On the Hill, aside from snow… Washington’s blizzard has done in the House, which will be out of session all this week in the wake of the weekend’s winter storm. The House Ways and Means Committee’s first hearing of the year, on pro-growth policy, has been delayed to February 2. The Senate will be back in session on Wednesday night and the Finance Committee’s hearing on savings and retirement has been rescheduled for Thursday. Tomorrow, the Senate Budget Committee’s will hold a hearing on CBO’s budget outlook, due to be released today. So is the Senate tougher than the House?
Search “big UK tax bill” on Google. A top result? Google. Its parent company, Alphabet Inc. will pay $185 million in its tax settlement with British authorities. The amount is supposed to cover back taxes due on UK sales since 2005. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne referred to the deal as a victory, but Shadow Chancellor John McDonald called the settlement a “sweetheart deal.”
Utah’s governor is not pleased with online sales tax cheats. “We would not tolerate anybody cheating on their income taxes, we should not tolerate people cheating on the sales tax portion of their obligation,” said Republican Governor Gary Herbert. He’d like the federal government to do something about online sales tax collection, as its absence costs Utah about $180 million a year. If the feds don’t act, Utah’s legislature will consider requiring online retailers to collect Utah’s sales tax at the time of purchase. And in Utah, they won’t be slowed by two feet of snow.
In Oregon: Maybe a different tax on liquor. Oregon allows sales of hard liquor in state-owned stores, but in November, that could change. Voters will decide whether hard liquor can be sold alongside beer and wine at grocery stores. If the ballot measure passes, the state legislature would have to make up the lost revenue from state stores. They have already drafted a bill that would tax the wholesale price at a rate aimed at making up the lost revenue.
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