Tax Analysts Blog

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
There is a lot of buzz about a proposal in Pennsylvania to repeal most of the property tax. SB 76, which Sen. David Argall (R) introduced last year, would eliminate all school district property taxes in the state and replace the revenue with increased income and sales taxes. He would raise income t...
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Over the past several years, the issue of income and wealth inequality has been all the rage. Apparently the old adage "The rich get richer" was spot on. The purported inequality never bothered me much. Rich people usually get their money from being smart and working hard and taking advantage of op...
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Readers of this blog know my views on tax incentives -- I believe they are the most pernicious of tax policy choices. I believe they violate every principle of sound taxation. They are neither horizontally nor vertically equitable. They distort markets by design. They lack accountability. They cost...
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
For the uninitiated, bourbon is a type of whiskey distilled from corn. Bourbon can be expensive; Black Maple Hill sells a bottle for $125. Or it can be cheap; I've seen it for $8 a bottle. But whether expensive or cheap, it is almost always from Kentucky. In fact, 95 percent of all bourbon in the...
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Tesla Motors makes electric cars -- and they must be pretty good cars because they cost $70,000. Despite selling really expensive cars, Tesla has long been the darling of the left. Nothing says "I am committed to saving the polar bears" better than driving a luxury, battery-powered car. For several...
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Wallet Hub is a social media company that allows people to search for and compare financial products and interact with a community interested in making “smarter financial decisions.” Wallet Hub also does all kinds of state and local rankings. It lists the best places to work, the best places to b...
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
According to some excellent reporting in the Honolulu Civil Beat, the Legislature is considering a slew of tax incentives to promote manufacturing in the state. Yes, there are those (particularly established manufacturers) who would like to promote something other than tourism, hosting of naval bas...
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
I recently read the February 24 Good Jobs First report, “Subsidizing the Corporate One Percent,” by Philip Mattera, a respected thought leader in our business. It says that three-quarters of all state economic development subsidies went to just 965 corporations since the beginning of the study in...
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
The Navajo Nation is trying to use its tax code (I didn't know the Navajos had a tax code) to promote healthier living. The Navajos recently voted to impose higher taxes on “junk food” and reduce taxes on healthier alternatives. I abhor government attempts to get people to do things for their ow...
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
If you teach tax law, accounting, or public finance, Tax Analysts is offering a great opportunity for your students. We are conducting our first student writing competition. You should encourage students who have written quality papers to submit them to studentpapers@tax.org by May 31. The winning...
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
My friends at Citizens for Tax Justice believe that federal corporate tax burdens are too low. They also believe that the system is infected with planning opportunities that allow corporations to avoid their "fair share" of taxation. Seeing as CTJ is one of the nation's premier progressive advocac...
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Sometimes I have to pinch myself. I read recently in the Kansas City Business Journal that Missouri gave a big law firm $2.8 million in tax incentives to move to Kansas City. I thought there must be some kind of mistake. Certainly, no politician would agree to give citizens' hard-earned money to l...
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Horse racing has been a dying sport since Nathan Detroit bet on a horse named Paul Revere in Guys and Dolls. In Pennsylvania, the schools are broke. So naturally, when governments need money, they turn to a moribund pastime to pay the bills. Rep. Todd Stephens (R) has proposed taking money from som...
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
The sales tax has been a blessing and a curse. One of its great virtues is that it is collected by the vendor, which then remits it to the state. Neither the taxpayer nor the tax agency has much to do except pay and collect. The vendor does the work. The success of the sales tax for the last 90 yea...
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
The New Hampshire House is poised to pass a law legalizing marijuana use -- and taxing it. The bill, HB 492, sponsored by Rep. Steve Vaillancourt (R), would impose a 15 percent sales tax on retail marijuana purchases and a $30-per-ounce sales tax on wholesale purchases. It would raise about $30 mil...
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
It's kind of funny to see Apple and Wal-Mart in bed together. Two companies could not be more different. Apple represents the young, hip, educated, and cool. Everybody loves an iPhone. Wal-Mart is ridiculed by the very people who make Apple successful. It is a place at which urban sophisticates wa...
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to talk to a group of legislators about sales tax policy. I was asked if I had any ideas for reform. I mentioned the common ideas of broadening the base by taxing services and remote sales, and lowering rates. I also said that states should exempt business p...
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Writing for a tax magazine, I have always focused on the revenue side of public finance. I believe that there is either a right way or a wrong way to raise money to pay for public services. Everyone assumes that any significant changes to the tax system must occur in a revenue neutral way – that i...
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
The Atlanta Braves are planning to move their stadium to the suburbs. The Braves blackmailed, threatened, and coerced the backboneless politicians in Cobb County, Ga., to pay for the stadium. You might think that Cobb County is run by conservative small government leaders who disdain picking winne...
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
After the milquetoast political leaders in Washington agreed to give Boeing a tax break that will last well past all of our retirement years, the aircraft manufacturer could not come to terms with its union. So Boeing decided to take its toys and find another playground to build its 777X jetliner....