Tax Refund

A new study blames tax cuts, not spending increases, for the federal government’s fiscal trajectory. First reported by Semafor, research from the Center for American Progress argues that the national debt – as compared to the size of the US economy – would have been stable since the early 2000s, if not for tax cuts enacted since the Clinton administration. “If Congress wants to decrease deficits, it should look first toward reversing tax cuts that largely benefited the wealthy, which were responsible for the United States’ current fiscal outlook,” the report says.

Treasury issues draft rules for Superfund taxes. Treasury put out proposed regulations for Superfund excise taxes on oil and certain chemicals enacted as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021. The taxes are in effect from July 1, 2022 to January 1, 2032.

California towns are seeking compensation from Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services for their use of public rights-of-way. Cord cutting causes plenty of tax issues. Local governments rely on fees from traditional video programming services like cable, but those fees typically do not apply to over-the-top services like Netflix. Via Tax Notes (paywall), a group of California towns are arguing that streaming companies owe franchise fees because their video programming relies on the use of the same underground cable infrastructure.

Vermont lawmakers mull a paid leave system funded by a payroll tax. The bill to create a statewide paid medical family leave insurance system easily cleared the state’s House of Representatives, but Gov. Phil Scott (R) is concerned about enacting a broad new tax given the economy and the state’s current budget situation. Under the proposal, the state would impose a payroll tax equal to 0.55% of wages up to double the Social Security taxable income maximum. Vermont’s Joint Fiscal Office estimates the tax would raise about $117 million over the first 12 months.

Minnesota Democrats seek a sales tax hike to pay for rental housing assistance. After failing to include the rental assistance proposal in the state’s budget plan, Rep. Michael Howard (DFL) is among those instead proposing a 0.25% sales tax in the counties making up the Twin Cities metro area. The tax would reportedly raise $300 million per year.

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. While Renu Zaretsky is on vacation this week, you can email John Buhl at [email protected].

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