Lunch Links: Republican Plan Upcoming for Sales Tax on Internet Buys; Walmart Avoids Excessive Tax Proposed by Puerto Rico; Explaining Why States Should Index Tax Brackets for Inflation

August 25, 2016

Today is August 25, the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. The Service manages 59 national parks and 354 other sites, areas, and monuments. The NPS spends about $3 billion per year, raising about $500 million of it from fees, donations, and other private sources (including an $80 annual pass to all national parks). The NPS also has an $11.9 billion maintenance backlog.

Republican Internet Sales Tax Plan to Be Released: With states increasingly demanding collection of sales tax on Internet purchases and courts not stopping them, pressure on Congress to develop a national framework continues to mount. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, will this week release his proposal to tax Internet sales using origin rules and destination rates (e.g., “an Ohio company shipping a pair of pants to Maryland would use Ohio’s rules for taxing clothing and Maryland’s tax rate”). (The Wall Street Journal)

USC Study Says Film Tax Incentives Offer Minimal Job and Wage Growth Returns: The pair of new academic studies finds that economic benefits for states are nearly nil. The studies are published in American Review of Public Administration and American Politics Research. (USC)

Court Rejects Puerto Rico Tax Appeal: The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals yesterday rejected the island’s effort to enforce a tax on Walmart in excess of 100 percent of the company’s profits. A federal judge had ruled the tax unconstitutional in March. (Reuters)

ITEP on Inflation-Indexing Tax Brackets: The left-leaning group is out with a good piece explaining that states should index their tax brackets for inflation to prevent “hidden tax hikes” as incomes grow but tax brackets don’t. The states that still don’t index their income tax brackets for inflation are Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. (ITEP / Tax Foundation)

Congressional Staffer Charged with Tax Evasion: Isaac Avant, chief of staff for Rep. Bernie Thompson (D-MS), faces up to five years in prison for failing to pay his taxes. The IRS says Avant claimed in 2005 that he was exempt from federal income taxes and didn’t pay them until 2013. (Fox News)

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