House conservatives really, really don’t like the IRS Commissioner. They remain committed to impeaching IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. Politico reports that Freedom Caucus member John Fleming (R-LA) has moved to force an impeachment vote after Speaker Paul Ryan refused to OK the move. Another divisive intra-party fight, this time on the eve of the GOP national convention. Just what Republicans need.
And big banks don’t like Treasury’s debt rules. The Wall Street Journal reports (paywall) that Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, and Bank of America have jointly urged Treasury to water down proposed rules to prevent earnings stripping, at least for financial institutions. The big banks insist the rules would end up “creating risk to the financial stability of the United States.” They claim the regs would force a “choice between… staggering administrative complexities and a tax burden disproportionate to its true economic profit, and… the imposition of crippling constraints on ordinary business activities.” The IRS holds a public hearing on the rules today.
One firm is gearing up for lots of DC tax work. PricewaterhouseCoopers continues to beef up its tax policy practice. Todd Metcalf, chief tax counsel for Senate Committee Democrats, is the firm’s latest recruit. He’ll join former House Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp; Rohit Kumar, formerly a top tax aide for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; and Janice Mays, who has been a top aide to Ways & Means Democrats.
A bipartisan Social Security fix. A group of House Democrats and Republicans, led by Rep. Reid Ribble, (R-WI), has proposed a Social Security reform that would asure the program’s solvency for 75 years. It would raise the payroll tax cap, boost the retirement age, and restructure the benefit formula. It would also create a new minimum benefit for very low-income workers and an extra benefit for very old retirees.
Alaska Governor says “yes” to tax increases. Governor Bill Walker proposed a new 3 percent sales tax. It could generate $500 million to help close the state’s $3.2 billion deficit. Walker offered the tax as an alternative to reinstating a state income tax, an idea that would have raised $200 million but died in the state legislature earlier this year. Both the sales and income tax measures are now up for debate in Alaska’s second special session of the year.
Hawaii Governor says “no” to taxing Airbnb, but not for the reason you think. Governor David Ige vetoed legislation that would have given online lodging services like Airbnb the power to collect taxes. Airbnb estimated that it could collect $15 million in tax revenue every year. But the measure collapsed when lawmakers failed to include a provision that would have required Airbnb and similar online sites to verify the legality of their listings when collecting taxes. Governor Ige did not want a tax-collecting third party to shield illegally listed properties.
Last chance to tune in live… TPC, the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation, and the Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance at the University of California, Berkeley host a discussion on corporate tax reform, starting this morning at 9am. The event runs till 2:45 pm, and streams live here.
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