Will Congress multi-task on tax reform, infrastructure, and health care? The White House would like to move an infrastructure spending bill and tax reform through Congress at the same time. Axios reports that the Trump Administration wants a “win” after failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But there is a problem: House Speaker Paul Ryan wants to give health care another go.
Is our sense of tax fairness connected to our tax knowledge? TPC’s Vanessa Williamson wanted to know whether focusing on certain aspects of the tax code changes our opinion about our own taxes. So she and Vox teamed up to give Vox readers a series of quizzes that first queried them about different aspects of the tax code, then asked whether they thought their own taxes were fair. To learn what she found, click here.
How about a fairer way to tax small businesses? Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Bill Nelson of Florida have introduced the Main Street Fairness Act. Their bipartisan effort would ensure that the tax rate for pass-through businesses (in which profits are reported on the owner’s individual income tax returns) is never higher than the rate set for large corporations.
House won't require Treasury to release Trump's tax returns. To the surprise of no one, the House Ways & Means Committee blocked Democratic efforts to force Treasury to make the president's tax returns public. The vote was straight party line.
Could a territorial tax system work in the United States? TPC’s Eric Toder argues that the territorial approach to taxation—which requires clear rules to distinguish between “taxable domestic” and “exempt foreign-source” income—is largely breaking down. One reason is that companies can still shift reported profits to low-tax countries with little economic activity.
Alabama may tax streaming services. The state’s revenue department is considering a four percent tax on online content streaming services like Netflix, cable television’s digital video recording services, and other mobile applications. There’ll be a hearing on April 11 in Montgomery.
Gas and sales tax bills move ahead in West Virginia. The state’s Senate voted to raise the 20.5-cent-per-gallon gas tax by 4.5 cents, while the House passed a 1 percent cut to the 6 percent sales tax. The House also approved a measure to eliminate the current exemption for gym memberships and food and set the tax on groceries at 3 percent. The moves are part of a broader attempt to close the state’s budget deficit next year.
Mississippi: No budget yet. The state’s House and Senate are at an impasse over road and bridge funding and an internet sales tax, effectively killing the budget for the state’s transportation department. Governor Bryant may have to call the legislature into a special session before July 1 to finish its work.
Las Vegas gained the Raiders, and Oakland retains a debt. The NFL football team will get $750 million in Las Vegas hotel tax revenue to fund a new $2 billion stadium. Meanwhile, taxpayers in Oakland, California, will continue to pay off an $83 million debt from the renovation of the now-abandoned Coliseum. They’ve been paying off the bonds since a renovation lured the Raiders back from Los Angeles in the mid-1990s.
Interested in subscribing to the Daily Deduction, the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center summary of the day’s tax news? Sign-up here to get the Daily Deduction delivered to your inbox every morning. If you’d like to tell us about a new research paper or have any comments about our feature, email us.
Posts and comments are solely the opinion of the author and not that of the Tax Policy Center, Urban Institute, or Brookings Institution.
- © Urban Institute, Brookings Institution, and individual authors, 2016.