In the Tax Justice Digest we recap the latest reports, blog posts, and analyses from Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Here’s a rundown of what we’ve been working on lately.

Same Tax Shenanigans, Different Day
The annual financial report that Apple released last week indicated two things: One, the company continues funneling money offshore to avoid U.S. taxes on a scale unmatched by any other U.S. company ($216 billion and counting); and two, in spite of the European Commission’s (EC) recent finding that Apple has used its Irish subsidiary for an elaborate profit shifting scheme to illegally avoid taxes, the company has no intention of admitting any wrongdoing. Read more

Federal Gas Tax Remains at 90s-era Rates, But States Are Increasing Theirs
Lawmakers in 19 states and the District of Columbia have enacted gas tax increases or reforms since 2013 and more states will very likely follow suit next year. Check out ITEP Research Director Carl Davis’s recent post on which states have recently increased their gas tax.

Local Governments Put Tax Increases on the Ballot to Make up for Lost State Revenue
The strongest nationwide trend in local ballots is local governments asking voters to create new or raise local taxes to fill in for state funding that has been cut in recent years, often largely due to short-sighted recently enacted state tax cuts. Twenty-seven Ohio cities and villages will seek local income tax increases, and most of them cite state cuts as a primary reason. Atlanta, Ga., Boulder, Colo., Olympia, Wash., and several California cities also are voting on tax increases to fund services. Read more

Speaking of Ballot Measures, How about That Soda Pop Tax?
So-called sin taxes, such as cigarette taxes and alcohol taxes mostly are an accepted reality. But this new trend to consider taxing sugary beverages is more controversial. A new brief from ITEP looks at the advantages and disadvantages of taxing sugary beverages. Also, a recent blog post outlines which localities will vote on sugar taxes on Election Day.

Missouri Commission Eyes Reforms to the State Tax Code
Missouri’s tax code is in some ways stuck in the past, with income tax brackets that have not been adjusted for inflation since they were created in 1931. Even the state’s most recent tax changes enacted in 2014 are largely driven by outdated and debunked notions that slashing taxes on the wealthy is a path to economic growth. But the Missouri Study Commission on State Tax Policy has been taking a good hard look at these issues. Read more

If you have any feedback on the Digest or tax stories you’re watching that we should check out too, please email me rphillips@itep.org 

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