A gap between Trump’s populist rhetoric and his tax plan, and surprising state and local tax decisions
Donald Trump talked like a populist, but his tax plan…not so much. While on the stump, Trump trashed financial elites and multinational corporations. But TPC’s Howard Gleckman notes that, in contrast to Trump’s campaign rhetoric, those same corporations and high-income individuals would be big winners under his tax plan.
In Los Angeles, California: Voters are willing to pay. Voters said yes to all four tax measures on the local ballot. A county tax on improved property will generate $94 million per year for parks. A .01 percent property tax increase will raise $1.2 billion to house the city’s homeless. A bond initiative will raise $3.3 billion for community college facilities. A half-cent sales tax will generate $120 billion to pay for subways, light rail lines and other transit projects over 40 years.
In Southeastern Michigan, they’re not. Voters rejected a $4.6 billion regional transit plan. The spending would have required a property tax hike of $1.20 for every $1,000 in assessed value.
And in Florida, voters were immune to a big advocacy campaign. They rejected Amendment 1, a measure that seemed designed to expand the use of solar power but instead levied a tax on solar power users, irrespective of their use of power utility grids. Local power utilities spent $21 million to advocate for the measure—the most expensive campaign for a ballot initiative in Florida history.
About that audit of now-President-Elect Trump’s tax returns… As president, he’d be under annual audit, as have all US presidents since Richard Nixon. Whether to make his returns public would still be up to Trump, but his “I’m under audit” explanation for not doing so would be a lot weaker. "That's where Trump will have some explaining to do,” notes TPC’s Howard Gleckman. “He won't be able to use the audit excuse in the same way he has been using it."
Congress is still in recess, but the Daily Deduction resumes it regular schedule this week to report on national, state and local elections.
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