Tax Analysts Blog

Friday, September 7, 2012
Missouri has many screwed up tax incentive programs that benefit the connected, the powerful, and those willing to throw a little money around the halls of the capitol. Governor Jay Nixon has reconvened a commission to study tax credits in the state. That is a good thing, of course. The state spend...
Thursday, August 16, 2012
This is almost unbelievable. The big three tobacco companies are lobbying the Texas legislature to adopt a special, “extra” tax on small tobacco companies. Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, and Lorillard Tobacco are doing the lobbying. Apparently, smaller cigarette manufacturers are undercutting the...
Monday, August 6, 2012
Ohio Governor John Kasich is going to try to reduce his state’s income tax burden once again. Kasich has long wanted to slash income tax rates; most recently he tried to pay for income tax cuts with a fracking tax. Now the governor would like to reform his state’s sales tax to pay for income tax...
Thursday, August 2, 2012
In November, Michigan voters will decide whether future tax increases will require a two thirds vote of the legislature. It will pass. The people of Michigan are increasingly weary of taxes and the inefficiencies of government. Like many folks around the country they do not think they are getting a...
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
When you get to the bottom of this post, you will demand special prosecutors, resignations, and perhaps jail time. The Associated Press recently published a story about the top Republican challengers to U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. McCaskill took heat last year for having to pay $320,000 in ba...
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
When I was a progressively minded editorial writer, I was never opposed to higher income taxes. I come from a long line of Brunoris who knew neither terrible poverty nor great wealth. It was easy to shrug off attempts to tax people who were better off than I am. But now I'm convinced that calls for...
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
ABC Studios is going to do a television series called Nashville. The show will, appropriately, be about the country music scene. Nashville is the home of country music. In fact, the city calls itself “music city.” It is the home of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Grand Ole Opry, and the CMA M...
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett (R) wants to give Shell Oil Co. $1.7 billion in tax breaks for its planned ethane cracker plant. Corbett's proposal would provide Shell $67 million in annual tax credits over a 25-year period beginning in 2017. Corbett should be impeached for suggesting such a ridi...
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe had the nerve to call anyone who does not support tax breaks for the wind energy industry "un-American." To a politician like Beebe, handing out tax breaks to particular industries may seem very American. In fact, it is much more like Soviet economic planning than anyt...
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
I keep hearing more and more state legislators talk about imposing taxes on "violent video games." It reminded me of an article I wrote earlier this year about such proposals. Back in February, bored Oklahoma lawmakers took a break from playing checkers and talking about OU football to make an imp...
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Pennsylvania casinos earned $1.5 billion for the state last year. That was the tax haul from fleecing gamblers. Everyone – conservatives, liberals, libertarians – should be appalled. I know, the folks who get the $1.5 billion are happy. The teachers, police officers, and the myriad companies livi...
Friday, May 4, 2012
Several years ago, in a blatant money grab, the California Board of Equalization decided that flavored malt beverages should be taxed as hard liquor (at $3.30/gallon) rather than beer (at a much more civilized 20 cents/gallon). This week, in a 3-0 decision a California appeals court said that “the...
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
The Republicans in the South Carolina House are preparing a significant reform plan that will vastly improve the state's tax system. Although details are sketchy, the plan will broaden the sales tax base by eliminating two thirds of the exemptions and lower the rate by half a percentage. All remain...
Friday, February 10, 2012
My friends at Roth & Company – the preeminent CPA firm in Iowa – posted a chart on their Tax Update Blog showing which states tax groceries. Actually the chart is from the Tax Foundation. I was shocked to see how many states completely exempt groceries from sales tax (32) and how many tax at redu...
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
I just finished reading my colleague Marty Sullivan's new book on corporate tax reform. It's called Corporate Tax Reform: Taxing Profits in the 21st Century and is a nonpartisan guide to what he calls the great debate on the subject. As many know, Marty is one of the most influential thinkers when...
Friday, January 27, 2012
On June 12 North Dakota voters will decide whether to pass Constitutional Measure 2. That measure will repeal all property taxes. It is the most ridiculous idea ever proposed in the field of state and local public finance. The property tax remains the only source of revenue that insures local auton...
Thursday, January 12, 2012
I have been opining, preaching really, for years on why we should repeal the state corporate income tax. As I noted before, any corporation with a breathing accountant can avoid all or most state corporate income taxes. It's not the fault of corporations. They generally act responsibly with respect...
Monday, January 9, 2012
The Policy Institute of Montana issued a report recently calling for higher taxes through a more progressive system. The report is titled “Tax is not a Four-Letter Word: Ideas for a More Progressive Taxation System in Montana.” The Institute would like to raise income taxes on the wealthy (above...
Thursday, January 5, 2012
A common refrain from liberals is that the wealthy do not pay their fair share of taxes. Such charges usually devolve into a debate over how much the one percent does, did, and should pay. The debate over how progressive the income should be has raged since its inception. Blum and Kalven concluded...
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Just about a year ago, I wrote a post outlining my advice for liberals with respect to tax policy. As we enter the next legislative season, I thought I would share some advice with conservatives. Let’s start with this premise. Citizens want a certain level of state and local government. No amount...