The government will remain open for at least another week, probably. A short-term spending bill to keep the government funded through May 5 may pass before today’s deadline. House Democrats have warned that the bill may stall if Republicans accelerate a vote on repeal of the Affordable Care Act, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says “We’re not up to that yet.”
The Treasury Secretary isn’t making any promises to middle-income earners. Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the Trump Administration remains committed to ensuring the middle-income earners don’t pay more taxes under its tax plan, but he “can’t make any guarantees until this thing is done and on the president's desk. Americans seem to understand that," Mnuchin said during an interview on ABC's Good Morning America. A new CBS News poll finds that more Americans think the President will raise their taxes than lower them or keep them the same.
They might know more if the White House plan was more than one page long. TPC’s Howard Gleckman says no major presidential tax plan has ever been less specific than this one, and lists nine critical questions the outline failed to answer. It reminds him of the student who turns in an outline instead of the 20-page paper the professor requested.
Brady wants the tax bill to be revenue neutral. While the Trump administration seems to be going for a massive tax cut, Ways & Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady is pushing for a bill that won’t add to the budget deficit, and thus would be permanent. If Republicans try to pass a bill that adds to the deficit over 10 years, the tax cuts would expire at the end of the period, under the Senate’s Byrd Rule.
Another crack at online sales taxes. Republican senators Mike Enzi and Lamar Alexander and Democrats Dick Durbin and Heidi Heitkamp introduced the latest version of the Marketplace Fairness Act. It would give states the right to collect the sales and use taxes from out-of-state businesses or online retailers.
What’s the "destination-based" part of the DBCFT all about? TPC Director Mark Mazur explains in a new brief in TPC's 2017 Tax Debate series. In a nutshell, “firms effectively would be taxed on the value of goods and services they import into the United States (by not allowing a deduction for their costs) but not be taxed on the value of goods and services they export (by exempting these receipts from tax)."
South Carolina’s Senate passed a highway funding bill. The bill, which still needs House approval, would increase the state’s nearly 17-cent-per gallon gas tax by 12 cents over six years. It also boosts driver’s license fees and the price of vehicle permits. A bipartisan House majority had passed a 10-cent increase in the gas tax.
Vermont’s Senate passes its version of the state budget and a tax bill. The $5.83 billion budget includes an increase in the statewide property tax, which would allow a shift of $7.9 million from the General Fund to the Education Fund. That won’t sit well with Vermont’s House or Governor Phil Scott who says he won’t sign any bill that hikes property taxes.
Nebraska contends with reduced tax projections. Forecasters adjusted expected collections downward by $55 million over three years. The state legislature now needs to come up with $50 million to balance its budget.
Connecticut faces a similar issue. State income tax receipts are falling, which would increase the deficit by $500 million over two years. The state may have to borrow to balance its current budget — the first time Connecticut would have to do so in eight years. Governor Dannel Malloy and lawmakers are trying to avoid raising income tax rates again. They’ve done that twice since 2011.
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