He’s baaaack! After mulling it over for 10 days, Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley decided to take the Senate Finance Committee gavel after all. It will be his third time in the chair. Senate seniority being what it is, Grassley had the choice of staying as Judiciary Committee chair or moving back to the top seat at Finance, which will be vacant with the retirement of Orrin Hatch. Grassley had developed a reputation as lawmaker willing to work with Democrats on tax issues, though he, along with nearly everyone else in the Senate, became more partisan in recent years.
What will the tax agenda look like next year? A Tax Policy Center panel on November 29 may help answer the question. Panelists include former top Senate Democratic tax aide Cathy Koch, long-time Senate Finance Committee tax counsel Mark Prater, former Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary for Legislative Affairs Sandra Salstrom, and former Treasury Tax legislative Counsel Tom West. TPC’s Howard Gleckman will moderate. The program will begin at 9:30. Register here.
Lessons from Amazon’s HQ2 quest TPC’s Donnie Charleston and Megan Randall look at the effort’s real winners and losers: “Amazon may have chosen its locations largely based on the supply of skilled workers and the overall tech environment [so] billions of dollars in cash and tax subsidies may end up being a financial windfall for the firm and a poor use of funds by the bidding communities.” At the same time, regions surrounding the chosen locations “may benefit from any new economic development without having to give up precious tax dollars.” They conclude with a reminder: “The best bet for job growth continues to be focusing on growth and expansion of existing firms in… communities.”
Can state tax policy improve racial equity? A new paper from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities argues that state fiscal policies could do a better job undoing harmful legacies of past racism and current damage from racial bias and discrimination. They could capture more income tax revenue from high earners, eliminate wasteful economic development subsidies, modernize state sales taxes, and tax carbon and resource extraction.
Call for Papers for the 9th Annual IRS-TPC Joint Research Conference on Tax Administration. Researchers from the US and abroad are invited to submit proposals for papers for the conference, scheduled for June 20, 2019 at the Urban Institute. General areas of interest include measuring and influencing taxpayer compliance, estimating taxpayer compliance costs, tax complexity, improving tax administration, and understanding the nature and behavior taxpayers. Click here for the formal call for papers. For more information about IRS research conferences, including links to previous conference programs and papers, click here. Proposals are due by close of business on Monday, December 3, 2018.
Germany’s first economic contraction since 2015 means… tax cuts. Economy Minister Peter Altmaier suggests the government will propose tax cuts among other measures to boost long-term economic growth. His focus: Cutting German corporate taxes to respond to US tax cuts in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. “The corporate tax in Germany is now higher than in other industrial countries. That is a disadvantage and puts jobs at risk. That is why a medium-term cut is necessary.”
Yellow-Vest tax protest in France is about more than fuel tax increases. More than 250,000 people took to the streets, angry at rising fuel prices and President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed higher tax on diesel. Macron defended the tax, saying: “We have to tax fossil fuels more in order to fund our investments in renewable.” But The New York Times says the French also are frustrated with payroll taxes. “The taxes are rising on everything. They put taxes on top of taxes,” said one protester.
Congress is not in session this week. The Daily Deduction returns to its regular schedule on Monday, November 26. Happy Thanksgiving!
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