Clearing the decks on spending. The appropriations committees worked over the weekend to try to resolve many issues that remain before Congress reaches a new spending deal. Among those likely to be bucked to leadership--the $5 billion President Trump wants for his border wall. The latest budget deadline is Dec. 20.
Supreme Court temporarily blocks a congressional subpoena of Deutsche Bank. The high court on Friday blocked the bank from turning over President Trump’s financial documents until Dec. 13. Trump requested a temporary stay of an appellate court decision that ordered the bank to provide the records to the House Financial Services and Intelligence committees. The court will decide this week whether to extend its stay to give Trump’s attorneys time to prepare a formal appeal, or whether to let the appellate ruling stand.
Utah’s governor wants to double a proposed tax cut. New state estimates show revenues will grow by almost a half billion dollars this year. As a result, Governor Gary Herbert asked lawmakers to boost the tax cut in a pending reform plan from $80 million to $160 million, targeting most of the benefit to low- and middle-income families. He may call a special legislative session to address the issue starting December 12.
Pennsylvania lawmakers will consider five property tax reform plans. An informal, working group of legislators and representatives of Governor Tom Wolf shared five plans to reduce property taxes. Each would cut property taxes by up to $8.5 billion, largely by raising either personal income taxes or sales taxes. Legislative leaders will now count noses to see which version has the most support. They hope to bring the issue to a vote next year.
Demographic changes in Vermont mean a big drop in state tax revenue. Vermont income tax accounts for $600 million of the state’s $1.3 billion general fund. But its Tax Structure Commission concludes that an aging and shrinking population may drive down revenues and require the state to change its tax structure or cut spending. In a decade, seniors will comprise a full quarter of Vermont’s population, while 11 of the state’s 14 counties have a falling or stable population. Households are getting smaller, too, shrinking 5 percent on average in the last 20 years.
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