The Senate’s consideration of pandemic relief grinds on. Democrats used their one-vote majority to begin floor debate on the bill. A group of Senate Republicans are trying to delay the Senate vote until the weekend. They are also trying to convince Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski to vote against the bill so they can claim it is partisan. The Washington Post reports that there remain doubts among some Democrats that the bill meets the needs of moment. Still, there is little doubt that Democrats will unanimously support the measure.
White House: Young could be Acting Director of the OMB. The White House says that if Congress confirms Shalanda Young as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, she will serve as its acting director. During that time the White House will seek a nominee for the top job to replace Neera Tanden, who could be Young.
It’s Infrastructure… season. After President Biden met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers today, House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter A. DeFazio said he hoped the chamber would vote on a broad infrastructure package in the spring.
Gov. Justice would repeal West Virginia’s personal income tax and hike sales taxes. His plan includes an income tax rebate for those earning less than $35,000 a year. Justice insists every West Virginian would would see a net benefit. He would cut personal income taxes by 60 percent starting in 2022, with a full repeal by 2025. To offset the loss of $2.5 billion, Justice would raise about $900 million in other taxes. That includes raising the sales tax from 6 percent to 7.9 percent and imposing an unspecified luxury tax.
In Tampa’s Hillsborough County: A “poisonous” tax. Last week, Florida’s Supreme Court ruled the county’s transportation tax was “fruit from a poisonous tree.” Voters approved a one-cent transportation sales tax as a charter amendment, but without a spending plan. Wrote Judge Charles Canady: “Because it cannot reasonably be said that the voters would have approved the tax without [the spending plan], we must strike the charter amendment in its entirety.” Now, the county commission is proposing a $502 million tax refund over the past two years… and may entertain another vote on the tax in two years… perhaps this time with a spending plan.
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