Hillary Clinton has a plan to tax the rich. The Democratic presidential front runner has rolled out one element of her plan to raise taxes on high-income households: a 4 percent surtax on those earning in excess of $5 million-a-year—the Top 0.02 percent. She estimates the plan would raise $150 billion over 10 years and help fund some of her kitchen-table domestic policy initiatives. The campaign hints that this is just one piece of her effort to raise taxes on those with the highest incomes.
EU on Belgium’s 10-year-old “excess profit” tax scheme: Illegal. The European Commission ordered Belgium to collect $760 million in unpaid taxes from at least 35 multinational corporations. Belgium tax authorities used a favorable tax formula for multinationals that put smaller competitors at a financial disadvantage, said the EU’s Competition Commission.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to tax tobacco to pay for a new school program. The Democrat wants to raise $6 million by taxing cigars, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. The revenue would help expand a one-week orientation program for incoming high school freshmen. The program takes after one used by the state’s top high school, Walter Payton College Prep.
In Oregon, a pot tax holiday is over. After a three-month tax holiday, the state levied a 25 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana starting on January 1. Once the Oregon Liquor Control Commission takes over recreational pot sales later this year, it will replace the 25 percent tax with a 17 percent tax. Dispensary owners say customers seem to be adapting to the tax—but now and then someone walks out to go back to their “guy.” Lucky guy: He’s not likely under state jurisdiction.
In Pennsylvania, stay tuned for another severance tax fight. Democratic Governor Tom Wolf plans to include a severance tax on natural gas production when he introduces his budget next month. Wolf included a promise to impose the tax in his campaign. The natural gas industry and some—but not all—Republican lawmakers remain opposed to it. Meanwhile, the state’s current year budget remains in limbo.
In Minnesota: Medical device makers enjoy a windfall in the new year. Last month Congress successfully suspended the medical device tax for two years, saving the device industry nearly $5 billion. Minnesota has a high concentration of device makers who are happy with the delay. But a question remains: Will those companies invest the windfall in research and development, or pass it on to owners and investors?
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