More work, more questions… and certainty? The Senate will work through amendments to the $1 trillion infrastructure bill that includes $550 billion in new spending. But how might it be paid for? Will economic growth help cover the cost, or revenues collected with increased reporting on cryptocurrencies?
And what will happen in the House? Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will not take it up until the Senate approves a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package that includes many of Biden’s other domestic priorities. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer insists that the Senate will pass both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion budget blueprint before leaving for the August recess.
The US economy fully recovered from the pandemic by June 30, but what’s next? The US Department of Commerce reported an annual economic growth rate of 6.5 percent in the quarter ending in June. Economists are still optimistic for continued growth through 2021, but surging COVID cases, especially the delta variant, among unvaccinated people temper that optimism.
Wisconsin’s property tax limits may be fueling more referendums and borrowing. A new report from the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum finds that local governments have been using debt to cover most spending that would usually be covered with cash. Property tax levies for debts issued after 2005 are exempt from state limits. Through that exemption, cities, villages and towns increased property taxes by 3 percent in 2020-21. The net new construction rate, which generally drives property tax rates, was 1.6 percent.
Massachusetts House (and likely Senate): Delay charitable giving tax deduction. The Massachusetts House and Senate approved a one-year postponement of the charitable tax deduction to Jan. 1, 2023, as part of the state’s 2022 budget. Gov. Charlie Baker vetoed the delay legislation, but the House just voted to override the veto and the Senate is expected to follow suit. The deduction would cost an estimated $64 million in the current budget year and $300 million annually. “Yes, the revenue picture is rosy, but it’s not certain. It doesn’t mean no, just not now,” said Rep. Mark Cusack, the House chair of the Committee on Revenue.
Brazil likely to vote on tax reform next week. The nation’s lower house of Congress returns next week, and is expected to vote on tax legislation that is aimed at simplifying and lowering personal income taxes and levies on corporate profits. Brazil's tax regime is widely seen as one of the most complex in the world.
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