Another day, another dollar. The House rejected an amendment to cut IRS Commissioner John Koskinen’s salary to zero. Technically, the bill would apply to any commissioner serving until the next Presidential Inauguration. Some Republicans opposed the measure,worrying that it could be an unconstitutional “bill of attainder” that punishes a specific person. You think?
And former IRS bosses weigh in on efforts to impeach Koskinen. If cutting Koskinen’s pay is a bad idea, so is impeaching him, at least according to eight of his predecessors. In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, former commissioners who served Republican and Democratic presidents called Koskinen “an honest and honorable public servant.” Signers included Mortimer Caplin, Sheldon Cohen, Lawrence Gibbs, Fred Goldberg, Jr., Shirley Peterson, Margaret Richardson, Charles Rossotti, and Mark Everson.
It looks like the Congress will vote on an FAA bill without energy tax extenders. For months, lawmakers have been sparring over whether to include some tax extenders for alternative energy in the bill temporarily reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration. Its one of the few must-pass measures on the agenda in this election-shortened year. But with Congress about to leave for the rest of the summer, it looks like the extenders will be grounded for now.
Should Congress exempt drugmakers from tax on the sale of Alzheimer’s drugs? TPC’s Howard Gleckman calls the idea “well-intentioned” but “misguided” after two lawmakers introduce a bill that would make income from the sale of such “breakthrough” drugs tax exempt for seven years. While we all want a cure for dementia, Gleckman says such a tax subsidy would do nothing to improve the overall health of the nation.
Will Massachusetts require non-profits to pay property tax on new acquisitions? The House has passed a bill sponsored by State Representative David Nangle to require nonprofits to pay property tax for four years after acquiring property. The measure was included as part of an economic development bill and now goes to the Senate. A nonprofit would pay 100 percent of property taxes in year one, 75 percent in year two, 50 percent in year three, and 25 percent in year four, the final year. Eliminating the exemption could be a huge financial windfall for many Bay State cities and towns, where tax-exempt universities and hospitals are currently exempt from property tax.
Soccer star Lionel Messi goes for the block on his tax evasion conviction. The Spanish court found the Barcelona player and his father guilty of tax fraud. But the pair says the verdict is incorrect, since they had corrected the tax payment issue and that should not have been charged with an intentional crime. Messi’s problems started when his dad used a series of shell companies in tax havens to shield royalties and other licensing income from tax.
Pepsi and Coca Cola still thrive after Mexico’s soda tax. The sugary drink kings warned that sales in Mexico could fall after the soda tax enactment in January 2014. But both companies post consistent growth in sales volumes since then. The economy is doing well over all, and the companies also sell bottled water and juice.
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