More than 1.5 million Americans filed new unemployment claims last week. About 760,526 filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. It was the eleventh straight week that at least 1 million Americans filed new claims. While last week’s claims were the lowest since March, they still were far higher than pre-pandemic levels. As of June 6, about 20.5 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits. Meanwhile, a new Morning Consult poll finds that three in four voters support keeping or expanding the weekly $600 jobless benefit enacted under the CARES Act but set to expire in July.
It's Infrastructure Week, again. Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Democrats will pull together several different bills into a single $1.5 trillion plan to fund everything from education and broadband to roads and water. She promises a House vote on the Moving America Forward Act before July 4th. Still no plan on how to pay for the new spending.
Should Tax Day 2020 be moved again… to 2021? More than 20 conservative groups led by the National Taxpayers Union Foundation want Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to extend the current July 15 tax deadlines for filing and payments into next year. They call the current tax payment deadline a “fiscal cliff endangering our economic recovery.”
The TCJA’s Opportunity Zone program isn’t creating the jobs it was supposed to. The Urban Institute has assessed whether the program—enacted under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and designed to boost jobs and business growth in undercapitalized communities—is working in practice. In a nutshell: It’s not doing what it set out to do. Write Urban Institute’s Brett Theodos, Jorge Gonzalez, and Brady Meixell, “The incentive’s structure makes it harder to develop projects with community benefit in places with greatest need. In contrast, OZs are providing the biggest benefits to projects with the highest returns, which are rarely aligned with equitable development."
New York State legislators want more taxes on the rich. Ninety-nine Democratic members of the state Assembly and Senate released a statement calling for higher taxes on the wealthy to help New York State recover from the COVID-19 recession and close a multi-year budget gap of more than $60 billion. Say the lawmakers, “We will not allow state budget cuts without raising revenue from those who can most afford to pay more."
In case you missed it: TPC updated its online briefing book. The online resource on state, local and federal taxes helps the public, the press, students, and government staffers follow significant fiscal changes—like legislative responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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- © Urban Institute, Brookings Institution, and individual authors, 2020.