Supplemental funding to respond to Omicron could garner bipartisan support. Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) told Bloomberg Radio that Congress might agree to a bipartisan supplemental funding bill in early 2022 if the latest surge in COVID-19 cases requires new fiscal support. “My hope would be on something like this, we could find common ground and move forward.”
Sinema having second thoughts on the millionaire surtax? The Washington Post reports that Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a key Senate Democratic holdout in Build Back Better (BBB) talks, now wants the House’s proposed surtax on the highest-income households to exempt pass-through business owners. Last Fall, Democrats shifted to the surtax, which would apply only to those making $10 million or more, after Sinema opposed a hike in the individual income tax rate.
Manchin open to a different billionaire’s tax as BBB talks continue. As Democrats try to get Sen. Joe Manchin back on board with BBB, The Post said the West Virginia lawmaker might consider a new tax targeting billionaires to help raise revenue. The proposal, spearheaded by Sen. Ron Wyden, would tax any accrued capital gains of those with $1 billion or more in total assets or $100 million in annual income.
Bennet hopes child poverty data can convince Manchin to back the child tax credit extension. Democrats also are trying to win Manchin’s support using BBB to extend the expanded child tax credit (CTC). Sen. Michael Bennet—a major proponent of the extension—told Business Insider: “This is a vital tax benefit for working people in this country. I wish that he would agree with the data that all demonstrates that's true." Manchin objects to the potential cost of keeping the beefed-up CTC in place for 10 years and opposes keeping the credit fully available to households with little or no income, which he says would discourage work. Some moderate Democrats are proposing a plan to reduce the annual credit to $2500 from $3000 but retain the full refundability feature.
The United Kingdom is freeing up more fiscal relief for COVID-hit industries. With concerns about another drop-off in business activity, the Boris Johnson government says it would make available £1 billion to support at-risk parts of the economy. “With the surge in Omicron cases, people are rightly exercising more caution as they go about their lives, which is impacting our hospitality, leisure and cultural sectors at what is typically the busiest time of the year,” Johnson said.
New Jersey rolls the dice on Atlantic City casino tax relief. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law a reduction in payments in lieu of property taxes owed by Atlantic City casinos over the next five years. The state’s Office of Legislative Services estimates the law will reduce casino payments by $30 million to $65 million each year. While the pandemic has hit tourism-reliant businesses especially hard, Atlantic City’s gaming industry has struggled for years to compete with other gambling options including online betting.
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