Lunch Links: Updated Analysis of Hillary Clinton Tax Plan; Nevada Stadium Tax Moves Ahead; No Census on DC Metro Tax

October 12, 2016

Today is October 12, the date in 1492 when Christopher Columbus landed in the Bahamas, the first lasting European contact with the Americas and initiating the colonization of the New World. The Italian explorer had been promised, by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, 10 percent of all revenues from any lands discovered, in perpetuity. His heirs later sued for this and settled for much less in 1536.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

Cell Phone Taxes State-by-State: Our new study released yesterday finds that wireless consumers pay an average 18 percent in taxes and fees on their cell phone bill. That’s up 4.5 percentage points from what they were a decade ago. Consumers in Nebraska, New York, and Illinois pay the most; consumers in Oregon, Nevada, and Idaho pay the least. (Tax Foundation)

Details of Hillary Clinton’s Tax Plan (Updated): Our federal team updated their analysis of Clinton’s tax plan to incorporate the child tax credit expansion announced yesterday. It would increase revenue by $1.4 trillion over ten years, although economic effects (reducing GDP by about 0.25 percent per year) reduce the total increase to $663 billion. (Tax Foundation)

Nevada Stadium Tax Moves Ahead: The Nevada Senate approved raising Las Vegas hotel taxes by $750 million to fund an NFL-ready football stadium, and $420 million to expand the city’s convention center. The tax rate would go from 12 percent to 13.4 percent. 9 Republicans and 7 Democrats voted yes; 2 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted no (a total of 14 yes votes, two-thirds, was needed). The bill now goes to the Assembly on Thursday. (Las Vegas Sun)

Kansas Revenue Say Pass-Through Exclusion Not to Blame, Unconvincingly: A group appointed by Governor Brownback cleared the Governor’s pass-through exclusion for causing the state’s revenue projection instability, citing instead the need for better prediction tools (which doesn’t explain why Kansas alone is facing these issues). But the group’s key piece of evidence was lack of proof that C-corporations were converting to pass-throughs or that people were converting all their wage income to pass-throughs. These are strawmen; the real question is how much previously reported wage income is now being reported as pass-through income, which anecdotal evidence suggests is booming. (State of Kansas)

WHO Calls for Sugary Drink Taxes: The World Health Organization says a tax of around 20 percent will reduce obesity. (New York Times)

No Consensus on DC Metro Tax: The operator of area buses and trains, WMATA, has an enormous long-term operating deficit. At a regional forum this morning, the Mayor of DC wants a new tax to support it but the Governors of Maryland and Virginia say no more money until safety and reliability improve. (WMATA / Associated Press)

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