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State Tax Changes Taking Effect July 1, 2022

Although the majority of 2022 state tax changes take effect at the start of the calendar year, some are implemented at the beginning of the fiscal year. Individual and corporate income tax changes usually take effect at the beginning of the calendar year to maintain policy consistency throughout the tax year, but sales and excise […]

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Are Tax Rebates a Good Way to Provide Relief from Rising Prices?

States are flush with cash, but taxpayers’ purchasing power is being eroded by high inflation. It’s unsurprising that many policymakers have jumped at the chance to apply surpluses to meet the genuine needs of many residents—but good intentions do not always make for good policy.  Tax rebates, gas tax holidays, and other temporary tax expedients […]

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Suspending the Gas Tax Is a Mistake

Rising inflation has become a dominant issue for policymakers in the past year, with the most recent report finding inflation has risen 7.5 percent over the past 12 months. Some lawmakers have proposed suspending the gas tax to reduce inflation. Rising gas prices are certainly one piece of the inflation puzzle—but suspending the gas tax […]

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Carbon Tax: Weighing the Options for Financing Reconciliation

Last week, The New York Times reported that in opposing corporate or individual income tax increases, Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) has pushed other Senate Democrats, such as Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), to consider a carbon tax to finance some of the infrastructure package. A carbon tax would be a less economically harmful pay-for than either […]

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Tax Reform and Infrastructure Investment: The Two Theories

On August 23rd, Jared Bernstein and Ernie Tedeschi, two members of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, released a blog post arguing that the Biden administration’s spending agenda would help keep long-term inflation in check. Their theoretical argument is sound: in the long run, productivity enhancements should put downward pressure on prices. However, the major […]

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The Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan Avoids Tax Increases, Undermines User-Pay Principle, and Misses Chance to Modernize Obsolete Programs

The Senate has begun deliberations over a bipartisan plan to provide $550 billion in new spending for a wide range of infrastructure projects, including roads, bridges, public transit, broadband, and the electrical grid. The good news is that lawmakers avoided raising taxes to cover the cost of the new spending and instead used some reasonable […]

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How Did We Ever Agree to Fund Infrastructure Investments?

Policymakers broadly agree that investments by the federal government in highways, mass transit, and other modes of transportation are crucial to facilitate the nation’s economic activity, but they can’t seem to agree on how to fund such investments. The current debate is over corporate income taxes, and therein lies the problem. The standard approach long […]

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How High are Gas Taxes in Your State?

This map shows state gas tax rates as of July 2021, using recently released data from the American Petroleum Institute. States levy gas taxes in a variety of ways, including per-gallon excise taxes collected at the pump, excise taxes imposed on wholesalers (which are passed along to consumers in the form of higher prices), and sales taxes that apply […]

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Dynamic Scoring of Infrastructure Spending Proposals Offsets Small Portion of the Cost

As Congress considers turning the $579 billion bipartisan infrastructure deal and President Joe Biden’s $2.2 trillion American Jobs Plan (AJP) into legislative text, policymakers may consider using additional tax revenue generated from infrastructure spending to offset the plans’ deficit impact. Applying dynamic scoring to the spending side of the proposals would only generate a small […]

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Expensing Is Infrastructure, Too

The Biden administration has suggested several tax increases for his infrastructure plan. Public infrastructure can help increase economic growth, but by raising taxes on private investment, the net effect on growth may be negative. However, tax options like retaining expensing for private R&D investment or making 100 percent bonus depreciation for equipment permanent would be […]