CBO: Spending, and deficits, rising. From the report released yesterday: The federal budget deficit was $317 billion for the first quarter of this fiscal year, $92 billion more than the same period last year. Revenues were about the same, but outlays were $93 billion (9 percent) higher.
Misleading tax talk, already? TPC’s Howard Gleckman reviews the hopes, dreams, claims, and warnings about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ proposed 70 percent marginal tax rate on income over $10 million. Raising the top tax rate may not be the most effective way to make rich people pay more taxes.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert wants to change the state’s sales tax. He wants to add new sales taxes on services such as limousine rentals, haircuts, pest control, and plastic surgery, but cut the overall rate from 4.85 percent to less than 4 percent. The Utah legislature may not be enthusiastic but the Utah Taxpayers Association supports much of his proposal.
Iowa lawmakers want to cut taxes further. The state’s GOP-led legislature passed the largest income tax cut in state history last year, costing $2.86 billion over six years. The next legislative session starts on January 14 and property tax relief may top the agenda. One lawmaker also calls for more “truth-in-taxation, some transparency in the process” so homeowners better understand how their property tax dollars are spent.
Italy has a new digital tax. The nation’s lawmakers approved a 2019 budget that includes a 3 percent tax on online advertising, online sales, and data processing. It would be paid by companies with global annual revenue of at least 750 million euros and at least 5.5 million euros from digital services sold in Italy. The law’s wording mimics the stalled proposal presented by the European Commission last year. France and Austria are moving ahead on similar taxes as well.
Americans for Carbon Dividends has a new managing director. His name is Ryan Costello, a former Republican congressman from Pennsylvania. The organization is the advocacy affiliate of the Climate Leadership Council that is promoting a plan to tax carbon dioxide emissions and rebate the revenue in the form of quarterly dividends. US carbon dioxide emissions increased by 3.4 percent in 2018, the biggest rise in eight years.
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