Tax reform talk gets a little louder. House Ways & Means Chair Kevin Brady wants his panel to meet Monday to discuss international tax reform to leverage Speaker Paul Ryan’s and Senator Charles Schumer’s desire for an election-year deal. Meanwhile, Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch may want to try ending the double taxation of corporate income this year. But reform has got a long climb ahead, a bit like the stock market.
Also on the Hill next week. The Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing on increasing access, participation, and coverage in retirement savings plans. The House Ways & Means Committee holds its first hearing of the year on pro-growth policies.
Fly the transparent skies! Boeing and other aerospace firms have to disclose their savings from Washington State tax breaks, according to a recent decision from the state’s revenue department. As Tax Analysts’ David Brunori explains, it’s an important development: “Giving tax breaks to a Fortune 500 company is no different than writing a check. The public should be aware of how much is being doled out.” In Boeing’s case, the subsidy totals over $8 billion.
California or bust? The National Football League’s Rams are moving from St. Louis back to Los Angeles. TPC’s Kim Rueben and Richard Auxier suggest that St. Louis should probably consider itself lucky that it didn’t invest public dollars in a new football stadium: It’s always a bad economic bet. As for Los Angeles—will it see a pigskin-based economic boom? Rueben and Auxier say that “as with all sports-inspired activity, football would shift rather than create new economic activity. And that’s only if fans pick the NFL over other entertainment options.” Worth remembering: Fan indifference helped drive the Rams out of LA in 1995.
Will Louisiana swallow a bitter sales tax pill? Governor John Bel Edwards says he’s reluctantly proposing a penny hike to the 9.1 percent state sales tax effective April 1. With low oil prices and the big revenue losses from Bobby Jindal-era tax cuts, Louisiana has to fill a budget gap of $700 million-$750 million by June 30. The sales tax increase could bring in $216 million over three months. If approved, Louisiana would have the highest combined state and local sales tax in the country.
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