Infrastructure talks hit a pothole. It surprised no one that talks between President Trump and Hill leaders broke down, after all, nobody really wanted to talk about how to pay for the $2 trillion in new spending they said they wanted. But the crash was…dramatic. The President abruptly ended the meeting and instead used the time for a Rose Garden press conference where he blasted Hill Democrats for their ongoing investigations of his personal finances and his government.
New York passes bill to give US Congress access to President Trump’s state tax returns. Governor Andrew Cuomo will soon sign the bill, passed yesterday by the New York State Assembly. It would “permit the commissioner of the state Department of Taxation and Finance to release the state tax returns of those in federal, state and local elected or higher-level public offices, along with entities those people control or have a large stake in, that are requested by the leaders of congressional tax-writing committees.”
Memo, memo, who wrote the memo? Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the House Financial Services Committee yesterday that he was trying to learn who at the IRS wrote a draft memo that says he must disclose tax information requested by the House Ways & Means Committee unless the president claims executive privilege. While Trump has made no such claim, Mnuchin has refused to release the returns because he says the committee has no legislative purpose to get Trump’s returns.
And in other Trump financial information news… A federal district judge in the Southern District of New York denied a request by the president to halt Deutsche Bank and Capital One from turning over to the House the president’s financial records. Trump’s lawyers wanted to stop the banks from giving the documents to Congress while the dispute was being litigated.
What are three tax lessons from the first year of legal sports betting? TPC’s Richard Auxier breaks it down: 1) States are still learning how to win at sports betting; 2) States can collect millions of dollars in tax revenue from legal sports betting, but as a share of total revenue it will be relatively small and volatile; 3) If states want to increase tax revenue from sports betting, they should allow online wagers.
Next Thursday at TPC… “State of the States: The Enduring Work of Tax Reform and the Search for New Sources of Revenue.” TPC’s State and Local Finance Initiative hosts a panel that will explore how states are changing their fiscal policies, how much revenue they can expect from new taxes on sports betting and marijuana, and how they are responding to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The panel includes Joe Bishop-Henchman of the Tax Foundation, John Hicks of the National Association of State Budget Officers, Nick Johnson of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and TPC’s Kim Rueben. TPC’s Howard Gleckman will moderate. Register for the event here.
Speaking of sources of revenue: It’s the structure, not the amount. With income and sales tax revenues growing faster than expected, the Utah legislature wants to develop a long-term comprehensive economic strategy. Lawmakers say “everything is on the table” and will consider a broad range of new taxes, including expanding service-based sales taxes, restoring the full state sales tax on food, and changes to a constitutional requirement that all income tax revenue be spent on education. Senate President Stuart Adams explained, “What we’re trying to do is shift some money around between the income tax and the sales tax in order to maintain the balance.”
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