Who should review IRS rules? Conservative groups want the OMB to play a role. In a letter to President Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, and Neomi Rao, administrator of OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, they said, “The IRS must live by the same rules of administrative law and agency oversight as the rest of the executive branch.” But Rao acknowledges that OMB review will slow the process of writing post-Tax Cuts and Jobs Act rules. And Ways & Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady says Treasury should be the lead horse in the regulatory process.
Could states fix the SALT deduction cap for pass-throughs? TPC’s Howard Gleckman reviews Connecticut’s plan to impose a new entity-level tax on partnerships, limited liability corporations, and other pass-through businesses while giving their owners an offsetting individual income tax credit. It’s an intriguing idea, but problems—and myriad questions—remain.
Georgia’s senate holds a Delta tax break hostage over NRA support. Georgia’s House had approved a $40 million tax break for Delta. But in the wake of consumer pressure following the Parkland (FL) high school killings, the airline has stopped offering discounted fares to NRA members. Now, Senate conservatives have threatened to kill the tax deal. Delta decided to end the discount program in an effort to stay out of the gun policy debate. Avoiding gun politics seems impossible these days.
The White House will ignore a petition for release of President Trump’s tax returns. The petition on its website collected 1.1million signatures, but the White House says “Please note that this petition is not within the scope of the Terms of Participation of We the People, as the President’s decision regarding whether to release the tax returns does not address an action or policy of the Federal Government.”
SLFI says Follow the Money. City leaders, non-profit service providers, advocates, and researchers all need accurate data on how federal funds flow to local governments so that they can respond effectively to policy changes. TPC’s State and Local Finance Initiative has produced a guide to help navigate the patchwork of primary data sources and online portals that show how the federal government distributes funding. It describes the strengths, weaknesses, and best uses of the data and explains where users can find information on trends or how their community stands relative to its peers. It also makes recommendations for how to improve data quality, comparability, and usability at all levels of government.
In Canada: Businesses push for tax cuts. They worry they’ll lose investors. The Business Council of Canada, a group of chief executives in Canada, wants an immediate cut in the nation’s corporate tax rate, but has not specified by how much. The council also wants Canada to commit to keeping the business income tax rate below 23.75 percent, the current average tax rate of members in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Next week at TPC. On March 7, register or tune in to the live webcast of panel presentations on wealth, taxation, entrepreneurship and philanthropy. The event, moderated by TPC’s Len Burman, starts at 9:00 am, and features Jenny Bourne of Carleton College; Shena Ashley of the Urban Institute’s Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, and TPC’s Gene Steuerle and Rob McClelland.
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