Tax Analysts Blog

Wednesday, November 2, 2011
The Minnesota Vikings would like the people of Minnesota to pay for a new stadium. Specifically, the team wanted the legislature to okay a local option sales tax to finance the stadium. But the Minnesota legislature has said no (although most legislators are open to a public referendum). There is n...
Friday, October 21, 2011
Most mainstream public finance experts have been critical of Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan. They have called the plan crazy and nuts and evil. I was shocked at the unanimity of the opposition. But I know why they hate it. First, Cain is a guy who sold pizza for a living. The intellectuals are going to t...
Friday, October 7, 2011
Way back in August 2010, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley called for repeal of her state's corporate income tax. I blogged about this issue at the time. I pointed out that the state corporate tax was an inefficient and ineffective way to raise revenue, but that I was not sure South Carolina coul...
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The District of Columbia Council narrowly voted to impose higher taxes on its wealthiest citizens. The law, expected to be signed by Mayor Vincent Gray, will tax those making more than $350,000 a year at 8.95 percent. Those earning more than $40,000 will continue to be taxed at -- a still high -- 8...
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Republican Maine Governor Paul LePage is proposing to exempt all pension income from the state income tax. Old people vote and I get the politics of the proposal. But it is fundamentally bad policy to exempt all pension income from tax without regard to one’s ability to pay. LePage says the propos...
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
If you have not done so, you should read the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’s newest report on the effects of taxes on migration (Higher State Taxes Bring More Revenue, Not More Migration). The report, authored by Bob Tannenwald, Jon Shure, and Nick Johnson shows that higher personal incom...
Friday, August 12, 2011
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney created quite a stir when he tried to explain why he was against raising corporate taxes. In response to a heckler in the audience, Romney said that "corporations are people, my friend." He took a lot of heat for that rather innocuous comment. Democrats had a...
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine came out with its ranking for the most tax friendly states for retirees. Wyoming is Number 1, followed by Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Delaware, and Louisiana. Where the heck is Florida? I thought old people...
Monday, June 13, 2011
A lot of people agree that Ohio has a lot of unnecessary tax expenditures that should be repealed. The state gives you a $20 tax credit just for being an Ohioan. That little incentive costs the state $165 million a year. The state provides a deduction for campaign contributions. That deduction cost...
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Just when you thought you heard every weird idea in the state and local tax field, folks in Michigan surprise you. Michigan Rep. Anthony Forlini (R) introduced legislation that would force inmates to pay Michigan’s six percent sales tax on any good they buy in prison. So if you are doing 25 to lif...
Monday, May 16, 2011
Illinois Rep. Shane Cultra (R) has said publicly that parents of obese children should lose their income tax deductions. He thinks that will spur parents to get their kids to go on diets. I know if I was going to lose my deduction, I would have my kid running about five miles every day while I foll...
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Rhode Island governor Chafee has had a lot of tax ideas recently. Some have been good. But one in particular is awful. Chafee would like to impose the state sales tax on “purchases used for manufacturing” and “property or service purchased to make a finished product for resale.” All I can say i...
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
There are “Fair Tax” proposals being floated in several states – the most serious is in Missouri. The latest is in Louisiana. Some legislators have introduced the Louisiana Fair Tax Act (HB 239) which will repeal all personal and corporate income taxes as well as the franchise tax. It will repla...
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Alabama Rep. Merika Coleman (D) said that "It’s time to Rumble" in response to a question as to whether the state Democrats would fight for combined reporting. There is a measure before the Alabama House that would have the state adopt combined reporting for all corporations. Contrary to the argum...
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Florida Rep. Chris Dorworth (R) introduced a bill (HB 1069) that would create tax incentives for certain investments in the state. Even with Florida's $4 billion deficit, Dorworth’s bill is not all that unusual. But the Orlando Sentinel broke a story that the proposed law would benefit only one co...
Friday, March 25, 2011
Oregon has a $1.6 billion budget gap. But some folks there figured out that the state forgoes $31.3 billion every biennium through deductions, credits, and exemptions. That proves that narrowing the tax base not only violates the prime directive of broad base and low rates but also costs a lot of m...
Monday, March 14, 2011
OK, Amazon isn't actually going to kill anyone. But the company that's on every state's list of ways to raise more revenue did send California a threatening letter. California has a budget deficit so big that it can no longer be stated in numbers. It's simply "very big." The state would like to mak...
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Lots of folks in Georgia want to raise the cigarette tax by a $1.00 a pack. Georgia has a very low cigarette tax ($0.37/pack, 47th in the nation). It probably does not collect enough cigarette taxes to pay the costs of smoking related illnesses in the state. And a tax hike is probably warranted. Bu...
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Amazon the internet behemoth is mad as a hornet at Texas. In fact, the company is so mad it closing its distribution center in Dallas. The company informed its employees that it is leaving because Texas is not treating them so nice. You see, Texas has billed Amazon $269 million for sales taxes the...
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
There are some folks in Minnesota who are earnestly thinking about expanding the sales tax to services. And some folks would like to see legal services included in the sales tax base. In the modern era, of course, no state has ever expanded the sales tax to any professional services. That failure h...