Tune in at 9:00 am for a corporate tax reform conversation. Will Congress enact corporate tax reform in 2017, and what will it look like? TPC’s half-day forum will be web-broadcast here. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, Doug Holtz-Eakin of the American Action Forum, Alan Auerbach of the University of California, Berkeley, Rosanne Altshuler of Rutgers University, Pam Olson of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Alan Viard of the American Enterprise Institute, and former Ways & Means Committee chief of staff John Buckley will evaluate the pros and cons of various reform proposals, including the contentious border-adjustable tax.
A rose by any other name. Ways & Means Committee chair Kevin Brady said House Republicans may include a cap on employer-sponsored health insurance as part of their replacement for the Affordable Care Act. Brady insisted that that this cap will be “different in about a dozen ways” from the Obama Administration’s cap on employer sponsored health insurance. That measure, dubbed the Cadillac tax, was widely opposed by House Republicans, who passed multiple bills to repeal it.
Before we rewrite the tax code, maybe we should know what works. TPC’s Gene Steuerle thinks Congress and the President—and researchers—need to know whether the hundreds of tax preferences embedded in the law accomplish their stated purposes. It’s possible to find out: The IRS Commissioner needs to place greater priority on generating evidence. Of course, Congress must give the agency the resources it needs to evaluate the programs it manages.
Georgia’s House of Representatives wants a flat income tax. The chamber overwhelmingly passed a measure this week that would change the state’s 1-percent-to-6-percent rate system to a flat income tax of 5.4 percent. The measure would try to soften the blow for low-income households with a new earned income tax credit.
Connecticut lawmakers may tax single-use shopping bags to pay for state parks. The legislature’s environment committee approved a measure to levy a 5 cent tax on plastic or paper shopping bags. The effort could raise as much as $20 million for the state park system. Cities such as New York and the District of Columbia already have such levies. Other municipalities ban the bags but don’t tax them. Three states bar local jurisdictions from imposing such taxes. Do the taxes reduce pollution? Results are mixed.
North Dakota will see tax revenue flow with the Dakota Access Pipeline. The state could gain $110 million a year in tax revenue once the pipeline is operational, according to an Associated Press analysis. Beyond oil tax revenue, the pipeline could generate $55 million in property tax revenue in the four states it crosses.
South Africa will have a 20 percent tax on soft drinks starting April 1. The nation has one of the highest obesity rates in Africa and is the first on the continent to adopt a “sugar tax.” The average South African consumed 254 soda-type drinks in 2010, compared with the global mean of 89.
Your weekend reading: The IRS Winter Statistics of Income Bulletin. The latest quarterly document is now available on the IRS website. This issue includes articles on Unrelated Business Income Tax Returns of 2012, and foreign recipients of U.S. income in 2013.
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- © Urban Institute, Brookings Institution, and individual authors, 2016.