Congress will be in recess next week. The Daily Deduction will post on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, after Memorial Day, and will return to its regular schedule on Monday, June 1.
Wisconsin’s GOP: Tax bikes to pay for bike paths, use tax dollars to expand private schools. Presidential hopeful Governor Scott Walker’s colleagues proposed this week to repeal the state’s Complete Streets program, which includes bike and pedestrian lanes in transportation projects. Wisconsin’s Legislative Fiscal Bureau says repeal would save $190,500 a year, and that the GOP’s replacement, a proposed $25 bike registration fee, would generate $7.2 million over two years and pay for bike path construction. The GOP also wants to expand the state’s school voucher program by allowing tax money to follow a student out of a public district and into a private voucher school. The LFB says this could cost school districts about $48 million over two years.
District of Columbia residents are okay with a sales tax hike to close a deficit. A DC Fiscal Policy Institute’s poll finds 70 percent of residents support a sales tax increase from 5.75 percent to 6 percent. The extra money would help cover a $200 million budget shortfall and support Mayor Muriel Bowser’s plan to end homelessness in the city.
Still no Kansas tax hike. The Kansas Senate left open for debate a bill to increase the state's sales, cigarette, and gasoline taxes to help close next year’s projected $406 million deficit. The bill would suspend for two years an income tax exemption for more than 330,000 business owners and farmers but provide a tax credit against businesses’ payrolls. It’s not an easy sell, and Senate GOP leaders concede that even if the bill is rewritten, it would fail. Sound familiar?
But a tax cut passed in Texas. The state will not reduce its sales tax rate. But legislators agreed to cut the franchise tax, also known as the business tax, by 25 percent across the board, saving firms an average of about $10,000 annually. Property tax relief could save homeowners an average of $125 a year.
Some tax reading for your holiday weekend. A new working paper by Daniel Cooper of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and Byron Lutz and Michael Palumbo of the Federal Reserve Board, finds that over the past 30 years, federal and state taxes have had a significant impact on reducing income inequality overall, but not in all states. TPC’s Lydia Austin and Eric Toder have a new Tax Fact on those expiring tax breaks that seem to be eternal.
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