Infrastructure Bill passes with bipartisan support. Late Friday night, the House passed the $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill with 13 Republican yes votes and 6 Democratic no’s. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill will add $256 billion to the deficit. The bill includes few increases or spending reductions, though it does end the employee retention credit included in the 2020 CARES Act, extends various highway-related taxes (but not the gas tax), and extends and modifies certain Superfund excise taxes.
As for Build Back Better… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now plans for a House vote by November 15, but a handful of key issues remain unresolved, including the fate of the cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction. One big backer of a SALT cap repeal, Rep. Josh Gottheimer, says his group wants to see a CBO score of the bill before voting for it, though he expects it to align with Administration estimates. The Senate will almost certainly revise the House version of the social spending bill, which will require one more vote in the House. Lawmakers are not planning December vacations.
Wyden vs Musk vs Twitter followers… Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden wants billionaires to pay annual taxes on unrealized capital gains. Billionaire Elon Musk first criticized the proposal, claiming it eventually would affect middle-class retirement investments. Then he tweeted a poll asking whether he should sell 10 percent of his Tesla stock and a majority favored the idea. Said Wyden, “Whether or not the world’s wealthiest man pays any taxes at all shouldn’t depend on the results of a Twitter poll.”
Payroll tax pause poses problems at Census. The US Census Bureau has a $7 million accounting issue. The Trump administration ordered the agency to delay collecting payroll taxes for low-wage employees, including temporary 2020 census workers. Census told NPR “In total, $7,078,909 in payroll tax collections were deferred for 177,964 temporary employees… We determined that 147,619 employees owed substantially less than what it would cost to collect the debt from them.”
Tune in Thursday for your Prescription: Michelle Hanlon will talk corporate book taxes. Hanlon, an accounting professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, will talk with TPC’s Howard Gleckman about the Biden Administration’s proposed minimum tax on corporate income reported to shareholders. This key feature of the Biden administration's Build Back Better agenda would raise more than $300 billion over 10 years but would face many implementation challenges. Register here for the noontime event.
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