As the U.S. grapples with rising price inflation, a large and growing national debt, as well as a possible economic slowdown due to Omicron, the decision to provide additional fiscal support will prove to be a difficult one. Policymakers can debate how much stimulus is appropriate, but what is clear is that the U.S. fiscal support so far during the pandemic outranks nearly every industrialized country.
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During the pandemic, economic relief administered through the tax code exploded as Congress passed nearly $6 trillion of legislation into law. That left the 2021 tax filing season, which ended May 17, with complications that still linger.
Unless the legislature acts, businesses that have received PPP loans and related federal assistance will face $457 million in state taxes through 2024—with more than half of those taxes coming due this spring—despite Wisconsin being on track to see continued general fund revenue growth even amid the pandemic.
President Biden’s plan builds on previous relief packages and would include larger payments to individuals, expanded relief for households and small businesses, funding for vaccine distribution, and aid to state and local governments.
The latest $900 billion coronavirus relief bill extends and modifies several provisions first enacted in the CARES Act, Congress’s $2.2 trillion pandemic relief law that was passed in March. With this package, lawmakers will have responded to the coronavirus and related economic hardship with a record-setting $3 trillion of fiscal support.
The coronavirus relief package represents the second-largest recovery legislation, behind only the CARES Act, for a combined total of more than $3 trillion in support.
As Congress works to provide another round of emergency economic relief, it is a good time to step back and consider how tax policy affects entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Combined state and local tax collections were down only $7.6 billion across the period, representing a total state and local tax revenue decline of 0.7 percent compared to the first nine months of 2019.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers released two compromise relief bills to address the COVID-19 pandemic, totaling about $908 billion: The Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act and the Bipartisan State and Local Support and Small Business Protection Act.
Policymakers should consider finding ways to simplify the administration of relief during future crises. This will help ensure the relief is timely and targeted, key components of any successful relief package for this crisis or crises in the future.