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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” »

State Tax

Maryland general fund revenues top $16.7 billion for FY 2017

Baltimore Maryland by Bob Burkhard via Unsplash

Maryland closed the fiscal year on a high note with comptroller Peter Franchot announcing Friday that the state’s general fund revenues totaled about $16.7 billion in fiscal year 2017, which is over $90 million above estimates.

However, it appears that state leaders aren’t exactly going on a spending spree with the extra money — Franchot “emphasized the need for fiscal caution during these uncertain economic times.” Continue reading “Maryland general fund revenues top $16.7 billion for FY 2017” »

State Tax

South Dakota takes on digital retailers in SALT case

Bison on prairie photo by Cameron Kirby

The South Dakota Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in a case that could have a significant impact on how ecommerce is conducted throughout the country.

The case,ย South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc. involves the state’s attempt to tax remote internet-based retailers who lack a physical presence in the state.

The state’s argument.

During oral arguments, the state was in the unusual position of asking the S.D. Supreme Court to rule for the defendants —

  • Wayfair Inc., an online home goods store,
  •, an online home goods and fashion store, and,
  • NewEgg Inc., an online electronics store.

The state’s oral argument was brief, and it asked the court to grant summary judgement in favor of the defendants so the case can be fast-tracked on appeal to the United State Supreme Court.

The state’s attorneys argued that existing laws requiring a connection between a state and a retailer beyond the mere mailing of goods were outdated and did not reflect the modern reality of online commerce. South Dakota’s law was meant to address this “loophole” in federal tax law and allow the state to collect its fair share of sales tax from the ever-increasing amount of online sales in the state. Continue reading “South Dakota takes on digital retailers in SALT case” »

Daily State Tax

State tax deductions and the Alternative Minimum Tax

Photo of 20 dollars by Vitaly, Sand City, United States - via Unsplash

From Frank Sammartino at the Tax Policy Center:The Complex Relationship Between The State And Local Tax Deduction And The Alternative Minimum Tax.”

“The House Republican leadership and the Trump Administration want to repeal the state and local tax (SALT) deduction and the individual Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). But as policymakers consider the combined proposal, they should be careful about the sometimes-surprising ways they interact with one another.

AMT repeal, which has widespread support on Capitol Hill, would primarily benefit high-income households. Over 5 million households pay more each year in individual income tax due to the AMT, the vast majority with annual income over $200,000.”

Continue reading “State tax deductions and the Alternative Minimum Tax” »


Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins proposes cutting property tax rate (again)

An image of a home by 'Inspiration de' via Unsplash

From The Dallas Morning News,Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins proposes cutting property tax rate.”

For the second year in a row, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins will seek to cut the county property tax rate “to help working families.”

Property values across the county rose by 11 percent this year, but after owners protest their assessments, officials expect the final tally to mark a 7.2 percent rise over last year. That stands in contrast to a 2.7 percent increase in the average worker’s wages, Jenkins said this week.

Meanwhile, County Commissioner John Wiley Price said Jenkins was engaging in “political posturing” the year before he runs for re-election. Price said the county needs the tax money to keep bringing staff salaries in line with other employers in the region, as well as update its equipment and buildings.

Continue reading “Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins proposes cutting property tax rate (again)” »