Voters in Show-Me State’s Springfield are deciding on an extra marijuana tax. Missouri currently imposes a 6 percent tax on the retail sale of recreational marijuana, giving municipalities the option to add a 3 percent local tax. Springfield voters will decide on Aug. 8 whether the city should levy an additional 3 percent tax on the sale of recreational marijuana to fund public safety, mental health services, housing, and substance abuse services. Missouri began approving licenses for dispensaries to sell recreational marijuana on Feb. 3.
America’s Dairyland Republicans advance a state income tax cut that largely affects higher-income earners. The Wisconsin Legislature’s budget-writing committee added the plan to the larger state budget late last week, which the state Senate and Assembly must both pass. Tapping the state’s $7 billion budget surplus, the proposal would cut state income taxes by a total of $3.5 billion, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2023. The average annual reduction for all filers would be 15 percent, or $573. The top rate would see the largest reduction, dropping from 7.65 percent to 6.5 percent (applies to joint filers earning more than $405,550 or single filers earning more than $304,170). The middle two brackets would be condensed into one 4.4 percent bracket. The lowest bracket would decrease from 3.54 percent to 3.5 percent.
Speaking of dairy: Tax evasion can be tasty… Writing for Forbes, Kelly Phillips Erb tells the cheesy tale of how French farmers outsmarted tax collectors in the 13th century. Taxes collected by feudal lords were based on the number of milk jugs produced in one day by a farmer’s cattle. To make the cows appear to produce less milk on that day, they milked the cows twice. First for the tax collector’s assessment, and then again after the tax assessor left. The second milking resulted in a creamier, richer output perfect for the production of Reblochon, an unpasteurized cheese (sadly) unavailable in the US.
And tax evasion is costly… The US Department of Justice filed a complaint against former CFO of Novatek Mark Anthony Gyetvay last week, reports Tax Notes (paywall). It asserts that Gyetvay owes $43.8 million in foreign bank account reporting (FBAR) penalties. Gyetvay led Russia’s largest independent natural gas producer through its 2005 initial public offering. The federal government says he failed to properly report the $95.2 million he held in accounts at Falcon Private Bank in Switzerland in 2014 and made efforts to conceal significant offshore assets.
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