Tax cuts could bust the Show Me State’s budget. Missouri’s Democratic Governor Jay Nixon warns state GOP lawmakers that their proposed tax breaks could open a budget gap. Nixon says the tax cuts, including reduced sales taxes on everything from wheelchairs to yoga classes and multiple new or expanded business tax preferences, could cost $80 million. The state’s legislative research services prices them at $22 million. The biggest thorn in the Governor’s side: A proposed income tax deduction for federal agricultural disaster payments.
And in Ferguson, Missouri… This summer, voters will decide whether to raise a six percent utility tax to eight percent to help reform the city’s police and court system. The City Council decided to put the plan, which would raise $700,000 annually, on the August 2 ballot. Last month, voters approved a small sales tax hike but rejected a proposed property tax increase, leaving the city short of funds to comply with a settlement with the US Justice Department.
Another inversion deal scrapped. Illinois-based fertilizer manufacturer CF Industries Holdings, Inc., and its Dutch rival OCI NV will not complete an $8 billion merger, reports The Wall Street Journal (paywall). The companies couldn’t define a structure for a new entity that would create value for both companies’ shareholders following changes to US tax rules that curbed inversions.
Greece plans tax hikes, hopes for more debt relief. Lawmakers approved a one percentage point increase in its 24 percent value-added tax, an extension of its current real estate tax, and hikes to levies on fuel, tobacco and internet usage. Eurozone finance ministers meet this week to determine whether to release bailout funds.
Today’s Hill hearings. The House Judiciary Committee will examine allegations of misconduct by IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. He had been invited to testify but will not, saying the committee gave him insufficient time to prepare. He added that he’d come at a future time, and according to Politico, told the panel in a letter that while he understands lawmakers’ frustration, the allegations against him “lack merit.” The House Small Business Committee holds its first in a two-part series of hearings on taxation and the sharing economy. The Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing on debt-versus-equity issues in considering corporate tax integration.
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