Louisiana’s Governor Bobby Jindal doesn’t want to raise taxes on the entertainment industry. Bloomberg reports that the state’s $1.6 billion budget gap won’t be filled by dropping a $415,000 per episode tax break for “Duck Dynasty.” Louisiana gives moviemakers a tax credit of up to 30 percent of their in-state spending. Louisiana Budget Project director Jan Moller explains: “You’re talking about between $200 million and $250 million a year that goes out the door to TV and film producers.” Instead, GOP Presidential hopeful Jindal would cut $200 million from Louisiana State University.
Deep state income tax cuts from 2012 and 2013 mean some Kansas public schools will close early in the spring of 2015. Revenue losses blindsided the state, which now faces an $800 million budget gap starting July 1. At least eight school district budgets have been cut due to the budget crisis and will shut down before the scheduled end of classroom instruction. Dozens of other districts have eliminated or cut programs.
About those state income tax cuts… TPC’s Howard Gleckman dives into the latest research from colleagues Bill Gale, Aaron Krupkin, and Kim Rueben. Spoiler alert: “As policy analysis, this paper tells an important story: The effects of state taxes on economic growth are ambiguous at best. Those who firmly believe that tax cuts solve all woes will be disappointed. If this paper were a novel, it would be terrible. No drama.”
Let the donor beware (if they weren’t already aware). Some Princeton alumni received tax deductions for $20 million in educational donations to nonprofit foundations set up, ostensibly, to support the university. But a two-year investigation by The Daily Princetonian discovered that the foundations funneled the donations to help build student “eating clubs” that don’t count as “educational” under IRS guidelines. Princeton philosophy professor Peter Singer said, “The taxpayer in this case is subsidizing people who are already wealthy and whose interest is in benefiting other people who are already wealthy… I think that that is unethical and I think eating clubs should not be taking advantage of that.”
Senators Ron Wyden and John Hoeven have a bipartisan plan for road funding. The Democrat from Oregon and Republican from North Dakota introduced the “Move America Act of 2015” bill yesterday. The bill would authorize as much as $180 billion of tax-exempt bonds over 10 years and provide as much as $45 billion in new infrastructure tax credits for state and local governments. Federal transportation funding expires on May 31.
The IRS released its 2012 Corporation Income Tax Returns Complete Report. Published annually, the report’s tables provide comprehensive data on corporate income tax returns. This release includes returns for accounting periods ending July 2012 through June 2013. Data are classified by industry, size of total assets, and size of business receipts. Separate tabulations of data reported on Form 1120S for S corporations, are also included.
The IRS seeks applicants for volunteer tax assistance program grants. You have until June 1 to apply for a Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) grant. The TCE program was established in 1978 to provide tax counseling and return prep for filers age 60 or older. The VITA program, created in 1969, provides free federal filing assistance to underserved communities.
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