Tag Archives: taxation

Now it's time for tax cuts — and Republicans are more divided than ever

Source: The Intercept
by David Dayen

"When presidents fail, it creates a snowball effect. George W. Bush couldn’t privatize Social Security and his legislative agenda never recovered. Bill Clinton’s abandonment of health care reform led it to tackle small-ball measures. Both were punished by voters for their failures in the next midterm, losing control of Congress and the ability to get anything else done. Voters don’t like losers. That’s bad news for House Republicans. Fresh off the (probable) failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they are pivoting to tax cuts. But along the way, for procedural reasons, they need to pass a budget." (07/21/17)


Why are Republicans pushing for a new tax on advertising?

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Terry Schilling

"Let’s not forget that the American Revolution was fought in large part over the Stamp Act, an advertising tax that imposed a fee of two shillings for every ad. The tax was hated to such a high degree that the then-British colonists coalesced together to intimidate stamp collectors into resigning. For that reason, the tax only managed to last for about a year. When the colonists finally had the chance to form their own country, they ensured that the Constitution, through the First Amendment, prohibited the government from regulating the freedom of speech and the press. To this day, taxing or regulating advertising remains unconstitutional. That’s why in Thomas v. Collins (1945), the Supreme Court made clear that free speech includes goods like advertisements, saying: 'The idea is not sound … that the First Amendment’s safeguards are wholly inapplicable to business or economic activity.'" (07/12/17)


IL: Judge halts soda tax

Source: US News & World Report

"An Illinois judge on Friday halted implementation of a measure that would have made Chicago the latest U.S. city to tax sweetened drinks, saying a lawsuit filed by retailers to block it must run its course. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Kubasiak granted the group of retailers a temporary restraining order on the penny-per-ounce county tax, which was to take effect on Saturday. The county gave notice it would appeal the judge's order and 'aggressively defend' the tax, according to a statement from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. The grocers filed the lawsuit on Tuesday, arguing the ordinance is 'unconstitutionally vague,' difficult to implement and unlawful because it would tax similar beverages differently." (06/30/17)


Are the ObamaCare repeal tax cuts just giveaways to the rich?

Source: Cato Institute
by Jeffrey Miron

"In the debate over the repeal of Obamacare, much opposition has focused on the suggestion that the Republicans’ proposed cuts in subsidies and coverage aim to fund big tax cuts for high-income taxpayers. The House and Senate health care bills adjust or repeal many Obamacare taxes, but the main ones being castigated as 'handouts to the rich' are the elimination of the 3.8% Affordable Care Act (ACA) hike in the tax rate on investment income and the 0.9% increase in the Medicare tax on wage and salary income for high-income earners (over $200,000 for an individual or $250,000 for a family). The Tax Policy Center has estimated that, by 2026, people who earn $5 million or more would, on average, see their taxes cut by almost $250,000. This criticism of the Republican bills is understandable but wrongheaded." (06/28/17)


The SALT deduction

Source: LewRockwell.com
by Laurence M Vance

"About one-third of tax filers opt to itemize deductions on their federal income tax returns, and almost all who do so claim a deduction for state and local taxes paid. Although taxpayers in every state claim the SALT deduction, those in states with a disproportional share of high-income taxpayers and relatively high state and local taxes (like Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey) are more likely to claim the deduction. The SALT deduction keeps almost $100 billion a year out of the hands of Uncle Sam. This is why the SALT deduction — and the deductions for educator expenses, business expenses of performing artists, health savings accounts, moving expenses, self-employment tax paid, alimony paid, student loan interest, tuition and fees, domestic production activities, and (if you itemize deductions) medical and dental expenses, real estate taxes, personal property taxes, home mortgage interest, gifts to charity, mortgage insurance premiums, casualty or theft losses, unreimbursed employee expenses, union dues, and tax preparation fees — are so important. They all lower taxable income, which lowers the amount of taxes due no matter which tax bracket one is in." (06/27/17)


PA: Court upholds Philadelphia's idiotic beverage tax

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

"A panel of judges has upheld Philadelphia’s beverage tax, dismissing complaints from the American Beverage Association and local retailers who argued that the levy is unlawful. The legal victory is the second for the city, which fended off a challenge in December. … In April, seven justices of Commonwealth Court in Pittsburgh heard arguments on whether the city’s 1.5-per-ounce tax duplicates the state sales tax, rendering it illegal. Wednesday the panel published a 5-2 decision affirming the lower court’s ruling. Arguments centered on whether the levy amounted to a double tax. State law prohibits Philadelphia from enacting taxes on items or transactions the commonwealth already taxes." (06/14/17)


The carbon tax rebate scam

Source: Heartland Institute
by H Sterling Burnett

"A group of old-guard, 'swamp' Republicans calling themselves the Climate Leadership Council (CLC) has joined climate alarmists, including failed Democratic Party presidential candidate Al Gore, in calling for a tax on carbon-dioxide emissions. The group claims increasing CO2 emissions pose a threat for Earth’s people, animals, and plants. Economic analyses of various carbon-tax proposals consistently show they would harm all Americans and would be detrimental for the U.S. economy. A carbon tax would burden businesses with unnecessary costs, making them less competitive in the global marketplace. All this, and much more, is why Congress passed a resolution in 2016 rejecting carbon taxes." (06/08/17)


Trump files for extension on 2016 tax returns

Source: New York Post

"Even the IRS will have to wait to see President Trump’s tax returns. Trump has requested an extension for filing his 2016 tax returns, a White House official told CNN. The official did not say when the request was filed or what reason Trump may have given. This year’s deadline was April 17. Trump’s taxes have been an issue since he announced his candidacy." (06/04/17)


Why everybody is wrong about the Land Value Tax (except me)

Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Sam Bowman

"The main difference between a Land Value Tax and the current council tax and business rates tax system we have right now is that the current system is appraised on the value of the entire property, instead of just the land it sits on. That makes existing property taxes a partial tax on productive investment, which gets us less investment in buildings and improvements than we’d get without that tax. If you invest in the quality of your property by building an extra floor or by renovating the retail space, your tax bill will be higher. To really appreciate how bad this is, consider the fact that heavy machinery is included in business property valuations, so you will be taxed heavily for setting up a new electric car factory on a previously derelict bit of brownfield." (06/01/17)


Effects of a Border-adjusted Corporate Tax

Source: National Center for Policy Analysis
by Richard B McKenzie

"U.S. firms pay the world's highest corporate tax rate — a federal tax of 39.1 percent combined with an average 4.1 percent state tax on profits from domestic sales, or foreign sales (when and if the profits are repatriated). In contrast, the lower tax rate embedded in the prices of those goods produced in other countries and shipped to the United States often gives them a competitive advantage, whether due to other countries' lower value added taxes (VAT) or much lower corporate tax rates. House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republican House members have proposed a lower corporate tax rate of 20 percent with a border adjustment. A border-adjusted tax (BAT) would apply to profits on domestic sales and on imports, but would not apply to profits from U.S. exports to other countries." [summary — full paper available as PDF download] (05/17)