Lunch Links: Olympics Tax Carveout Moves Forward; Cato Ranks the 50 States; Land Tax Idea in UK

August 16, 2016

Today is August 16, the date in 1954 when a complete overhaul of the Internal Revenue Code was adopted. A number of loopholes were tackled and ambiguous sections made clearer. Pushed by congressional leaders, the revision occurred after two years of hearings, testimony, and public comments. President Eisenhower made it a key element of his 1954 State of the Union address, and most of the reorganization remains with us today despite an overhaul in 1986.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

  • Olympic Tax Break Moves Forward in Congress: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says it’s unfair for people who work hard and achieve victory to then be taxed on what they’ve earned—if they’re Olympic athletes. The U.S. Olympic Committee provides prizes for U.S. medal winners ($25,000 for gold; $15,000 for silver; $10,000 for bronze) and right now it’s taxed like any other income. The Senate has approved a bill to create a new tax exemption for this income, and the House is expected to act on it in September. (Senator Schumer / Wall Street Journal)
  • Cato Institute Ranks the 50 States: Cato says New Hampshire and Alaska are the best for freedom lovers; New York and California, not so much. (Cato Institute / Tax Foundation)
  • Education Spending by State: Governing tallies it up. (Governing)
  • Lowest Unemployment in America: CNBC reports that the lowest unemployment is in Provo, Utah and Omaha, Nebraska. Nebraska ranks well on a number of indices but has a medium-high tax burden. (CNBC)
  • UK Land Tax Idea: A 25-year-old duke inheriting 500 acres in central London has sparked a call for a land tax. (Guardian)
  • Another Pennsylvania Vapor Shop to Close Due to Tax: Fifth Avenue Vapor in New Kensington blames the new 40 percent tax on e-cigarettes that goes into effect on October 1. (UpGruv)

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