Treasury Secretary Mnuchin: President Trump’s budget likely won’t balance over a decade. He indicated that the deficit is manageable but will need to come down over time. Yet he acknowledged the forthcoming White House budget will not be balanced over ten years. Mnuchin blamed the deficit on spending, and reiterated his assertion that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will pay for itself. During the 2016 campaign, Trump vowed to eliminate the deficit during his presidency. It will be $1 trillion this year.
China will reduce tariffs on some US goods by half. As part of its “Phase 1” trade agreement with the US, China will cut tariffs on $75 billion in US goods on February 14.The Chinese government says it will maintain its trade commitments while it attempts to manage the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Meanwhile, President Trump will proceed with tariffs on $449 million in steel and aluminum goods, affecting $72 million in Chinese goods.
Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration: Tax prep companies blocked Free File webpages. The IRS watchdog confirmed that five tax preparation companies prevented internet search engines from displaying Free File pages. Over 14 million taxpayers ended up buying filing software when they could have filed for free, generating over a billion dollars in revenue for the tax prep companies. The report did not name the five companies in the 12 member-Free File consortium.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers proposes more education spending and property tax relief. The Democratic governor wants to commit $250 million in unexpected tax revenue to statewide K-12 education and $130 million for property tax relief. Republican lawmakers already have signaled they want more tax relief, not more education spending.
Las Vegas Chamber sues to stop a statewide sales tax for education. The organization that represents businesses in Clark County has filed a lawsuit against the Local School Support Tax. The Clark County Education Association (CCEA) proposed a tax initiative to increase the state’s sales tax by 1.5 percentage points but the Chamber calls the tax hike reckless and says it would harm the economy. The CCEA says the tax is needed to raise $1.4 billion annually for public education. It also proposes an increase to the state’s gaming tax by three percentage points.
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