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” »

Estate Tax Federal Tax Law

ProPublica: How real estate developers can avoid gift taxes

Picture of New York City and Rockefeller Center, NY, by Florian Giorgio via Unsplash.

From ProPublica:Here’s How Trump Transferred Wealth to His Son While Avoiding the Usual Taxes.”

Eric Trump bought the two condos on the two top floors of the Trump Parc East building at 100 Central Park South for $350,000 each. Trump Organization filings show that, as of February 2016 — two months before Trump sold the apartments to Eric — the condos were priced at $790,000 and $800,000. A similar one-bedroom condo on a lower floor at the same building sold for $690,000 in 2014.

The transactions illustrate the unique advantages that real estate developers like Trump have when passing down valuable assets between generations.

“Not everyone has the opportunity to avoid gift taxes, just developers with developer units,” said Beth Shapiro Kaufman, an estate planning attorney and president at Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, D.C. “The biggest game in gift taxes is valuation issues.”

Continue reading “ProPublica: How real estate developers can avoid gift taxes” »

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” »


Economists react to Trump’s tax plan

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

From The New York Times:Trump Tax Plan Will Not Bolster Growth, Economists Say.”

President Trump says the perfect medicine for the economy’s sluggish growth is a big tax cut.

Mr. Trump and his advisers say that leaving more money in the hands of businesses and consumers will lead to more spending and investment, lifting economic growth, which has been stuck in a 2-percent-a-year rut.

But a range of economists, both conservative and liberal, are highly skeptical that a tax cut is the cure for what ails the economy. They say Mr. Trump has little opportunity to increase economic growth in the next few years because the economy is already growing about as fast as it can. The government’s focus, they say, should be on raising the economy’s speed limit, for example, by encouraging investments that increase productivity.
Continue reading “Economists react to Trump’s tax plan” »


Wall Street angst over tax reform

Man in suit by Matthew Henry, Toronto, Ontario, via Unsplash

From The Hill:Tax reform becomes Wall Street obsession.”

Financial analysts and investors are on constant alert for any crumb of news from Washington about tax reform as they try to game out which companies will win big and how it will affect profits going forward.

But industry sources tell The Hill that the high hopes for a tax overhaul that fueled a stock rally after President Trump’s election are starting to fade, due in part to the slow pace of legislating and the administration’s decision to release a tax plan with few details.

“There was a huge disconnect between Washington and New York with regards to tax reform,” said a former Senate aide now on K Street. “Folks within the business community are starting to realize that the aggressive agenda that was put forth by this administration in the early days was a pipe dream.”

Behind Trump, who campaigned on reshaping the tax system to unlock economic growth, congressional Republicans are laboring toward the first major rewrite of the tax code since 1986.
Continue reading “Wall Street angst over tax reform” »