Lunch Links: Petition for Trump Tax Returns; Quintupling of North Dakota Cigarette Tax; Virginia in the Red

July 13, 2016

Today is July 13, the date in 1866 when Congress repealed most of the excise taxes passed to fund the Civil War (the income tax, while reduced, hung on until 1872). Today also would have been supply-side tax cut champion Jack Kemp’s 81st birthday.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

  • Switzerland and Potential Drawbacks of Wealth Taxation: My colleague Alex Durante explains why it’s so hard to tax something that’s hard to measure, building on recent analysis of Switzerland’s system. (Tax Foundation / Wall Street Journal)
  • Petition for Trump to Release Tax Returns: 400,000 people signed, and they were delivered to Trump Tower yesterday.
  • Quintupling North Dakota’s Cigarette Tax Likely to Be on Ballot: Supporters of the effort to raise the tax from 44 cents per pack to $2.20 per pack submitted 22,000 signatures to the Secretary of State. (KVLY)
  • Virginia Ends 2016 Budget Year in the Red: Virginia ended up $266 million in the red for the fiscal year ending June 30. Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) says the revenue brought in was a record level but payroll and sales tax receipts were below expectations. Republicans say the 1.7 percent revenue growth is worrisome. (Washington Post)
  • Los Angeles Local Income Tax Proposal Dead: The county had considered the tax for funding homelessness services, but it failed to get support. Local income taxes in California are rare. (State Tax Notes)
  • Massachusetts Considers Taxing AirBnb to Boost Earned Income Tax Credit: Imposing the existing hotel-room tax on short-term rentals would raise about $8 million, while boosting the EITC would cost $50 million. I’m unclear why they should be tied together. (MassLive)
  • Ranking State Business Climates: Ball State University (Indiana) took seven major state rankings (including our State Business Tax Climate Index) to see where they overlap. Top five states are Utah, North Carolina, Indiana, Nebraska, and South Dakota; bottom five states are Illinois, Rhode Island, West Virginia, California, and New Jersey. They also summarize tax ranking research, noting that “rankings that focused on mostly tax variables did have some explanatory power of growth in state output, employment, and wages,” and further noting that the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index has some explanatory power for state GDP growth. (Ball State University)

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