New sources of revenue in the White House tax plan? A value-added tax and a carbon tax could allow President Trump to cut other taxes dramatically, and White House officials have confirmed that both options are under consideration, reports The Washington Post. Either idea is a long-shot given strong GOP opposition, but prospects for another source of revenue—the border-adjustable tax—remain dim.
IRS kicks off its latest private debt collection program. This month, the IRS will begin to turn over old taxpayer debts to private collection agencies. The initiative was required by Congress in 2015. To start, each of four firms will be given about 100 cases a month. Among the issues the IRS will be watching: Will scammers try to impersonate the debt collectors in an effort to steal personal information? Previous private debt collection initiatives have flopped.
State budgets could suffer from a national ban on marijuana sales. President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are on a path to end those sales. TPC’s Richard Auxier illustrates how states that have legalized marijuana sales could lose billions of dollars in associated tax revenue. This could be a fiscal disaster for states who count on that revenue… but they don’t even know if or when a change is coming. Talk about a buzzkill.
Arkansas will not collect tax on internet purchases. Lawmakers went against the wishes of local business and city leaders and defeated a measure that would have required out-of-state online retailers to collect and submit sales tax to Arkansas. The state loses an estimated $100 million in sales tax revenue, absent online collection.
The answer’s not blowin’ in the wind. In Montana, the USA division of wind energy company NaturEner donated $50,000 to the Sunburst School District last month, to keep the town from having to lay off any of its 21 school teachers. The struggling school district might be in better shape however, if NaturEner had not protested its property tax debt. Over the past two years, local counties have levied about $8.8 million in property taxes on the firm, which has protested more than $6.24 million. The money is in limbo until tax authorities decide how much NaturEner owes, and the counties—and school districts—go without the funds in the meantime.
Seattle’s mayor opts for a sales tax hike to fund services for the homeless. Mayor Ed Murray had considered a $275 million property tax, but ditched the plan, which would have required city vote approval in August. Now, he’s working with the King County Executive on a 0.1 percent sales tax increase. That would translate into an extra $30 a year for an average household in King County.
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