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Why Washington isn’t the model for state tax reform

Row houses in Washington D.C.

James Stewart recently published a column in the New York Times called, “For Tax Reform Lessons, Congress Needn’t Look Far.”

In the column, Stewart describes how Washington D.C. cut corporate and business taxes in 2014, reduced individual tax rates for everyone earning less than $1 million, and “broadened the tax base by eliminating many loopholes.”

Stewart then states that economic growth and tax receipts in the District have “surged,” implying that this growth is due to lower rates and the city “standing up to special interest groups” who wanted to keep special tax breaks. Continue reading “Why Washington isn’t the model for state tax reform” »

Politics

Republican tax writers eager to move past healthcare debate

Photo: The White House by Srikanta H. U via Unsplash

From Politico:Tax writers see peril in Trump’s Obamacare persistence.”

“Senators left Washington on Thursday for a monthlong recess and will return to a September already overloaded with legislative deadlines. With key Trump administration officials and some congressional leaders having said they want to get a tax revamp signed into law this year, tax writers believe they’ll need to make serious progress starting next month.

“We’re not going back to health care. We’re in tax now. As far as I’m concerned, they shot their wad on health care and that’s the way it is. I’m sick of it,” Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Wednesday, a day before he outlined his committee’s agenda for the fall.”

Continue reading “Republican tax writers eager to move past healthcare debate” »

Daily Politics

Bipartisan beer caucus hops into tax reform debate

Beer toss photo by Wil Stewart on Unsplash.

From The Hill:Bipartisan beer caucus hops into debate over tax reform.”

A surprising cause might play a role in bipartisan tax reform later this year: beer.

Members of both parties are expressing support for craft brewing, with a caucus even forming in the House to champion it.

The House Small Brewers Caucus has 225 members, more than half of the chamber, making it the largest bipartisan caucus on Capitol Hill.

Beer might be the last truly bipartisan issue in Congress, according to caucus co-Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), as it has a major economic impact on almost every congressional district.

“It’s about jobs, jobs and more jobs,” Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), another caucus member, told The Hill. “There are some 32,000 people involved in independent brewing in Pennsylvania alone. You look at those numbers and you say, ‘Oh my gosh, this has a significant impact on local economies.’ ” Continue reading “Bipartisan beer caucus hops into tax reform debate” »

Politics

Baton Rogue man charged with attempting to illegally look up Trump’s tax returns

Office in the evening by Joshua Davis via Unsplash.

From Politico: Louisiana man charged in attempt to look up Trump’s tax records

A Louisiana man has been charged with using a federal student loan application tool in an unsuccessful attempt to look up then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s tax records.

The man, Jordan Hamlett, is a private investigator, according to the publication, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, which first reported the arrest. The alleged attempt occurred on Sept. 13, in the weeks leading up to the presidential election. Hamlett pleaded not guilty, according to court records.

Trump has refused to release his tax returns because he says he is under IRS audit. Government watchdogs and Democrats have said the information will provide critical information about his business interests and indicate the true value of his wealth.

Continue reading “Baton Rogue man charged with attempting to illegally look up Trump’s tax returns” »

Daily Politics

Florida Judge faces ethics complaint for misleading newspaper endorsement claim

Man reading newspaper photo by Toa Heftiba, via Unsplash. http://www.heftiba.co.uk/

From the Orlando Sentinel:Judge in ethics case sheds tears in defense of political ad.”

Orange-Osceola Circuit Judge Kim Shepard faces charges of judicial misconduct for “intentionally and purposefully” distributing a misleading Orlando Sentinel quotation during her 2014 campaign, according to the Judicial Qualifications Commission, an independent state agency.

The quotation could have led voters to believe she garnered the Orlando Sentinel endorsement, which she didn’t, the JQC alleges. And Shepard didn’t make clear that it came from a different, 20-year-old endorsement during Shepard’s run for re-election to the Florida House of Representatives, which she lost.

Continue reading “Florida Judge faces ethics complaint for misleading newspaper endorsement claim” »