What do voters think about tax reform? Fifty-six percent of those surveyed by Morning Consult for Politico said they expect Congress will enact comprehensive tax reform this year, but only 28 percent are excited by the prospect. They think tax reform is less likely than repeal of the Affordable Care Act or a rollback of environmental and energy regulations. On the other hand, those surveyed thought it was more likely Congress would pass tax reform than President Trump would build a wall on the Mexican border.
AHCA costs and coverage: S&P has some estimates. A new S&P report estimates that up to 10 million people could lose coverage under the American Health Care Act. On average, a 64-year-old would pay higher premiums than under current law, even after receiving a $4,000 tax credit. By contrast, a 21-year-old would pay substantially less, especially after receiving a $2,000 tax credit that could cover 75 percent of premium costs.
As for tax impacts: here’s an AHCA-tax primer. TPC’s Gordon Mermin walks through the tax changes in the House GOP bill. And The Washington Post describes five ways the plan would change the tax system. In short: it’s a big tax cut for the wealthy; lower-income workers would be hit hardest; the proposals would significantly boost the deficit; there’s some bipartisan concern about the math underlying this plan; and more changes may be coming.
Oh, the ups and downs of revenue neutrality. The Wall Street Journal considers the plight of Republicans seeking tax cuts. Should they pay for them, or not? GOP Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina is willing to risk cutting taxes without offsetting the revenue loss. He believes economic growth will make up for the loss. “But I’m not sure we have 51 votes for that approach.”
Measure H measures up in Los Angeles County. Voters passed a quarter-cent sales tax increase this week. The measure will raise an estimated $355 million annually to fund homeless programs. The sales tax will be 9 percent across most of LA, and 10 percent in a few communities.
“Non-doms” lose UK residency status, UK gets revenue windfall. The British government’s annual budget plan includes $1.6 billion in new tax revenue over five years. That’s because wealthy people who live as permanent residents in the UK but have mailing addresses in lower-tax jurisdictions will lose that residency status.
Also in the UK budget: A sugar tax. The government will levy between 18 pence and 24 pence per liter of sugary soft drink, depending on the amount of sugar in the drink. The tax goes into effect in April 2018, and could raise £1 billion in its first year.
Caterpillar: Accused of tax fraud, officially. The New York Times reports that a government-commissioned review shows “Caterpillar did not comply with either U.S. tax law or U.S. financial reporting rules… noncompliance with these rules was deliberate and primarily with the intention of maintaining a higher share price. These actions were fraudulent rather than negligent.” Caterpillar, the report says, repatriated $7.9 billion in offshore earnings by structuring the earnings as loans. Caterpillar did not report that income to the IRS, though the government says it was subject to federal taxes.
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