Lunch Links: State Legislators Talk Transportation Funding; Trump Pass-Through Plan Problems; Property Tax Turnout in Utah

August 10, 2016

Today is August 10, the date in 1821 when Missouri joined the United States. Missouri has ten income tax brackets despite the top rate of 6 percent kicking in at just $9,000 of income. While its state sales tax is just 4.225 percent, hefty local sales taxes push the average rate to 14th highest in the country, a medium tax burden relative to other states.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

Problematic Pass-Through Reduction in Trump Tax Plan: Trump said his plan now taxes top income earners at 33 percent, but business income from pass-through businesses like LLCs and LLPs will be taxed at 15 percent. Far from rate parity, it would incentivize income shifting and cause serious revenue effects, as a similar policy in Kansas did. (Politico / Tax Foundation)

State Legislators Talk Transportation Funding: Yesterday at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) annual summit, a packed room of state legislators polled themselves on transportation funding. Everyone thinks transportation is crumbling, needs more funding, and is a top issue. Most are opposed or not sure about devolving the whole thing to the states. One-third are looking at indexing their gas tax, nearly half at just tying it to price, and about one-third at trying tolls. Surveyed state chambers came to similar conclusions. (Twitter)

Massachusetts Sales Go Ahead, Even Without Sales Tax Holiday: Massachusetts legislators dropped the gimmicky sales tax holiday, but retailers went ahead with their own coordinated sales. (The Boston Globe)

Massachusetts Governor Will Veto Vehicles-Miles-Traveled (VMT) Tax Test: Gov. Baker (R) will sign the rest of the transportation financing bill, but he doesn’t support the section applying for federal funds to try out VMT. VMT has been pitched as a way to link user payments and costs better than the declining gasoline tax, but has also raised privacy concerns. (Mass Live)

Visualizing North Carolina’s Tax Rate Cuts: The Civitas Institute has some colorful charts showing how everyone is paying lower income taxes since the package was enacted in 2013. (Civitas Institute)

Property Tax Boost Draws Crowds in Utah: Officials in Midvale, Utah, want a hefty property tax increase, and explained their reasoning in a quarter-page newspaper ad (beyond the official notice required under Utah law). Lots of taxpayers turned out for the hearing last night. (The Salt Lake Tribune / Utah Taxpayers Association)

Nevada Commerce Tax Returns Due August 15: Businesses must file their first returns for the new tax in a few days. Nevada has a video explaining more. (Nevada Department of Taxation)

$100 in Each State: The New York Times and the The Washington Post cover our weekly map from last week, on the cost of living in each state. The map has attracted 178,000 visits. (The New York Times / The Washington Post)

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