Lunch Links: Social Security Gap; Kansas Borrows $900M; Tax Prom Featured on CBS Show

June 23, 2016

Today is June 23, the date in 1921 when the Bureau of the Budget was established as part of the executive branch. Today called the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), it serves as the White House’s analytical arm, preparing the budget and overseeing federal executive agencies. Its creation was important for a functioning federal budget and audit system.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

  • Britain Votes on Brexit Today: UK voters will decide today whether to leave or remain in the European Union. The EU requires a lot of one-stop tax administration and of course low or no tariffs on trading among EU countries. Supporters say they can still have those benefits outside the EU. (The Economist)
  • Social Security Funding Gap is $11 Trillion: The trustees of the Social Security report that benefits to be paid exceed taxes to be collected by a present value of $11.4 trillion. Closing the shortfall now would require a 21 percent tax increase, a 16 percent benefit cut, or some combination. Waiting makes the cost higher. (Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget)
  • Kansas to Borrow $900 Million: The State Finance Council voted 8 to 1 to borrow a record amount of cash from transportation and health care funds to pay current bills. Senate President Susan Wagle (R) voted no, saying the state needs to address its structural budget problems before borrowing more. (Associated Press)
  • North Carolina Close on Budget Deal, Income Tax Changes: The tax is scheduled to drop further from 5.75 percent to 5.499 percent on January 1 thanks to booming state tax collections. Business taxes are on track to drop also. The Senate wants to constitutionally cap the taxes at no higher than 5.5 percent. (Salisbury Post / Charlotte News & Observer)
  • Chicago Passes 21 Percent Tax on Airbnb Rentals: The City Council approved the measure 43 to 7. The tax rate is 4 points higher than the 17.4 percent hotel tax. It takes effect July 1. (Illinois Policy Institute)
  • Tax Prom in CBS Comedy-Thriller: I haven’t watched the CBS Show BrainDead but I should start: Monday’s episode included a key scene set at Tax Prom, the Tax Foundation’s Annual Dinner. It’s at about the 15-minute mark. (RSVP information for this year’s is coming soon, and the night is even more fun than they depict.)

Also, the National Association of State Budget Officers is out with their Spring 2016 Fiscal Survey of the States, where they find state government tax collections and spending are now higher than at the peak of the boom in 2008.

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