Tax Law

    • 13 May 2013

    State Net Capitol Journal – May 13, 2013

    Budget & Taxes TAX REVENUE SURGE YIELDS SURPLUS IN CA: On April 17 California received nearly $2.8 billion in personal income tax payments, the third-largest amount collected on a single day in the state's history. That haul - combined with a sizeable bump in business tax revenues - means the state will likely end the year with a $4.5 billion budget surplus, after years of deficits. Assembly Budget...
    • 10 May 2013

    No Bang for the Buck

    New York State spent $2.8 billion on state and local tax breaks for businesses in the five years 2007 through 2011, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said Tuesday in a new report . DiNapoli says that money generated more than a million jobs at an average cost of about $2,700. That sounds like a pretty good deal for taxpayers. If only it were true. But the fact is that New York State did not add a million jobs during those...
    • 9 May 2013

    No Use for Useless Stances

    ... This week the Senate passed something called the " Marketplace Fairness Act " [of 2013] that would basically let states force sellers who do not have a physical presence in the taxing state collect sales tax, and thereby get around all this use tax confusion. Personally, I have thought for a long time that there is no place in this modern world -- where you can go to your computer and buy a pair of shoes...
    • 9 May 2013

    Go Big or Go Home - Tax Reform in Maine

    The big idea of the last week was a dramatic tax reform proposal in Maine . The idea is big and bold. Big and bold usually means a measure has no chance of passage. State legislators from both parties are not exactly profiles in courage. The proposal would change all of the state's primary taxes. For sales taxes, the bill raises the rate from five percent to six percent. It would eliminate an estimated 200 exemptions...
    • 6 May 2013

    State Net Capitol Journal – May 6, 2013

    Budget & Taxes AK GAMBLES ON OIL TAX CUT: A domestic energy production boom has put the United States on track to become the world's biggest oil producer by the end of the decade. But Alaska, once the nation's oil king, is getting left behind in that expansion, due largely to declining production on its North Slope. In an effort to halt that trend, the state's Republican-led Legislature approved...
    • 3 May 2013

    Subsidies - Good News and Not So Good

    First, the good news, at least in New York state: Giveaways of state tax dollars to businesses, from retail Hollywood movies, are finally being challenged by a Republican politician. Seeing the party of business raise this issue is good news indeed. A new state law that took effect May 1 is supposed to stop subsidies for retail from malls to car dealers to a suburban Buffalo donut shop . ... The not so good news...
    • 2 May 2013

    Taxes Don't Matter Until, Well, They Matter

    ... One thing is true about New York - City and State. They'll tax anything - your car, your house, your clothes, your Big Gulp, your bullets (that is for the three people they let buy guns), people who live in New Jersey, and cigarettes, cigarettes, and more cigarettes... New York politicians are mad about taxing... But that may be changing. Lately, I've been seeing a TV commercial promoting the "New"...
    • 1 May 2013

    Pancho Villa and Three Hundred Million Joints

    As everyone knows, Colorado recently legalized marijuana ... Here are some cool facts about pot in Colorado. The Colorado Futures Center estimates that demand for marijuana will hit 2,268,985 ounces a year... about 70 million grams. If you can roll five joints per gram, we are talking about three hundred and fifty million joints. There are only five million people in the state. With all that pot being toked up, the...
    • 26 Apr 2013

    Taxpayers Subsidize Rich Anti-Taxers

    When it comes to picking taxpayer pockets, few organizations display as much chutzpah as the American Legislative Exchange Council. It is a rich person's anti-tax lobby, hating paying the price of civilization and in love with the idea of weak tax law enforcement. Now taxpayers, at least in South Dakota, will pay for legislators to belong to ALEC. In Pierre this spending of taxpayer funds to finance what is an anti...
    • 22 Apr 2013

    State Net Capitol Journal – April 22, 2013

    Budget & Taxes KS TAX REFORM WORST IN NATION: Joe Henchman of the conservative Tax Foundation and Nick Johnson of the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities rarely agree on anything having to do with taxes. But when Governing magazine recently asked the two tax policy experts to identify the best and worst tax reform efforts in the nation, both agreed the worst was the tax law passed last year in...
    • 17 Apr 2013

    States Should Repeal Their Estate Taxes

    ... [S]tates can go a long way toward meaningful reform by repealing their estate and inheritance taxes. I have said before on many occasions that the state estate taxes are nothing more than jealousy fueled money grabs... Right now 21 states and the District of Columbia impose some kind of estate tax. And while the exemption at the federal level is a hefty $5.25 million, all of the states have exemptions that hit...
    • 15 Apr 2013

    State Net Capitol Journal – April 15, 2013

    Budget & Taxes STATES' TRANSPORTATION FUNDING NEEDS TRUMPING TAX AVERSION: This month Virginia's Republican-controlled House and GOP-Democrat-split Senate gave final approval to a $6 billion transportation funding overhaul proposed by the state's Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell that included, among other things, a new 3.5 percent sales tax on gasoline and a 6 percent tax on diesel fuel. That action...
    • 10 Apr 2013

    Multistate Tax Compact: Is the End Near?

    On March 8, 2013, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard signed Senate Bill 239, which repealed all provisions of the Multistate Tax Compact from South Dakota law. While South Dakota does not have an income tax and didn't participate in the Multistate Tax Compact's Audit Program, the move to repeal the measure could be indicative of a growing trend amongst states. In addition to South Dakota, Utah's Governor...
    • 10 Apr 2013

    New York's Highest Court Affirms Constitutionality of Click-Through Nexus

    Click-through nexus is a well-known term in the world of sales and use tax. It refers to the proposition that an internet vendor may be required to collect and remit sales tax on sales that originate from links placed on the websites of independent affiliates if that affiliate has nexus with the taxing jurisdiction. It is also known as affiliate nexus but may be most commonly known as the "Amazon tax" or "internet...
    • 8 Apr 2013

    State Net Capitol Journal – April 8, 2013

    Budget & Taxes NY HIGH COURT UPHOLDS INTERNET AFFILIATE LAW: In the long-running feud over online sales taxes, the federal courts have consistently held that Internet retailers must have a "physical presence" such as a warehouse or employees in a state to be subject to that state's sales tax. A handful of states, including New York, however, have sought to expand the definition of physical presence...
    • 5 Apr 2013

    Constitutional Limitations on State Taxation of Securities Transactions

    by Andrew W. Singer, Esq.* I. Introduction Income from securities transactions may be subject to both federal and state income taxes, at least in the substantial majority of States that impose income taxes. The US Constitution imposes limits on State taxes to which the federal income tax is not subject, and which therefore require consideration... ... One of the most important limits, with significant implications...
    • 4 Apr 2013

    Gas Tax Follies

    Many states are rethinking how they pay for transportation in general and how they tax gasoline in particular. Maryland is the latest state to pass legislation ( HB 1515 ) dramatically changing the look of transportation finance. Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), who isn't known for promoting good tax policy, will sign the legislation. But he shouldn't. The Maryland bill would impose a sales tax on gasoline at the...
    • 1 Apr 2013

    State Net Capitol Journal – April 1, 2013

    Budget & Taxes REBOUND SPURRING RAINY DAY DEBATE: During the recession, states raided their rainy-day funds to help plug budget holes. Now, with the economy rebounding, some states are running surpluses. Governors in several of them are pushing to boost those cash reserves higher, spurring debate about whether it would be better to spend that money than save it. Collectively, states are projected to increase...
    • 1 Apr 2013

    State Tax Essentials: Corporate Income Tax Computations

    by Robert Desiderio * Although there is some measure of conformity with the federal corporate income tax base, every state's statute makes its measure of tax corporate income different from the federal base. Typically, there are additions and subtractions from the adopted federal starting point made when computing state corporate taxable income. These modifications result from variations in the state's power...
    • 27 Mar 2013

    Bored Politicians Taxing Strippers

    Every once in a while politicians have the need to tax or regulate some aspect of the adult entertainment industry. Sometimes they go after hookers . Some times they go after dirty movies . Sometimes they go after adult book stores . Often the politicians go after strippers . Strippers are an easy target. The "dancers" are not exactly like the Koch brothers or the teachers unions when it comes to influencing...
    • 18 Mar 2013

    State Net Capitol Journal – March 18, 2013

    Budget & Taxes SOME LAWMAKERS PUSH FOR 'SIN TAX' ON GUNS: To some lawmakers in Congress and at least a half dozen states - particularly since the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school shooting - guns are a sin against society, like alcohol and cigarettes, and should be taxed accordingly. "Sin taxes" date back to at least the early 1500s when Pope Leo X taxed licensed prostitutes to help...
    • 18 Mar 2013

    California Residency for Income Tax Purposes

    by Bradley R; Marsh and Dina B. Segal * People have long flocked to California for its beautiful weather, rich agriculture, and immense business opportunities in a myriad of industries. In November 2012, however, California passed Proposition 30, which further increased California's already high income tax rates. The rates, now topping out at 13.3 percent on those earning more than $1 million a year, have prompted...
    • 13 Mar 2013

    Showdown in Kansas: Realtors vs. Governor

    ... In modern Dodge City local businesses try to profit from the city's historic past. But in 2012 Kansas Governor Sam Brownback wanted to lower the states income tax rate, and repeal of the state's historic preservation tax credit was one his proposals to pay for the cost. Dodge city businesses did not like it and real estate developers across the state protested. In the end Brownback got his reform but the credit...
    • 11 Mar 2013

    State Net Capitol Journal – March 11, 2013

    Budget & Taxes ONLINE SALES TAX PUSH CONTINUES DESPITE DISAPPOINTING RETURNS: State officials have viewed Internet commerce with dollar signs in their eyes for decades. The few that have managed to tap the spigot of online sales in a substantive way, however, aren't reaping the promised rewards. But that's not stopping Congress from trying to open up e-commerce as a potential revenue source for all states...
    • 6 Mar 2013

    Florida Bills Model Sales Tax Nexus Proposals

    As the 2013 state legislative season opens and states continue the never ending quest for new tax revenues, a large number of legislative proposals have been made to continue the recent trend of increasing the scope and breadth of sales tax nexus. As of the date of this posting, at least 13 states (Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and...