The House approves two pieces of Tax Reform 2.0. The House passed two elements of its three-piece effort to cut more taxes. The Family Savings Act would create universal savings accounts and repeal the maximum age for IRA contributions. The American Innovation Act would boost tax-subsidies for start-up businesses. Today the House plans to vote on the third tranche—a measure to make permanent the individual income tax provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
But does anybody care? TPC’s Vanessa Williamson and her Brookings Institution colleague Jackson Goode note that voters are just not that interested in tax cuts as a campaign issue. Indeed, data from the Brookings Primaries Project show the share of GOP candidates discussing federal tax policy has declined in 2018 compared to the two prior election cycles. By contrast, Democrats are talking about federal tax policy more than usual. It’s not the data you would expect, if Republicans were confident in the appeal of their party’s signature legislative achievement.
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin thinks the GOP has only just begun. While Republican candidates act like they are getting no bump from the TCJA or from efforts to extend it, Mnuchin insists that he doesn’t “think we’ve lost the message war at all… We’re just beginning to see the beginning impact, and I think over the next few years we’ll see that continue on,” reports The Hill.
New Jersey has a plan to reduce use of plastic bags. Democratic Governor Phil Murphy had vetoed a 5-cent shopping bag tax because the measure didn’t do enough to eliminate plastic waste. Now, lawmakers have introduced a bill to ban plastic shopping bags and double the tax on paper bags. The bill would also ban plastic straws and polystyrene food containers.
San Francisco’s controller says a tax to combat homelessness could result in some job losses. Voters will decide in November whether to approve a tax on companies with gross receipts over $50 million. Companies in the information and financial services industries would pay nearly half of the expected $300 million in additional tax. As a result, the city controller says large employers could move out of the city. “To the extent that this relocation occurs, economic impacts could be more negative than we project.” The number of job losses could be small, but could impede growth. And increase homelessness.
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- © Urban Institute, Brookings Institution, and individual authors, 2016.