Congress has until Dec. 16 to avoid a government shutdown. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says, “We’re going to try to have as productive a lame-duck session as possible.” The House has passed six of 12 required appropriations bills. The Senate has not passed any. Count on an omnibus spending bill to take the government through the fiscal year at roughly last year’s levels. Lawmakers also need to pass a defense authorization bill, and many want to enact an election reform measure and an increase in the debt limit.
Wyden sees a retirement savings bill this year. The Finance Committee chair, who keeps the job next Congress, predicts the House and Senate will agree on a consensus package of retirement savings incentives. In a call with reporters, he was less confident about a deal on the Child Tax Credit and key business taxes, including expensing research costs. He said only there would be a “clear debate” on the issues.
House Ways & Means membership is up for grabs. At least 10 Republicans are contending for slots on the Ways and Means Committee in the next Congress. If, as expected, they win control of the House, Republicans likely will keep the current majority-minority party split on the panel, with 25 seats for the GOP and 18 for Democrats. The GOP also must settle a battle for chairman among Vern Buchanan of Florida, Adrian Smith of Nebraska, and Jason Smith of Missouri.
Washington State’s wealth tax stalls. The Washington State Tax Structure Group, a bipartisan group of state and local officials, failed to include a wealth tax among its recommendations to the 2023 state legislature. The plan to levy a 1 percent tax on wealth exceeding $1 billion fell one short of the needed five votes.
Local climate action taxes — are they the future? Voters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, approved a 10-year, 1-mill community climate action tax that will raise $7 million annually. It’s one of the first tax increases for climate action programs in the country and the first in Michigan. Denise Keele, director of the Michigan Climate Action Network, said, "There are several different groups at a very local level that I think are… going to try to follow that as a model."
Bitcoin billionaire’s tax scam uncovered by DC whistleblowers. In a lawsuit filed in DC Superior Court, whistleblowers allege that tech titan Michael Saylor failed to pay income tax in the District for years even though he owns a 7,000-square-foot home there. They claim Saylor defrauded the city of tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue by falsely claiming to be a resident of Florida, a no-income-tax state. A newly revised law allows citizens to sue alleged tax cheats on behalf of the city and collect a bounty if their case succeeds. The Saylor lawsuit could earn the whistleblowers up to $25 million, and the city could recoup as much as $150 million.
India will change its capital gains tax structure in its next budget. The government seeks to align tax rates and holding periods for equity, debt, and property. India currently taxes asset classes in a variety of ways. The government is mulling several proposals to simplify the capital gains structure to be made in its 2023-2024 budget.
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