Tax Justice Digest: Offshore Cash, Gas Tax and BAT


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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. 

Corporations Offshore Cash Hoard Grows to $2.6 Trillion
U.S. corporations now hold a record $2.6 trillion offshore, a sum that ballooned by almost $200 billion over the last year as companies moved more aggressively to shift their profits offshore. A new report by ITEP finds that this growing offshore cash stockpile is allowing profitable companies to avoid up to $767 billion in U.S. taxes. Read more

About That Proposed Border Adjustment Tax
The business community is not unified on the proposed Border Adjustment Tax (BAT). ITEP examined tax rates paid by companies in pro- and anti-BAT lobbying coalitions and found that companies opposing the tax, on average, already pay close to the statutory tax rate, while companies supporting the BAT, on average, pay an average rate of 14.5 percent. Read more

April 1 Marks Record-Breaking Procrastination on the Federal Gas Tax
Not sure who the joke is on, but April Fool’s Day marks the 8,584th consecutive day (23.5 years) since Congress raised the federal gas tax. The previous record of 8,583 days was set on March 31, 1983, the day before lawmakers doubled the gas tax from 4 to 9 cents per gallon. The current rate of 18.3 cents a gallon was set during Bill Clinton’s first term. Now that infrastructure funding is back on the agenda in Congress, revisiting this extraordinarily outdated area of the tax code is a logical place to begin the search for revenue, writes ITEP research director Carl Davis. Read more

Seeking the Right Balance in Alaska
It’s been a little more than a year since Alaska Gov. Bill Walker proposed implementing a state personal income tax for the first time in 35 years, and the idea is now receiving close attention in the Alaska House of Representatives. Alaska is the only state to repeal a personal income tax, having done so after it struck oil at Prudhoe Bay in the 1970s. Since then, the state has funded its public services primarily with oil tax and royalty revenues. Read more

EITC on the Move in States
In 2015, six states adopted or strengthened their EITC (California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey and Rhode Island) followed by more expansions in Rhode Island and New Jersey in 2016. By the end of 2016, 27 states offered a state EITC, 22 of which were refundable. So far in 2017, we’ve seen proposals to establish EITCs in Georgia, Hawaii, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia, and a proposal to expand Minnesota and Maryland’s credits for adults without children in the home. Read more

State Rundown: More States Looking to Protect Revenues
This week West Virginia, Georgia, Minnesota, and Nebraska continued to consider regressive tax cut proposals, as the District of Columbia considered cancelling tax cut triggers it put in place in prior years, and lawmakers in Hawaii, Washington, Kansas, and Delaware pondered raising revenues to shore up their budgets. Meanwhile, gas tax debates continued in Oklahoma, West Virginia, and South Carolina. 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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