Talks begin on President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure bill. President Biden met with lawmakers including Senate Commerce Committee chair Maria Cantwell, top committee Republican Roger Wicker, and two strong House supporters of infrastructure, Republican Garret Graves and Democrat Donald Payne, Jr. Republicans are skeptical that Biden is serious about a bipartisan bill. Democrats doubt Senate Republicans would support any Biden infrastructure plan. And there is the matter of the payfors, including Biden’s proposed corporate tax increase to 28 percent.
Fed Chair Powell: COVID-19 bills were “heroic” for the nation’s economy. In a 60 Minutes interview, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said, “Congress, in effect, replaced people’s incomes, kept them solvent, kept their lives together…” He also expects that growth in the second half of the year will be “very strong.” The principal risk to the economy is continued spread of the coronavirus, he aded.
GOP Ways & Means members are worried about the expanded CTC. Top Republicans on the House panel, Kevin Brady and Mike Kelly, have asked for written certification that there will be safeguards in place to prevent improper Child Tax Credit payments. They also want to know how the advance CTC payments will be made "without costly IRS burdens or intrusions into taxpayer privacy, such as constant monitoring of changing family status."
Some states’ residents must file amended returns to get unemployment-related tax refunds. The IRS is issuing refunds automatically to taxpayers who filed a return before the American Rescue Plan excluded some unemployment benefits from federal income tax. But some states are not automatically providing refunds and their residents will have to file amended state returns. And twelve states are not exempting jobless benefits from their income tax at all, so workers there may owe state income taxes on their full unemployment compensation.
Alabama lawmakers propose a revenue stream for Black history. Alabama still collects a statewide property tax that once funded pensions for Confederate soldiers and their widows. One percent now goes to preserve and operate the state’s Confederate Memorial Park. Two state senators want to divert another 1 percent, or $500,000 a year, to preserve and promote Alabama’s Black history sites.
In Washington State: A long tax menu for Forward Washington. State lawmakers have assembled a list of 33 tax and fee increases to finance a proposed 16-year plan to expand, replace, and preserve transportation routes throughout the state. The idea: No single tax or fee would be large enough to scuttle the plan. The list includes gas tax increases and food delivery fees. The state could raise $15.3 billion. State Republicans call the plan “Taxapalooza.”
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