Illinois governor floats graduated state income tax that would replace flat tax.
IT’S A MINIMUM TAX: Massachusetts lawmakers are seeking to update the state’s corporate tax structure to funnel more money toward transportation, as MassLive reported. Perhaps not surprisingly, the state’s business community is cool to that idea, but top Democrats say it’s time to increase a tax that’s been untouched for around three decades.
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The new proposal would create a system with nine tiers based on a company’s annual sales, with the lowest bracket covering all businesses bringing in less than $1 million, ranging all the way to a top tier focusing on businesses with at least $1 billion in sales. (Companies in the lowest tier would owe $456, while those in the top bracket would have to cough up $150,000.) Democrats say it’s high time that businesses contribute more to the state transit system, and believe the proposal could raise some $150 million a year. But business groups say it’d be unfair to tax companies on sales instead of profits, among other complaints.
“Murphy’s Millionaire-Tax Pitch Gains Momentum in New Jersey.”
A Portland, Ore.-area business group is asking regional leaders to reconsider their plan for raising new funds to battle homelessness, proposing to swap out a new progressive income tax for a new payroll tax, the Portland Tribune reports. The Portland area’s regional government is moving to put an income tax proposal on the ballot in May, and is considering an extra 1 percent tax on individual income over $125,000 a year and family income over $250,000 a year. That reportedly would raise in the neighborhood of $250 million a year, and the Metro Council is scheduled to meet on the proposal today. In the meantime, the Portland Business Alliance is making the case that a progressive payroll tax would raise a similar amount of money and be a better option, in part by noting that Oregon already has a relatively high income tax. The regional government is already thinking of a payroll tax for a transportation funding measure that is planned for the November ballot.
The GOP-controlled legislature in Wisconsin has sent a quarter-billion dollar tax cut to the state’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers. But as The Associated Press reports, Evers is expected to veto that measure, leaving the two parties at a standstill over how to use a surplus north of $600 million. Evers has proposed to use that extra money to spend more on education and to lower property taxes, but the Republican legislature isn’t interested in that plan. (One clue that Evers is going to veto the GOP tax cut: He tweeted that the measure was “unsustainable” and suggested that Republicans get to work on his plan.) The Republican plan, passed by the Assembly in its final scheduled day of action this year, would give an average tax cut of about $100 to most qualifying filers.
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