Will Senate Democrats make a deal with Sen. Manchin on a smaller spending plan? They’re going to try one more time, three months after the West Virginia Democrat sunk the $1.7 trillion Build Back Better plan. Politico reports that Senate Dems are switching up their strategy by meeting Manchin’s recent demands. He says he is open to a smaller plan that raises taxes on the rich and corporations while also reforming prescription drug pricing and adding government incentives to address climate issues. How open remains anybody’s guess.
Wyden wants to know why US-based drug companies pay so little US tax. The Senate Finance Committee Chair wants to know why drug-maker Merck reported just $1.85 billion in pre-tax income in the US in 2021 when the US accounted for $22.4 billion of sales. Merck reported international pre-tax income of more than $12 billion on approximately $27 billion in sales.
Unemployment benefits may lead to a big tax surprise for many Americans. The federal government and most states tax unemployment compensation. But Andrew Stettner of The Century Foundation, who reviewed Treasury data, told CNBC that tax was not collected on 60 percent of unemployment benefits in 2021 since recipients opted not to have tax withheld on those benefits. Roughly 25 million people collected about $325 billion in unemployment insurance in 2021. But unlike in 2020, the first $10,200 in unemployment benefits were not tax-exempt in 2021.
Tennessee Municipal League wants the state to share sales tax revenue with local governments. Bills in the House and Senate would give over $65 million in annual sales tax revenue to cities and towns. In 2002, Tennessee increased its sales tax rate from 6 percent to 7 percent and changed its revenue-sharing relationship, so all new revenue goes to the state’s general fund. The Municipal League wants revenue sharing to apply to 100 percent of sales tax revenue that flows to the Tennessee General Fund.
Half of Utah residents would continue to limit use of income tax revenue. A recent poll conducted by Deseret News and the University of Utah finds that 51 percent oppose using state income tax revenue for anything other than K-12 education, higher education, and services for children and people with disabilities, as allowed by the Utah Constitution. Only 34 percent support broader uses, while 15 percent “don’t know.” GOP leaders suggested amending the state constitution to eliminate the income tax earmarks.
Who procrastinates most when it comes to tax filing? According to a recent study, the cities where residents are most likely to wait are Las Vegas, Denver, Baltimore, and Seattle. The worst states: Nevada, Hawaii, Georgia, and Arkansas. The study, conducted by IPX1031, analyzed data from the 2021 tax filing season and tallied Google searches that included questions like “What happens if I file my taxes late?” or “When is it too late to file taxes?” Thirty-two percent of respondents waited because they didn’t believe they would receive a refund, while 25 percent said the process was too complicated or stressful.
Balancing demand for more fossil fuels today with climate change concerns. On Thursday at Noon, Ellen Hughes-Cromwick of Third Way will be Howard Gleckman’s guest on TPC’s webcast the Prescription. They’ll discuss how higher demand for energy fueled by gas tax holidays conflicts with climate change policies. Register here.
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