The national debt surpasses $30 trillion. Treasury reports the public debt now exceeds a record $30 trillion. The Peter G. Peterson Foundation notes that under current law, interest costs will top $5 trillion over the next 10 years and consume nearly half of all federal revenue by 2051.
Some optimism on a spending deal. While they are far from agreement, Hill Democrats and Republicans are expressing some optimism they can reach a deal on a spending bill for fiscal year 2022, now more than four months old. They still are squabbling over top line numbers as well as a long list of policy disputes that are only distantly related to the budget. Without an agreement, much of the federal government will shut down in a bit more than two weeks.
Idaho Senate passes a $600 million tax cut, the largest in state history. The GOP-led chamber passed the package along party lines. Drawing on funds from the state’s $1.9 billion surplus, the plan would reduce income and corporate tax rates and offer income tax rebates to most taxpayers. Gov. Brad Little, who outlined the plan in January, is expected to sign it into law. Missing from the bill: A “hostile amendment” to repeal the sales tax on groceries.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont proposes $336 million in tax cuts. His proposal to the legislature would cut the motor vehicles tax rate, increase property tax credits, cut taxes on pension and annuity income, and create a student loan tax credit.
California lawmaker wants a tax credit for blood donors. Beginning in 2023, a taxpayer who donates “human whole blood” or “human blood components” (like plasma) at least four times in a year would receive a $500 tax credit. The same bill would authorize the Office of Emergency Services to encourage private businesses to offer “meaningful incentives for individuals to make these donations.” California is experiencing its most severe blood shortage in 10 years.
Hawaii lawmakers seek a mileage tax for electric vehicle owners. EV owners currently pay an annual $50 registration fee. A Senate bill would charge owners annually for mileage. Department of Transportation director Ed Sniffen explained, “We want to make sure that when we start looking at who pays for transportation, there’s equality. We don’t want the burden of paying for the system to fall on those who can’t afford electric vehicles.” Opponents argue the mileage tax will discourage EV purchases.
Does the world need art freeports? High-end collectors can delay taxes indefinitely by buying and storing their high-value objects in “freeports,” or tax-free warehouses. TPC’s Tax Hound wonders who benefits, and why.
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