House Democrats want another stop-gap funding bill. This one would run through March 11 as talks continue on a measure to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year on September 30. Without another temporary extension, much of the federal government would shut down in less than two weeks.
IRS: No facial recognition for online tax accounts, after all. The agency planned to require online account users to verify their identities through a private company’s use of facial recognition software. Privacy advocates and some members of Congress objected. The IRS announced yesterday it would “transition away” from the vendor, a company called ID.me, and instead develop its own authentication process that does not involve facial recognition.
Senate Dems: Bring back the employee retention tax credit. Senate Small Business Committee Chair Ben Cardin says the measure is back on the table, though it’s not clear whether Republicans are on board. Designed to help small businesses during the height of the pandemic, the credit expired at the end of September 2021. The omicron surge prompted small businesses and nonprofits to call for its return.
West Virginia lawmakers again try to cut the state’s income tax rates. The House Finance Committee chairman sponsored a bill to cut rates by 10 percent across the board and establish a fund for future cuts. Gov. Jim Justice last year proposed completely eliminating personal income taxes funded with increases in other taxes including the sales tax. But lawmakers never did agree on a bill.
A sales tax for some Oregon shoppers? A House bill would impose a three percent sales tax on luxury items including snowmobiles, designer clothes, handbags, and firearms. Revenue would support more than 2,000 people who have aged out of Oregon’s foster youth program. The controversial sales tax would be a first for the state.
After a big tax cut in Idaho, an income tax credit for groceries? Gov. Brad Little signed into law a $600 million tax cut late last week. Yesterday, the House Revenue and Taxation Committee approved a bill that increases the grocery sales tax credit from $100 to $120 for taxpayers under 65 and from $120 to $140 for those aged 65 and older. The measure would reduce revenues by $32 million, much less than repealing the grocery tax. The reason: Many tourists pay the grocery tax but do not file Idaho income tax returns.
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