Treasury Secretary Yellen: “Catastrophe” if the US doesn’t raise the debt ceiling. President Biden meets with Congressional leaders tomorrow to discuss the debt limit, which could be reached as soon as June 1. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told ABC This Week: “If they fail to do it, we will have an economic and financial catastrophe that will be of our own making, and there is no action that President Biden and the US Treasury can take to prevent that catastrophe.”
Senate Finance Committee may seek Harlan Crow’s tax returns. Following a ProPublica report on the payments made by billionaire Harlan Crow benefiting Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his family, Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden has given Crow until today to provide a full account of Crow’s gifts to Justice Thomas. “Should he fail to comply, I will explore using other tools at the committee’s disposal to obtain this critical information,” Wyden said in a statement.
Also on Capitol Hill this week… The House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing Wednesday on policies affecting innovation and patient access to certain therapies and treatments. The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday morning to examine pharmaceutical manufacturers and US international tax policy.
Jurisdiction questioned in Maryland Supreme Court challenge to digital advertising tax. Verizon and Comcast continue to challenge the constitutionality of Maryland’s tax on digital advertising. A Maryland court last year ruled that the tax violates the federal Internet Tax Freedom Act and the US Constitution’s prohibition on state interference with interstate commerce. The Associated Press reports on the debate over which court should have jurisdiction. Maryland has argued the case should go before the US Tax Court, while Verizon and Comcast contend the state’s high court should review the dispute. Some companies have already voluntarily submitted digital advertising tax payments to Maryland totaling nearly $107 million.
Is Pennsylvania’s pot tax too high? A revenue analysis by the Independent Fiscal Office finds that Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal for adult-use cannabis could generate $253 million a year by fiscal year 2028, but the 20 percent tax rate on recreational marijuana may be too high. The Pennsylvania Cannabis Coalition’s Meredith Buettner says that rate could be “cost-prohibitive for folks. They’re more likely to stay in the illicit market.”
Denver City Council member proposes a new tax to support minority-owned businesses. Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca has proposed that Denver levy a new tax to fund reparations for minority-owned businesses. Specifically, a business improvement district, or BID, could be used to enact a race-based tax on white-owned businesses. “You could be collecting those extra taxes from white-led business all over the city and redistributing them to Black and Brown-owned businesses,” She said at a forum before the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance, Were such a tax enacted, it would likely result in constitutional challenges.
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