We retired Tax Justice Blog in April 2017. For new content on issues related to tax justice, go to www.justtaxesblog.org
North Carolina’s two major newspapers, the Raleigh News and Observer and Charlotte Observer, published editorials in support of the state’s estate tax in the wake of a hearing last week called to eliminate it. From the News and Observer: “The estate tax is hardly a burden on those few inheritors who have to pay it. It is a modest but valuable asset to government revenue, and there is nothing unfair about [it].” And, from the Charlotte Observer: “Some Republicans support abolishing the federal estate tax. They should explain why the extremely wealthy should be able to avoid paying any taxes on unrealized capital gains.”
Washington State’s special legislative session started yesterday. The media is reporting that the session will be a contentious battle over how the state should close its $1 billion budget gap. (Hint: the answer’s in the Washington State Budget and Policy Center’s proposal to tax capital gains income. )
An article from The Miami Herald reveals some ugly details surrounding the $2.5 billion in business tax cuts just passed by the Florida legislature. As the Herald points out, “those benefiting had plenty of lobbyists … AT&T, which has 74 Florida lobbyists, spent $1.68 million on lobbying last year, more than any other company.” Not coincidentally, AT&T and Verizon – both champion tax dodgers – were among the biggest winners. A last-minute amendment to the legislation could give the telecommunications industry a tax break as large as $300 million.
A great op-ed in the Kansas City Star asks why Governor Brownback wants taxes in Kansas to be like Texas, reminding Kansans that Texas ranks low in everything that really matters, from high school graduation rates to household income to crime.
Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Co. and Gaylord Entertainment Co. have struck a deal with Nashville, Tennessee Mayor Karl Dean that, if approved, would result in an estimated $5.4 million in property tax breaks for their planned water and snow park. Ben Cunningham of the Nashville Tea Party was right to point out that the plan amounts to a “giveaway” to companies that plan to move to the city anyway and that it’s time to stop “giving in to this kind of corporate extortion.”
Photo of Dolly Parton via Eva Rinaldi Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0