Chicago was wrong about the Trump Tower tax bill. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Cook County tax officials were mistaken when they said Donald Trump owes $4.7 million in unpaid 2010 property taxes, penalties, and interest. That’s because Trump’s attorney–and Alderman Edward Burke—convinced the county assessor to reduce the tax value of Trump Tower by 70 percent. The convoluted story, the Sun-Times explains, reflects a “property tax system that’s overseen by political leaders and influenced by insiders.”
In Providence, Rhode Island: A mall’s tax deal might have been too good. Providence Place Mall is midway through a thirty-year property tax deal signed by the late Mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci in 1996. The mall owes Providence $300,000 in property taxes this year, far less than the $23.4 million it would have owed without the deal. During each of the deal’s last ten years, the mall will owe only $500,000. After that, the full amount will be due. It’s not yet clear whether the owners will be pay the full amount, or whether they’ll try to negotiate a new deal.
Los Angeles County officials continue a push for a “millionaire’s tax.” They want the state to grant the county authority to levy a half-cent tax on taxable income above $1 million. The county says it would use the money to combat homelessness. If the county doesn’t get taxing authority by July 1, the tax proposal will not be on the November ballot. Labor groups and others worry that a county levy would make it harder to extend Proposition 30, which imposed a temporary statewide income tax increase that funds public schools and healthcare.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles transportation officials want a permanent sales tax increase. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority had earlier proposed a half-cent sales tax increase that would raise $120 billion over the next 40 years. On Friday, they moved to make the increase permanent. They want to use the money to build about two dozen mass transit lines and expand work on nine highway projects.
Not that anybody was asking… There is no chance Congress is going to consider a carbon tax any time soon, but the GOP-controlled House voted on Friday to oppose one, just in case. On a nearly party-line vote, the House passed a non-binding resolution that stated such a tax “would be detrimental to American families and businesses, and is not in the best interest of the United States.” Bernie Sanders has endorsed such a levy. Hillary Clinton has not.
On the Hill today. The House Rules Committee will review a bill, the “Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act.”
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