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Proposal to Raise Vapor Taxes in Washington State Gets Base and Rate Wrong

Just like last year, Washington lawmakers will consider a bill (HB 1676) which would change the vapor tax base and increase the tax rate on vapor products. Both these changes would be steps in the wrong direction, as they would negatively impact smokers’ decision to switch from more harmful combustible products to harm-reducing vapor products. […]

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Poor Tax Design in Alaska Vapor Tax Proposal

A proposal to introduce a wholesale tax on vapor products in Alaska could make switching from combustible tobacco products very expensive for smokers. If enacted, HB 110 (SB 45) would, among other things, impose a 75 percent wholesale tax on nicotine vapor products (including components)—a rate comparable to the rate on other tobacco products and […]

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Why Washington State Can’t Claim Its Capital Gains Tax Is an Excise Tax

When is an income tax an excise tax? And for that matter, what exactly is an excise tax? The fate of Washington’s capital gains tax, currently in litigation, rests at least in part on the answer to these questions. By way of background, Washington’s supreme court has repeatedly held that the state’s constitution functionally prohibits […]

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Cigarette Taxes and Cigarette Smuggling by State, 2019

Key Findings: Excessive tax rates on cigarettes in some states induce substantial black and gray market movement of tobacco products into high-tax states from low-tax states or foreign sources. New York has the highest inbound smuggling activity, with an estimated 52.2 percent of cigarettes consumed in the state deriving from smuggled sources in 2019. New […]

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Aligning Kentucky’s Tax Code for Growth

Executive Summary Overview Tax reform has been on Kentucky lawmakers’ minds for years, and while significant progress has been made recently, substantial work remains to be done. In 2018, the General Assembly made important strides in creating a more neutral, pro-growth tax structure even while generating a net increase in revenue. With its reduction in […]

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The Surprising Challenge of Too Much Tax Revenue—and Florida’s No-Gas-Tax Solution

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) knows how to make a splash, and his proposal to suspend the state’s gas tax—temporarily, but without a specific end date—will only burnish that reputation. Citing rising prices at the pump and the state’s substantial revenue surplus, the governor is calling upon the legislature to take the state’s gas tax […]

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Norway’s New Budget Adds Unnecessary Complexity

Norway’s new center-left government that took power on October 14 has set out its 2022 budget proposals, amending the 2022 budget proposal announced last month by the outgoing conservative government. The new budget comes with several tax cuts and a handful of tax hikes. While the new proposal cuts indirect taxes by $270 million it […]

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How Do Build Back Better Taxes Affect 5G Competition?

One unintended consequence of the tax proposals in the Build Back Better Act is a higher potential burden on wireless spectrum investments. Proposals like levying a minimum tax on book income would retroactively tax past spectrum purchases and raise the tax burden on future spectrum purchases. In turn, it could distort the prices companies are willing […]

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Republican Cannabis Bill Would Tax by Category

Today, Representative Nancy Mace (R-SC) released the States Reform Act, which would deschedule, regulate, and tax cannabis products with a novel federal excise tax design—based on quantities and predefined categories, not dissimilar from how the federal government taxes alcohol and tobacco. Rep. Mace’s bill would impose a tax of 3 percent on the removal price […]

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Complexity Harms Tobacco Tax Design in Cigarette-Popular Indonesia

Indonesia, the world’s second-largest cigarette market, has a uniquely complex system when it comes to taxing its tobacco consumption, which is almost exclusively cigarettes (98 percent). The country’s cigarette taxes are divided into no less than 10 rate tiers based on product type, volume, and price. These tiers are meant to protect smaller manufacturers and […]