Greece: "Ne" to new sales taxes and (maybe) tax reform. The beleaguered Greek government has offered a new reform plan in return for $55 billion in European Union bailout money—and it reportedly includes new sales taxes, new levies on cafes and restaurants (read: tourists) and possible tax reform, along with more spending and pension cuts. But will the Germans buy it?
On the Hill: A (futile) proposal for a gas tax hike… GOP Congressman Tom Rice of South Carolina wants a 10 cent per gallon gasoline tax increase, reports The Hill. Rice says it would be offset by an income tax credit for revenue neutrality. Trouble is, GOP leaders have already said “oxi” to a gas tax increase for highways.
…And highway funding talks continue. Democrats have said their own “no” to a temporary Highway Trust Fund patch, but Bloomberg reports that Senator Chuck Schumer is now open to short-term highway funding. House Ways & Means Chair Paul Ryan says taxing offshore profits is his “Plan A” for funding the road bill but Senate Finance chair Orrin Hatch would only tax old profits as part of a broader international tax package. Both parties say they want these short-term efforts to be contingent on international tax reform but it’s hard to see how they can pass such complex legislation in just a few months. The White House has indicated a “strong preference” for a long-term solution. Twenty-one days ‘til funding authority runs out.
In Seattle, a proposed tax on gun sales. City Council President Tim Burgess wants to raise $300,000 to $500,000 a year with a new tax on sales of guns and ammunition. Gun sellers would be required to pay $25 for each firearm and five cents on each round of ammunition. One hitch: Washington State prohibits municipalities from regulating firearms and only allows municipal gun laws and ordinances that it authorizes. Burgess says the city’s lawyers vetted his proposal, and is confident that the state’s pre-emption statute does not cover taxes.
Latest FATCA news: A new agreement with India. The US signed a pact with the South Asian nation in the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act’s effort to combat offshore tax evasion. Mutual funds, insurance companies, pension managers, and stock-brokers will have to report their American client details to the Indian tax department. They’ll provide that data to the US, which, in turn, will share information with India about its nationals working in the US who may have cash stashed in other tax havens.
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