How Quickly Can Lame Ducks Move Before the Holidays?

On the Hill this week: House Republicans will choose either Paul Ryan or Kevin Brady to be the next Ways & Means Committee chair. But Ryan would have to give up the gavel if he chooses to run for president, according to a new party rule approved last week. Meanwhile, senior tax writing committee members […]


A Billionaire Saves, Two Words Disappear, and Three Provisions Protect

There’s more than one way to skin a cat (and reduce taxes). Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, has made a swap for Procter & Gamble’s interest in Duracell. The “cash-rich split-off” means that Berkshire Hathaway bought Duracell in exchange for its appreciated P&G stock, worth $4.7 billion. Capital gains taxes are not incurred since […]


How Did Medical Device Makers Become Poster Children for Obamacare Critics

The push to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s tax on medical devices has somehow become a touchstone for GOP efforts to chip away at President Obama’s health care law. But why?  To paraphrase Bogart’s  classic line from Casablanca:  Of all the taxes in all laws in all the world, why did they pick this one? […]


Liability, Math, and Budget Crunches

Can a state tax all of the income of its residents, wherever it is earned? The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday in Comptroller v. Wynne. A decision will answer whether residents of one state are liable for taxes on income earned in another state, even if that income has already been taxed. If […]


Clicks, Pumps, Dreams and Time… How Many May See Their Taxes Rise?

Cyber Monday will live to hear another click. Speaker of the House John Boehner has at least temporarily killed the Marketplace Fairness Act. The bill, which would allow states to require out-of-state websites to collect Internet sales tax, passed the Senate last year with bipartisan support. Tax Analysts reports that House Judiciary Committee Chair Bob […]


Now is the Perfect Time to Raise Gas Taxes

Let’s see if I have this right: Congress needs to finance highway and transit projects but can’t agree on how. The traditional revenue source is the gasoline tax. Gas prices are at their lowest levels in years and dropping. Consumers would barely notice if they had to pay a bit more now at the pump. […]


You Can’t Always Get What You Want, But If You Tax Sometimes…

Taxes are going up in the Windy City… again. The Chicago city council is about to approve a $62.4 million tax hike on everything from parking and auto leases to cable TV and tickets to live sports and entertainment. Yesterday, the City Council’s finance committee approved a host of targeted increases designed to fund the […]


ACA Tax Provisions Still Under Fire

Together again: The US Supreme Court, the IRS, and the Affordable Care Act. Two years ago, the Court ruled that the ACA health care mandate is a constitutional tax. Now, it has decided to consider whether the IRS has overstepped its authority by providing premium tax credits to enrollees in federally established health insurance exchanges. […]


Tidings of Comfort and… Low Rates.

The secret’s out: Luxembourg sent “comfort letters” to 300 companies and slashed their tax bills. The companies include Pepsi, AIG, Ikea, FedEx, and Deutsche Bank. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists review leaked documents which show that companies channeled hundreds of billions of dollars through Luxembourg and saved billions in taxes, thanks to the tiny […]


Voters Hate Gas Tax Hikes—That’s a Problem for States

On Election Day, Massachusetts voters proved once again that increasing the gas tax is a political loser. And that’s a problem. As I explain in a new Tax Policy Center brief, the federal government and most states have per-unit gas taxes. That is, they tax the number gallons purchased, not the purchase price (as sales […]