Hill moving to suspend trade relations with Russia and Belarus. The bipartisan leaders of the House Ways & Means and Senate Finance committees unveiled legislation to limit US imports of Russian energy, suspend normal trade relations between the US and the two countries, and urge the Biden Administration to move to suspend Russia from the World Trade Organization.
Hill leaders say they are getting close to a budget deal. Senate leaders of both parties say they are closing in on an agreement to keep the government funded through the remainder of the fiscal year. The issue is whether they will have time to nail down all the details before the current temporary spending bill expires at the end of the week. If they can’t, it will mean yet another continuing resolution.
Will the spending bill restore the employee retention tax credit? There’s bipartisan support to restore the measure that Congress repealed last fall to help pay for the bipartisan infrastructure bill. The credit had been worth up to $28,000 per retained employee; businesses with up to 500 employees could access it whether or not they’d laid off or furloughed workers. Given the short timeline for the spending bill it’s not clear that the credit will make it in the final measure.
Idaho lawmaker proposes a sales tax increase to offset property tax cuts. The yet-to-be-filed bill would remove all property tax paid for a homeowner’s primary residence except for those used for bonds and schools. Local taxing districts would no longer receive revenue from the levy. The bill would raise the sales tax rate from 6 percent to 7.85 percent but increase the tax credit for groceries from $100 to $175 a person.
As for Missouri’s sales tax exemption for food purchases… The House Ways & Means Committee will reconsider a bill to expand the exemption. An amendment limited the exemption to foods eligible for purchase under the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. That would turn a $144 million tax cut into a $416 million tax increase because because products that are not WIC-eligible would be taxed at 3 percent instead of being exempt. The bill’s sponsor was not pleased.
Will Virginia’s proposed repeal of grocery sales taxes be offset? Advocates and local officials in Northern Virginia warn that lawmakers need to replace revenue losses from repeal of the 1.5 percent state tax and 1 percent local tax on food and hygiene products. The Department of Taxation estimates the repeal would reduce state and local revenues by $700 million annually.
What’s next for cash-based social policies? Lessons from the expanded Child Tax Credit. On Monday, March 14 at 3:00 pm join the Urban Institute and the Jain Family Institute for an online event on expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) outreach campaign in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The discussion will begin with perspectives of beneficiaries, followed by a conversation about the campaign’s strengths and challenges. A panel of experts will discuss takeaways from the outreach program as well as other ways to get more cash to low-income American families. Register here.
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