Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has a new tax hike—aimed mostly at low- and middle-income households. The state legislature has been in session for more than 100 days and still hasn’t agreed on how to fill its $400 million budget gap. After waiting fruitlessly for the legislature to fix the mess, the Governor “thought it was time to put something out.” He’d raise new revenue by increasing the state sales tax from 6.15 percent to 6.65 percent and boosting the cigarette tax by 50 cents to $1.29 per pack.
Connecticut has a deal to raise taxes on the wealthy. Over the weekend, the legislature and Governor Dannel Malloy agreed to a budget that would raise the top marginal income tax rate to 6.99 percent, up from 6.7 percent. The budget will be considered in the state’s House today, then go to the Senate.
In Ohio, Amazon giveth, and taketh away. The online retailer will expand its operations in Ohio, creating 1,000 jobs over the next several years. But as part of the deal, today it will begin collecting sales taxes from Ohio shoppers. That could add between $150 million and $300 million a year to the state’s coffers.
Did you see the latest from TPC on TaxVox? Len Burman begged to differ with GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee on the fairness of the Fair Tax: “Tax burdens on middle-income households would surely rise while high-income families would get a big tax cut. Some people might call that an Unfair Tax.” Howard Gleckman considered the story of everlasting gobstoppers. Not Willy Wonka’s gum balls, but endlessly extending expiring tax breaks: “It would be operatic, if it wasn’t so stupid.” In another post, Gleckman wondered whether policymakers should rethink early withdrawals from our retirement accounts.
Tomorrow in the Senate. The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George on the data breach that hit over 100,000 taxpayers. The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee will also hold a hearing on the theft.
And tomorrow in the House. The Ways & Means Committee will mark up a bill to repeal the 2.3 percent excise tax on medical device manufacturers. The House Judiciary panel’s subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law will hold hearings on the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act, the Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act, and the Business Activity Tax Simplification Act.
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