There are better ways to tie Affordable Care Act enrollment to tax filing season. This morning from 8:30 to 10:00 am, the Tax Policy Center and the Brookings Institution sponsor a panel and webcast examining ways to use tax filing to encourage people to buy insurance. Consider the White House’s special enrollment period announced last week. It’s a step in the right direction, but the Urban Institute’s Stan Dorn has a new paper that goes further. He calls for an enrollment period from late January through March, with a plan year beginning in May. It “would be one way to boost enrollment in exchange plans and, at the same time, make it possible for consumers to better calculate their subsidies,” as TPC’s Howard Gleckman notes.
Later this morning on the Hill… The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on tax reform, growth and efficiency. Stanford University’s Michael Boskin, Rice University’s John Diamond, University of California-Berkeley’s Laura D’Andrea Tyson, and the Congressional Research Service’s Jane Gravelle will testify.
Americans would like the rich to pay more in taxes, according to a new poll. A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds that “68 percent of those questioned said wealthy households pay too little in federal taxes while only 11 percent said the wealthy pay too much… 60 percent said middle-class households pay too much in federal taxes, while 7 percent said they paid too little.” More than half of those surveyed, 56 percent, favor President Obama’s proposal to increase capital gains taxes on households making more than $500,000; 16 percent oppose the idea.
More GOP governors are seeing no choice but to raise taxes. The count has gone from 8 to 10 Republican governors who see no alternative to but to raise taxes given current financial conditions. That flies in face of most GOP lawmakers’ tax philosophies. State Republicans control legislatures in 31 states, holding majorities in 69 of 99 chambers. Rock, meet hard place.
But on the other side of the world… Singapore will raise its taxes to avoid sustained annual budget deficits in the face of increased spending on infrastructure and health care. Its top marginal income tax rate will climb from 20 to 22 percent. This brings the rate back up to where it was ten years ago—before it was cut to attract foreign executives. Bloomberg reports that Singapore’s finance minister said, “We have assessed that it should not significantly dent Singapore’s competitiveness… Tax rates are not the only way we stay competitive.”
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