TPC analyzes Biden’s tax plan. TPC estimates Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden would raises taxes by about $4 trillion over the next decade, with nearly all the revenue coming from corporations and the highest-income 1 percent of taxpayers. TPC’s Howard Gleckman summarizes the analysis here. The full report is here.
The Senate approves an $8.3 billion coronavirus bill. The Senate approved and sent to President Trump a major funding bill to fight the growing outbreak of Covid-19. The measure includes no budget offsets.
House Democrats get another week to argue the Trump tax return case. A federal district judge gave Democrats another week to make their case that the courts should require President Trump to turn over his tax returns. An appeals Court decision rejecting a congressional subpoena for White House general counsel Don McGahn’s testimony is widely seen as a blow to the tax return case. Democrats have asked the full DC Court of Appeals to revisit the McGahn decision.
Michigan’s GOP-led House offers a road plan by shuffling tax revenues. Republican lawmakers want to replace the state’s 6 percent sales tax on fuel with an equivalent per-gallon gasoline tax increase over three years. Today, much of motor fuel sales tax revenue goes to school aid. The plan would make up for the lost revenue by shifting income tax revenue from the state’s general fund to the schools. The $800 million from the new gasoline tax would pay for local road improvements. Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer has in the past expressed concerns about such a diversion of funds.
Tax collections are up 5.2 percent in Massachusetts in the current fiscal year. Higher estate tax payments are largely responsible for higher-than-expected state tax collections. Massachusetts collected $1.5 billion in tax revenue in February, which is $115 million or 8.1 percent more than in February 2019. Massachusetts has collected $18.4 billion since the fiscal year began on July 1. Acting Revenue Commissioner Kevin Brown said “We continue to see overall steady, moderate growth above both prior year and benchmark on a fiscal year-to-date basis.”
Maryland lawmakers reject a proposed sales tax expansion. A Maryland House subcommittee late Wednesday killed an effort to expand the state sales tax to professional services. The bill died in the Democratic House days after small-business owners argued the plan would hurt them and their customers. “Given tremendous concern from the public and from small business owners, the Revenues Subcommittee voted unanimously to kill HB 1628,” tweeted House Majority Leader Eric Luedtke, the bill’s sponsor.
Has an economic downturn already hit some US cities? The Wall Street Journal analyzed data from 478 US municipalities collected by the National League of Cities. It reports (paywall) that 27 percent expect general-fund revenue to drop more than 3 percent by the end of the 2019 fiscal year. That’s up from 17 percent of US cities expecting such a decline in 2018. . The cities expect their total general-fund revenue to be lower in fiscal 2019 than in 2018, which was the first time revenues fell in seven years.
New poll of Illinois voters shows support for graduated state income tax. In November, state voters will decide whether to amend the state constitution to replace a flat-rate income tax with allow a graduated rate income tax. A Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Poll released this week shows voters support a graduated income tax by a margin of 2 to 1.
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