Archive for the ‘State & Local Issues’ Category

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 […]

The Supreme Court Opens The Door to Sales Tax Collections by Online Sellers

Yesterday, by doing nothing, the U.S. Supreme Court took a giant step towards ending the decades-long dispute over whether states can require online retailers to collect sales taxes. In effect, the High Court ruled that, absent congressional action, states have broad authority to require Internet sellers to collect those levies just as their Main Street […]

Sorting Through The Property Tax Burden

When it comes to property taxes, location matters. In a new TPC report, my colleague Brian David Moore and I look at just how much property taxes vary across states and counties. Using self-reported American Community Survey data, we find that residential property taxes tend to be close to $1,000 per year, with a small […]

Narrow Tax Hikes Win Support in Several States

Last Tuesday, voters in several states approved modest tax hikes. Increasingly, states are using ballot measures to determine whether to support new taxes. Some of these referenda are binding, others just advisory. But in 2013, voters in several states seem to be hungering for more revenue—though sometimes from unusual sources and decidedly not by raising […]

Who Benefits from Muni Bonds? It’s More Complicated Than You Think

Who benefits the most from the tax subsidy for municipal bonds? The easy answer is: Rich people who buy most of the tax-free paper. That’s true, according to a new analysis by my colleagues at the Tax Policy Center, but the story isn’t quite that simple. If you look more closely, it turns out that […]

IRS Recognizes Same-Sex Marriages, Regardless of Where Couples Live

Just two weeks ago, I discussed potential tax issues a same-sex married couple could face if they live in a state that doesn’t recognize their marriage. Yesterday the IRS ruled that, for tax purposes, such couples are married regardless of where they live. That ruling answers the question of what filing status the couple must […]

Why Legal Marijuana is a Good Argument for Tax Reform

“Marijuana Industry Eager to Pay Taxes – and Cash in on Deductions” That was the headline for a story written by Rob Hotakainen of McClatchy Newspapers the other day. In less than a dozen words, it describes much of what’s wrong with the federal tax system.  And in an odd way it helps explain why […]

Same-Sex Couples after DOMA

It’s been less than two months since the Supreme Court ruled part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional and the fallout has only begun to settle. Nowhere is there more uncertainty about the effects of the ruling than regarding federal taxes. The court struck down Section 3 of DOMA, which denied federal recognition […]

Detroit’s Pension Blues, and America’s

In the week since Detroit became the largest U.S. city to declare bankruptcy, many commentators have speculated about what, if anything, this action means for the rest of the country.  One narrative is that Detroit is sui generis – a city whose fiscal problems were long in the making, aided by broad macroeconomic forces and […]