Democrats Take the House. It wasn’t the tsunami Democrats were hoping for, but they appear to have flipped at least 29 GOP seats and lost only a handful, gaining a total of roughly 26 seats. A few remain up for grabs. That means Democrats will control the committees and the House legislative agenda, even with a relatively small margin. It also means major investigations and policy initiatives on health care and immigration. Richard Neal of Massachusetts is in line to become the new chair of the Ways & Means Committee.
Republicans maintain control of the Senate. The GOP added to its Senate majority, with at least four races still undecided this morning. But they remain far short of the 60 votes needed for a filibuster-proof majority. Their edge is, however, more than enough to back President Trump’s policy agenda in the upper chamber for the next two years.
Democrats pick up some key governorships. Democrats took the state houses in at least seven states formerly headed by Republican governors, including Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Republicans retained open seats in Ohio and Florida. Georgia remains too close to call and could be headed for a run-off. Democrats also flipped control of about a half-dozen state legislatures.
As for tax-related ballot initiatives? The state of Washington rejected Initiative 1631, which would have levied a carbon tax, while the state awaits a final judgment on Initiative 1634, which would ban new taxes on sugary drinks and groceries. Michigan voters legalized recreational medical marijuana, giving the state a new source of tax revenue once it’s actually for sale in … 2020.
Are President Trump’s tax returns soon to be shared:? President Trump on House Dems ultimately seeking his tax returns: “They can do whatever they want.” He doesn’t seem too concerned about Democrats taking over the House majority, even if it means they demand to see his tax returns. “I don’t care… they can do whatever they want, and I can do whatever I want,” he insists. That is not exactly how it works.
Will new IRS rules curb donations to private schools? Proposed IRS rules would prevent blue states from circumventing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s cap on state and local deductions by turning non-deductible taxes into deductible charitable gifts. But the prohibition also could limit deductions for donations to organizations that provide scholarships to students attending private school. Private school advocates are opposing the proposed regs. Public school supporters say the IRS shouldn’t make special accommodations for such donations.
Hundreds of vacant homes in Providence, Rhode Island could soon be taxed. City officials are working out the guidelines for a new “non-utilization” tax on empty properties. Mayor Jorge Elorza signed a new law to tax owners of vacant residential properties $100 per $1,000 of assessed value on top of the existing property tax. The measure would increase taxes on a vacant property assessed at $100,000 from $3,191 to $13,191.
Maybe there won’t be an EU digital tax after all. The European Union’s executive commission had proposed a 3 percent tax on digital revenues of large firms. But several EU members have balked at the proposal. Spain and the United Kingdom have suggested levying their own taxes. In an attempt to save the plan, France and Germany now say they’d be willing to delay the levy until 2020.
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