The voices of Tax Policy Center's researchers and staff
Don’t believe the hype: Budget work in Congress has only just begun. TPC’s Howard Gleckman explains that the budget resolution passed by the congressional GOP is just a fiscal outline. The real fun—or in the case of Congress, conflict—begins when they start hashing out spending details.
In Louisiana, the House approved lots of tax bills, but still failed to balance the budget. The state faces a shortfall of $1.6 billion starting July 1, and the gap hits higher education and health services hardest. Yesterday the House of Representatives passed 11 tax bills that would raise $670 million in extra revenue. But that’s well short of the $937 million GOP leaders say is needed to cover basic costs in next year’s budget.
Mayor Bill DeBlasio doesn’t want New York City to be home only to “penthouses and luxury condos.” He’d like to require developers to set aside up to 30 percent of their apartments for low- and moderate-income tenants in order to qualify for a property tax exemption. He’d also levy a transfer tax surcharge on sales of homes over $1.75 million. Some context: New York City renters living in market rate units spend more than half their income on rent, nearly double the national average.
The number of expats giving up US citizenship in 2015’s first quarter breaks a record. Bloomberg data say that 1,335 Americans turned in their passports, in part to avoid new bank reporting and tax compliance requirements. That’s still a tiny fraction of the 6 million US citizens who live abroad. Unlike other most other countries, the US taxes its citizens on foreign income, even if they live overseas.
Will Australia’s “Netflix tax” take hold? The Aussies will release their federal budget next week and it may include a new 10 percent sales tax on digital downloads. The levy would cover products and services such as e-books and software purchased from overseas. Currently, imports valued at less than $1,000 are exempt from Australia’s Goods and Services Tax.
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