Daily Deduction

from the Tax Policy Center

Compromises, Delays, Derivatives and Daze

By :: July 14th, 2014

A highway bill could soon head down Pennsylvania Avenue. The House Rules Committee  plans to send to the floor the Ways & Means panel’s short-term highway funding bill today. After a floor vote sometime this week, it’s seen as the likely version to land on the President’s desk. In the Senate, the Finance Committee and the  Environment and Public Works panel want to work together to pass a long-term, fully funded transportation bill this year. But chances of getting the House to go along are slim.

Permanent tax breaks will (still) likely wait. The House voted to make permanent the bonus depreciation tax break on Friday, but the current Senate majority’s approach on such “extenders” would make the tax breaks good only through 2015. It is increasingly likely the President won’t see an “extender” bill on his desk till after the mid-term election in November.

Is the Renaissance over? The Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations reportedly plans a hearing on July 22 on the trading strategy used by Renaissance Technologies, LLC. Renaissance’s Medallion hedge fund converted profits from rapid trading into lower-taxed, long-term capital gains by using “basket option contracts” with a number of banks: “The profits are just being transmuted, through the alchemy of derivatives, to a preferenced return,” explained TPC’s Steve Rosenthal.

Alright, alright, alright…The state of Washington is neither dazed nor confused when it comes to taxing marijuana. It collected nearly $150,000 in excise taxes over its first three days of legal marijuana sales. Excise taxes of 25 percent are levied twice: once when  producers sell their product to licensed retail stores, and again when shops sell to consumers. Demand is still outstripping supply. Legal marijuana sales began Tuesday, July 8, and Seattle’s only legal marijuana shop ran out of its product by Thursday, July 10.

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2Comments

  1. total body cleanse  ::  1:55 am on July 15th, 2014:

    Thanks for finally talking about > TaxVox

  2. Michael Bindner  ::  2:57 am on July 15th, 2014:

    I don’t see the pension smoothing bill getting through the Senate (unless the President signals he will sign it). The long term fix likely requres an election to solve. Anyone who does not use the highway trust fund as an issue is daft.

    The Extenders bill fight over deadlines should be something to be resolved over five brandies and formerly cigars. The Speaker, Minority Leader. Senate Democratic leader, Senate Republican Leader and the VP should still settle it over dinner – or just the VP and the Speaker. Waiting until November is silly – especially if the Democrats take the House or lose the Senate. Do it now.

    The Renaissance strategy amounts to legalized industrial espionage. Either ban it or tax it out of existence with a Tobin Tax.

    The Washington expeirment shows that people will pay high taxes for safety from both arrests and a thug controlled pot market. There seems no downside unless someone uses the wrong anti-depressent with pot (which can cause suicide – but the problem is the pill).