Will the House vote on its health bill without a CBO score? The White House discounts the accuracy of the Congressional Budget Office’s estimates of the American Health Care Act in favor of estimates provided by the Office of Management and Budget. That’s no surprise, politically speaking. But the House Ways & Means Committee advanced the bill without any estimates of costs or enrollment. That’s… surprising. Meanwhile, opposition to the bill continues to mount from insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, nurses, retirees… and Republicans.
Would the tax provisions of the AHCA pass the GOP’s tax reform test? House Republicans want to rewrite both the health and tax laws. But do the tax changes in its health reform square with its principles of tax reform. Kinda, sorta, says TPC’s Howard Gleckman.
Who picks winners and losers in corporate taxation? The Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy reviewed 258 Fortune 500 companies that earned more than $3.8 trillion in profits. Nearly 40 percent paid no federal income tax in at least one year between 2008 and 2015, and some were eligible for tax rebates. For some companies, tax bills over the entire eight-year period fell below zero. Corporate tax reform, anyone?
Calling Captain Obvious. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday that Congress will not pass tax reform by August. It is, he said, “complicated.” We knew that.
Is son of Quill headed for the US Supreme Court? A South Dakota court struck down a law that allowed the state to require out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax even if they have no physical presence in the state. The ruling is the first step in the state’s effort to bring the issue back to the Supreme Court, which first ruled on the matter 25 years ago in Quill v. North Dakota.
Save muni bonds, say 150 House members. The lawmakers wrote the Ways & Means Committee asking that the tax exemption for municipal bonds be preserved in any tax reform. But even if the bonds are permitted, lower federal income tax rates will make it more costly for state and local governments to borrow.
Massachusetts is sorry about its tax refund mishap. About 40,000 people had their state tax refunds deposited into their bank accounts only to have them withdrawn a short time later. The state’s department of revenue says a technical glitch caused the problem, and money should return to people’s accounts today. Whether the state covers any resulting overdraft fees remains a question. No word if state officials are blaming the New York Yankees for the snafu.
Will upstate New Yorkers ever pay sales tax on a lift? Ride sharing services must collect an 8.75 percent sales tax in New York City, but a gig driver in Buffalo does not. Democrats in the State Assembly want to require all fares to pay a local sales tax rate, but want them to split the take with the state. Municipalities could use the revenue and the fight over the city-state split would have to be resolved in budget negotiations this month.
Brits: Roam if you want to… but be prepared to pay. The United Kingdom’s budget includes a surprise. The UK plans to assess a 20 percent VAT on roaming charges incurred outside the European Union. It’s not yet known how much of the cost cellular providers will pass on to consumers.
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