On the Hill, a stronger push to repeal the Cadillac Tax? Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi want to nix the 40 percent tax on high-cost health insurance plans, and 2015 may be their last chance to get it done. Will they add a repeal to the “tax extender” package working its way through the House? Would President Obama veto the measure if they did? The Hill reports that Reid and Pelosi remain mum, though they acknowledge that work on repealing the Cadillac Tax could spill over into next year.
Want to learn more about the new Ways & Means Chairman? The Wall Street Journal (paywall) had a question-and-answer session with Kevin Brady late last week. On tax reform plans: He “worries less about that every plan is mathematically perfect or distributionally perfect. The question is: Do these ideas grow the economy? Are these rates fairer, flatter, simpler? Are you closing loopholes and deductions to lower rates for everybody? And are we not bailing out Washington spending?” Does he do his own taxes? “My wife, the former banker, does our taxes.”
Will Alaska’s Governor Bill Walker get the state’s fiscal house in order? It might be difficult: Some state lawmakers have signed the Americans for Tax Reform “no tax pledge.” They could block the Independent governor’s efforts to levy new taxes and draw from Alaska’s Permanent Fund. Alaskans don’t pay state sales, income, or property taxes, but Walker says taxes will likely have to be a part of his fiscal plan to close a $3 billion budget gap.
Did New Mexico’s Department of Taxation and Revenue perform retaliatory audits? Last year, the agency audited three former administration employees of Republican Governor Susana Martinez after they left under contentious circumstances. The New Mexican newspaper reports that the FBI wants to know what happened. The agency audited 17,930 returns in the fiscal year that ended in June, compared to 666 in the 2011 fiscal year.
Indiana’s contractor for its tax amnesty program got ahead of itself. The state had to rein in the company after the contractor sent 150,000 tax amnesty letters to Indiana residents informing them they owed state taxes. The contractor didn’t submit its taxpayer selection criteria to the state’s revenue department, and the revenue department never approved the mailing list. Worth noting: The amount paid to the contractor rises with the amount the amnesty program collects. The contractor will send letters again—this time with an apology.
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