and $100,000 for married filers (currently $15,000 for individuals and $20,000 for married). The left is attacking the deal for the revenue reduction; the right is attacking the deal for the gas tax increase. New Jersey has both the highest state-local tax burden and an exhausted transportation fund. (North Jersey.com / Twitter)

Alaska Revenue Woes: Alaska oil tax and royalty revenue has dropped from $7.4 billion a year in 2014 to $1 billion a year in 2017. After averaging $6.95 billion a year from 2012-15, Alaska has slashed its state general fund spending to about $5.5 billion for 2017, but even that leaves a gap. On the table are cutting cherished dividend payments to residents, imposing a sales or income tax, paring back oil production incentives, and draining a $10 billion rainy day fund. (Bloomberg)

Trump Tax Lobbying: The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times detail Donald Trump lobbying for tax policy changes to benefit real estate in the early 1990s. (The Wall Street Journal / The New York Times)

Not the Highest: Trump said yesterday that the U.S. is the “highest tax nation in the world,” then added “just about, of the industrialized nations, we’re the highest taxpayers in the world.” While the U.S. has the highest corporate rate of the industrialized world (and, behind Puerto Rico and the UAE, third in the whole world), the U.S. isn’t even close on overall tax burden or other top tax rates. Greece and France, for instance, each collect taxes equivalent to more than 40 percent of the country’s GDP; Belgium has a top income tax rate of 58.3 percent plus a 21 percent VAT sales tax. (CBS News / Tax Foundation)

The Onion Destroys Trump’s Tax Returns: The satirical publication The Onion explains that it obtained the Republican nominee’s tax returns but has chosen to destroy them instead of releasing them. (The Onion)


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