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ARPA’s Tax Cuts Limitation Is a Problem for More States Than You Think

What do Alabama, Kansas, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and South Dakota have in common? They’re the only states that did not adopt or implement some sort of tax cut in 2019 or 2020, based on NCSL tables on new revenue negative tax provisions (43 states) and Tax Foundation research on the implementation of previously-adopted phased tax […]

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State Conformity to Federal Pandemic-Related Tax Provisions in CARES and ARPA

Table of Contents Key Findings The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act made temporary structural changes to the federal tax code to enhance business liquidity, including more generous treatment of net operating losses and business interest expenses. Under the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), businesses that receive loan forgiveness are not required […]

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ARPA Allocates $2 Billion to Nonexistent County Governments

The government of Hartford County, Connecticut is in line to receive $173 million in local aid under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). There’s only one problem: the government of Hartford County doesn’t exist, nor do any of Connecticut’s other counties have county-level government despite being allocated a collective $691 million under the bill. The […]

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How the CARES Act Shifted the Composition of Tax Expenditures Towards Individuals

In November 2020, the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) released its annual report on expenditures in the tax code, showing a total of almost $1.8 trillion in 2020, up from $1.5 trillion in 2018. Much of that roughly $1.8 trillion was due to tax relief provided by the CARES Act—and reflect the policy choice to […]

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A Neutral Tax Code Counts Unemployment Compensation as Taxable Income

During the pandemic, implementation issues in some states resulted in underwithholding income tax due on enhanced unemployment benefits, and surprise tax bills, for many jobless workers. For instance, in California, when workers opted to withhold 10 percent of their unemployment compensation for taxes, that only applied to state benefits and not enhanced federal benefits. The […]

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Making the Expanded Child Tax Credit Permanent Would Cost Nearly $1.6 Trillion

Families with children will see a significant increase in their maximum child tax credit (CTC) in 2021 thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) expanding child-related tax benefits. President Biden is now exploring how to make the ARPA’s temporary expansion of the CTC permanent. Whether and how lawmakers choose to finance a permanent expansion […]

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U.S. COVID-19 Relief Provided More Than $60,000 in Benefits to Many Unemployed Families

With passage of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), much of the $6 trillion in relief over the past year was directed to the unemployed in unemployment insurance (UI) benefits and to low- and moderate-income households in stimulus payments and child tax credits (CTC). The unemployment insurance benefits paired existing state-level weekly aid with a federal […]

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The American Rescue Plan Act Greatly Expands Benefits through the Tax Code in 2021

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 The United States has provided about $6 trillion in total economic relief to the American people during the coronavirus pandemic, including the $1.9 trillion that was approved when President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act into law on Thursday, amounting to about 27 percent of gross domestic […]

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Does the American Rescue Plan Ban State Tax Cuts?

Senate amendments to the American Rescue Plan Act prohibit using any of the $350 billion in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to cut taxes, but many are concerned that states which accept the funds could be prohibited from implementing tax cuts between now and 2024—an astonishing level of federal interference in states’ fiscal affairs. […]

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Senate Direct Payment Design Would Create High Implicit Marginal Tax Rates

As part of congressional negotiations this week over President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, the Senate Democrats’ compromise of faster phaseout rates to be eligible for checks will create high marginal tax rates on taxpayers over a narrow range of income. This change makes the direct payments more targeted to those in need but […]