Archive for the ‘State & Local Issues’ Category

A Terrible Response to the Internet Tax Mess

Ten months ago the Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation aimed at sorting out the mess over online sales taxes, which consumers owe but states rarely collect. Now, House GOP leaders are floating what they call a compromise:  Set national rules for sales tax collection based on the location of the seller, not the buyer.  It is […]

Stark Variation in Taxpayer Use of Itemized Deductions, County by County

Taxpayer use of itemized deductions varies widely by location, according to a new analysis of 2007 IRS data. In about one in ten counties, 11 percent or fewer taxpayers itemize while in another 10 percent at least 38 percent of taxpayers claim deductions. In a handful of counties, more than half of taxpayers itemize. In […]

Camp Tax Reform Would Create New Challenges for States

House Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp’s recent tax reform plan would raise the cost of doing business for many state and local governments. Camp would repeal the deductibility of state and local taxes, including both property taxes and income taxes. He’d abolish tax-exempt private activity bonds. And he’d impose a 10 percent surtax on municipal […]

How To Fix Washington, DC’s Tax System

An advisory commission has recommended some interesting changes to the District of Columbia’s tax system. The commission’s proposals may provide some useful lessons for other states looking to reform their tax codes. In some ways, of course, DC is unique. While it is a city, it functions much like a state. However, because of its […]

Federal Job Cuts Are Not Just Biting Inside the Beltway

Government employment is down again. But while cuts in state and local jobs drove the decline in 2011 and 2012, the federal government is the culprit now. The federal workforce has decreased about 3 percent, or 75,000 positions, from last year. That’s in sharp contrast to the slightly positive growth (0.3 percent) for the state […]

Variation in EITC Take-up, County by County

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one of our nation’s most effective anti-poverty policies, bringing 10.1 million families out of poverty in 2012. The EITC is designed to reward work by increasing wages for low-income workers; workers with low incomes can receive up to an additional 45 cents for every dollar they earn. Recognizing […]

Oscar Nominees Cash In On State Tax Subsidies

Each of the nine movies nominated for this year’s Oscar for best film may already have taken home a pile of tax subsidies. Seven brought back state goodies from the U.S. and two got cash for their work in the U.K. And, according to data collected by the Manhattan Institute, the winner is….Wolf of Wall Street. […]

Utah Lets Same-Sex Couples File Joint Tax Returns

The Utah State Tax Commission yesterday reversed Governor Gary Herbert (R), ruling that same-sex couples may file their 2013 state tax returns as married, as long as they wed before the end of last year. The ruling also applies to couples who married in other jurisdictions. As I discussed in my last TaxVox post, the […]

Tax Complications for Same-Sex Couples in Utah (and Elsewhere)

The battle over same-sex marriage in Utah not only raises important questions about marriage law; it also further complicates income tax filing for gay couples who tied the knot during the few weeks when those nuptials were deemed legal. The problem: While federal courts hash out the legality of Utah’s same-sex marriages, gay couples who […]

The US Income Tax Burden, County by County

Differences in income and other characteristics mean that federal income tax  burdens vary substantially across counties. While the median federal income tax burden across counties is about $3,400, approximately 10 percent of counties  have average tax burdens less than $2,100 and around 10 percent of counties have  average tax burdens over $6,700. Counties with high federal […]