The days are long but the years are short.
-- Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project
Truer words were never written. Closing out the end of 2016 came quickly, but 2017 has the potential to be an exciting year for taxes. I would like to thank you the readers, contributors, and supporters of State Tax Notes. The magazine continues its mission of providing the best state tax coverage. Our first issue of 2017 recognizes George Isaacson as State Tax Notes' person of the year and identifies select administrators, organizations, practitioners, and lawmakers with outstanding contributions to the state tax field in 2016. This edition includes Farewell 2016, Hello 2017 articles by Peter Faber, Arthur Rosen and Andrew Greiner, Annette Nellen, Jonathan Williams, and Lynn Gandhi. Our new advisory board is announced -- it is a privilege to work with every member, and I am grateful for their guidance and support. I'm excited to launch Board Briefs, a quarterly roundtable series that will mirror the format used by The New York Times, in which a question will be posed to our board members and their responses will be published in the magazine. This week's first edition provides board responses to the dark horse issue of 2017.
On p. 119, Walter Hellerstein of the University of Georgia Law School and chair of the State Tax Notes Advisory Board discusses the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's International VAT/GST Guidelines and their relevance to state taxation.
Dan Bucks addresses corporate tax avoidance and the problem of profit shifting. Bucks states that corporations and wealthy individuals benefit from hiding profits and income in tax havens, and considers the prospects for the public to overcome their political power.
On p. 141, Craig Fields and Eva Niedbala of Morrison & Foerster LLP review state and local tax developments of the past year and discuss some of the more important litigation of 2016, with a focus on apportionment cases.
In Raising the Bar, Joe Crosby of MultiState Associates, Kendall Houghton of Alston & Bird LLP, and Stephen Kranz and Diann Smith of McDermott Will & Emery review tax developments of 2016, such as state efforts to overturn Quill, and make predictions for the coming year.
On p. 135, Billy Hamilton of the Texas A&M University System provides his views on 2016.
Kathleen Wright of Golden Gate University looks at the results of the 2016 California elections, which increased taxes on high-income taxpayers, tobacco products, and sugar-sweetened beverages.
On p. 161, State Tax Notes contributing editor Roxanne Bland discusses the rise, fall, and resurrection of the rail industry with the assistance of Congress's Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act. Bland states that although the 4-R Act was intended to ease regulatory restrictions and prohibit discriminatory property taxation by states and localities on the rail industry, the industry has been fraught with litigation and conflicting court rulings over the meaning and scope of the act.