As for two Democrats’ plans… TPC’s Howard Gleckman considers the contrast between how Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders would pay for their efforts to help middle-income families with medical and education costs and family leave. Clinton would boost taxes only on high-income households, but Sanders thinks middle-income families also should pay higher taxes as well. Gleckman concludes that “It seems much harder to make a convincing case that [high-income households] should pay all the additional cost of programs that benefit society at large.”
In Los Angeles this fall, will a tax to help the homeless be one tax too many? The city council needs $1.85 billion over ten years for a broad new plan to reduce homelessness, and may put a tax or bond measure on the November ballot. But political strategist Dan Schnur of the University of Southern California warns, “I think the voters can be convinced to raise taxes. But they can only be convinced so many times at one time… there’s already going to be an awful lot of taxes on this fall ballot.”
In New York City, will an expiring tax break kill Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing program? For over 40 years, the program gave real estate developers substantial tax breaks for including subsidized apartments in luxury buildings. Tomorrow the program will expire, unless developers agree to pay union-level wages on future projects.
In Anchorage, Alaska, maybe a tax on marijuana retail sales. The Anchorage Assembly will ask voters in April whether the city should tax marijuana sales. The rate would start at 5 percent but the city would be allowed to raise it to 12 percent without another vote. The revenues would cover estimated regulatory and enforcement costs for the new industry, and likely leave some for city operations.
And on the Hill… a business tax plan gets new life. Devin Nunes, a senior GOP member of the House Ways & Means Committee, has reintroduced a business tax reform plan he calls the American Business Competitive (ABC) bill. Nunes would lower the tax rate for all business to 25 percent, allow all firms to immediately write-off capital investments, repeal their interest deduction, and shift to a territorial tax system for US-based multinationals. Some GOP presidential hopefuls have proposed versions of these ideas, which could also serve as a template for a future Ways & Means bill. Panel chair Kevin Brady says he’d like to send an international tax reform bill to the full House this year.
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