Quick Hits in State News: Iowa Film Tax Credit Drama Continues, and More


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Former Texas deputy comptroller, Billy Hamilton, explains why extreme proposals to repeal the property tax are a bad idea.  Among the reasons he cites: out-of-state property owners would get a massive tax cut, localities would lose control of their own finances, and the sales tax increase needed to fund repeal would be so large as to be both bad policy and bad politics.

Iowa filmmakers that benefited handsomely from the state’s now-suspended film tax incentive program have been rebuffed by the state’s Supreme Court, which rejected their claim that if their company financials were publicly released, it would cause them hardship. The Des Moines Register editorialized in favor of the decision, saying that: “Businesses that ask for the government to subsidize their ventures are in effect asking the taxpayers to share in the risk.  Those taxpayers have an interest in knowing if their investment is being spent properly.  Businesses should accept that as part of the deal, or they should look elsewhere for business partners.”

This weekend back-to-school shoppers in twelve states are gearing up for a political gimmick – a break from paying sales taxes known as sales tax holidays. This South Carolina editorial reminds policymakers and voters that these holidays aren’t a real solution to regressive taxes, “Lawmakers should get the state's sales tax house in order, not throw us a couple of short-term holidays.”

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