Tax Refund

A deal on spending without much tax. Early this morning, congressional leaders agreed on a $1.7 trillion spending bill to keep the government funded through Sept. 30. The bill includes a package of retirement savings tax incentives and curbs on conservation easements. But it leaves out efforts to increase the Child Tax Credit (CTC) or restore several generous business tax breaks, including expensing for research costs and bonus depreciation for capital investments. The bill freezes IRS funding. Congress now must scramble to pass the package before government funding runs out on Friday. 

What was the business uptake of TCJA investment expensing? The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act temporarily allowed full expensing (bonus depreciation) of most equipment investments and permanently increased the amount of investment that can be expensed by small businesses under section 179. A TPC report finds only about 80 percent of eligible businesses claimed full expensing and about 60 percent of small businesses claimed section 179 expensing. The TCJA’s sharp reduction in corporate income tax rates helped explain why takeup by C corporations declined.  

In case you wondered, California’s biggest recipient of property tax exemptions is… Stanford University. It recently beat the Getty Museum in Los Angeles as the state’s largest beneficiary. In 2021, Stanford received over $16.8 billion in property tax exemptions, almost half  the $35.2 billion granted by Santa Clara County.  

Will St. Louis and other cities raise sales taxes on recreational marijuana? The city of St. Louis and at least five other local governments in St. Louis County may levy additional sales taxes on recreational marijuana sales. The state allows municipalities to add up to a 3 percent tax on top of the 6 percent state sales tax. Voters can approve city tax proposals in an April 4 general municipal election.

Report: The number of UK billionaires grew by 20 percent since the pandemic. The Equality Trust charity in the United Kingdom reports that UK billionaires’ wealth grew by £150 billion between 2020 and 2022. It counted 177 billionaires in the country. The group calls for a progressive wealth tax for more even distribution of wealth and an end to the UK’s role in tax avoidance. 


For the latest tax news, subscribe to the Tax Policy Center’s Daily Deduction. Sign up here to have it delivered to your inbox weekdays at 8:00 am (Mondays only when Congress is in recess). We welcome tips on new research or other news. Email Renu Zaretsky at [email protected].

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