Senate to move ahead with stopgap bill. Spending talks continue as the first deadline of Jan. 19 approaches. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced plans to advance a short-term funding measure that will keep the government open as lawmakers continue to pass full-year spending bills. He said the Senate could expect to take its first procedural vote on the short-term bill on Tuesday, Jan. 16. Another continuing resolution could still threaten the political future of Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA). Politico reported (paywall) that GOP’s more conservative wing is pushing the speaker to abandon the budget deal topline numbers.
National Taxpayer Advocate: IRS needs to be more transparent about its level of service. In the National Taxpayer Advocate’s annual report to Congress, Erin Collins wrote that among the IRS’ most serious problems is the agency’s 85 percent level of phone service does not reflect the share of calls the IRS answers. “Only 35 percent of callers to the IRS reached an agency employee during the filing season, with the remainder hanging up before being assisted, being routed to a different phone line excluded from the [official] metric, or having their call directed to an automated response.”
First Amendment challenge to Maryland’s digital ad tax can move forward. The 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals directed a lower federal court to hear the challenge to Maryland’s digital advertising tax on First Amendment grounds. Plaintiffs argue that passing along the cost of digital advertising taxes on to customers violates the constitution by restraining speech.
Is New York’s property tax system unconstitutional? TaxNotes reports (paywall) on the case before the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. An association of property owners argues that New York City’s property tax system is discriminatory and violates both federal and state constitutional provisions. In a nutshell, they argue that the city’s assessments for one-, two-, and three-family residential properties are “grossly nonuniform,” and claims the city assesses them at a higher rate than condominiums, cooperatives, and rental apartment complexes.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice proposes more tax cuts. The Republican governor wants three tax cuts worth about $49.7 million included in the state’s general fund budget of $5.22 billion in the 2024 fiscal year. The total revenue estimate for the proposed budget is $5.265 billion. West Virginia officials are still assessing the impact of the 21.25 percent cut to the state’s personal income tax that went into effect last March for the 2023 tax year.
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