2014 April Budget & Tax News

Issue Date: 
April, 2014
Newspaper PDF: 

The April issue of Budget & Tax News reports the Tax Reform Act of 2014, proposed by U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), would reduce the number of tax “loopholes” while making it easier for individuals to complete their own tax returns confidently and accurately. The bold measure received a tepid response from House and Senate leaders.

Also in this issue:

  • Neither downgrades in Chicago’s credit rating nor data showing Chicago in worse debt shape than bankrupt Detroit could stop the Chicago City Council from doing what it’s done for decades: agree to borrow huge sums of money with little debate or discussion.
  • A cut in the Oklahoma state income tax took a step toward reality when a state House subcommittee passed House Bill 3291, which would lower the personal income tax rate to 4 percent by 2018. The approval of the tax-cut measure by the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Revenue and Taxation came approximately a month after the state’s Office of Management and Enterprise Services reported tax collections have never been higher in Oklahoma.
  • If the government deprives you of your rights, wouldn’t you like to know why that’s being done? That’s the crux of a petition recently filed with the California Supreme Court on behalf of an inner-city boxing gym and mentoring center for at-risk kids in National City, California.
  • In Illinois it’s called everything from pop to soda to sodi, but the state’s Democrats are now calling soda pop a moneymaker. State Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) has laid out a plan to add a penny-per-ounce tax to soda along with a handful of other sugary drinks.
  • Maryland State Treasurer Nancy Kopp has told lawmakers she opposes Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposed $100 million cut in the state’s pension contribution, saying it would undermine trust by the state’s bond rating agencies. “I think this is a very difficult thing to defend with the rating agencies,” Kopp told the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and Administration.
  • Exactly what Sioux City, Iowa’s automated traffic cameras have done to improve public safety is debatable, but the more than $1 million they’ve raised to fatten police and firefighter pensions isn’t. Now new regulations from the Iowa Department of Transportation curbing use of the cameras on state highways and interstates threaten a revenue stream the city has been using to cover gaps in its operating budget.
  • There is a quiet revolution in transportation funding underway these days. Faced with a depleted Highway Trust Fund and uncertain prospects for more money from a deficit-conscious Congress, many states are taking matters into their own hands and aggressively pursuing more fiscal independence.

Newspaper Articles in this Issue