Lunch Links: Oregon’s Regressive Tax Referendum; Green Party Nominee Releases Tax Return; San Diego Stadium Wouldn’t Cover Costs

August 12, 2016

Today is August 12, the 183rd anniversary of Chicago being organized as a town (it would become a city officially four years later). Chicago is often in the tax news, with the highest sales tax of a major U.S. city, a tax on bottled water, a hefty combined $6.16-per-pack tax on cigarettes, taxes on the cloud, and now a proposal for higher sewer and water taxes to fund $18.6 billion in unfunded pensions.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

Oregon’s Regressive Tax Referendum: The Wall Street Journal editorial board on Measure 97: “Businesses will respond by raising prices, reducing investment and laying off workers. The state Legislative Revenue Office estimated that the tax would cost 38,200 jobs in the private economy including 13,600 in retail trade while increasing government employment by 17,700. By 2022 state income would decline by 0.17% while prices would edge up 0.89% relative to the office’s baseline forecast.” (Wall Street Journal)

Clinton Pushes Trump on Tax Return: The Democratic nominee’s campaign has a new video featuring Republicans and conservatives calling on Trump to release his tax returns. Trump’s lawyer said he told Trump not to release the returns. (YouTube / Politico)

Green Party Presidential Nominee Partially Releases Tax Return: It’s just the first two pages, but Jill Stein and her husband earned $349,088 and paid $80,144 in federal income tax. She listed her occupation as environmentalist. Any charitable contributions are listed on the pages she didn’t release but based on her total of itemized deductions, it’s probably a large number. (Stein for President)

IRS Paid Out $5.8 Billion on Fraudulent Returns in 2013: States lost an additional $8 billion. The Hill also notes that Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) fell victim to identity fraud and has pressured the IRS to act. State tax fraud impacts were also a topic at the NCSL conference this week. (The Hill / State Tax Notes)

Ohio Film Credit Backs Some Strange Titles: Ohio taxpayers helped pay for the production of Vanilla Ice Goes Amish and Alpha Dogz Presents: Pups United. (The Federalist)

San Diego Chargers Stadium Wouldn’t Pay for Itself: San Diego voters will decide whether to hike hotel taxes from 12.5 percent to 16.5 percent to fund $1.15 billion of a $1.8 billion stadium for the Chargers downtown, along with an adjacent convention facility. A tourism study concludes the stadium would boost public revenues by $2.3 million a year while increasing public costs by $67 million a year, and would compete with the city’s existing convention center. The study points to similar stadium/convention center efforts in St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Atlanta, and concludes that they failed. (San Diego Union-Tribune / San Diego Tourism Marketing District)

Vermont Applies Meals Tax to Vending Machine Purchases: Buying a soda from a vending machine in Vermont? Be ready to pay the meals tax, as the Department of Taxes rules that the tax applies because “they are offered for immediate consumption.” The identical item “would be exempt when purchased at a grocery store.” (Vermont Department of Taxes)


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