Coming: Steven Mnuchin. Multiple published reports say that president-elect Donald Trump has picked Wall Street banker Steven Mnuchin to be Treasury Secretary. Mnuchin, who served as Trump's campaign finance chairman, spent much of his career as a top executive at Goldman Sachs. Later, he ran his own private equity firm, Dune Capital Management.
Going: Sandy Levin. The 85-year old Michigan congressman announced he is stepping down as the top Democrat on the House Ways & Means Committee. He said he wants to open up opportunities for younger members of the committee. Levin will remain on the panel, where he said he'd focus on tax, trade, and health care issues.
Carrier says it’ll keep close to 1,000 jobs in Indiana. President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence plan to announce tomorrow a deal that will give Carrier a reason to keep some jobs in its Indiana plant. The agreement includes friendlier business regulations and an overhaul of the corporate tax structure. Trump may also tone down his rhetoric when it comes to tariffs on products made by companies that shift their production overseas.
The Moby Dick tax cut. In an interview with his local Janesville, WI, radio station, House speaker Paul Ryan seemed to go all Captain Ahab on a big tax bill. Politico reports that Ryan predicted lobbyists would put up a “whale of a fight” to preserve tax breaks, but lawmakers would pass a bill or “we’re going to die trying.” He added that Congress would move to eliminate regulations and repeal the Affordable Care Act before setting after the tax cut leviathan. Call me…Paul?
In Colorado, universal health care wasn’t worth the financial price. TPC’s Kim Rueben considers the failure of Colorado’s Amendment 69. Had the state’s voters passed it, the ballot initiative would have created the nation’s first universal healthcare system. But, residents would have had to pay for it with a new 10 percent income tax and nearly 8 in 10 voters said “no.” Rueben finds that especially interesting, given likely changes to the federal-state relationship in healthcare funding. “Those changes will give states new flexibility, but the price may be more responsibility as federal funding lags rising costs.”
In Montana, perhaps a tax or two on medical marijuana. Governor Steve Bullock (D) has proposed a 6 percent tax on medical marijuana—which has been legal in the state for 12 years. The administration estimates it would raise $2.6 million in tax revenue over two years. But a Democratic House member would add additional taxes to fund programs for low-income patients and drug rehabilitation. That would raise the total medical marijuana tax rate to 30 percent. That may be at least one toke over the line.
Should a suburban employer withhold city income tax from an employee’s paycheck? In Michigan, some lawmakers think so. A bill to require employers to withhold workers’ city income taxes has cleared a key Senate committee. Employer groups say it would create an “administrative nightmare” for suburban employers, while Detroit’s chief financial officer says “the state and federal government both [use] withholding because it's the most efficient way to collect income taxes.”
Chicago will extend its deadline to sign up for a property tax rebate. Too few Chicago homeowners have applied for tax relief after major property tax hikes. Low-income households now have until December 30 to apply for up to $200 back on their property tax bill. Only 11,000 out of 155,000 qualifying households signed up prior to today’s original deadline.
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