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Batty BATSA Bill Is Back

April 15, 2011

Four members of the U.S. House of Representatives — two from each party — reintroduced a bill recently that would create vast opportunities for major multistate corporations to shelter profits from state corporate income taxes, costing states and localities billions of dollars each year. A Who’s Who of corporate America has been lobbying for the Business Activity Tax Simplification Act (BATSA) for several years. With unemployment still stubbornly high, Congress might be tempted to grasp at anything pitched as “pro-jobs,” but in this case, they’d be doing more harm than good.

Corporations Won’t Flee Illinois’ Corporate Tax Hike

January 14, 2011

Yesterday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation that will increase the state’s personal and corporate income taxes to close a portion of the state’s budget gap (the rest will be closed with spending cuts). Governors Mitch Daniels of Indiana, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Chris Christie of New Jersey, and Rick Perry of Texas lost no time in chiding the state for the corporate tax increase in particular, claiming that it would make it easier for them to steal Illinois corporations away. Walker and Christie vowed to step up their efforts to do just that.

One Campaign Promise Worth Breaking

November 3, 2010

As newly elected governors confront their states’ grim fiscal reality, one promise that some of them made during the campaign should go in the trash along with the yard signs and the balloons from last night’s victory celebrations: cutting or eliminating their state’s corporate income tax.

Texas Cracking Down on Amazon’s Sales Tax Policies

October 22, 2010

Kudos to sharp-eyed Seattle technology blogger Eric Engleman, who broke the news today that Texas issued a $269 million assessment against Amazon.com last month for failing to collect sales taxes on its sales in the state. Engleman spotted the disclosure in the company’s third-quarter earnings report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which was issued yesterday.

State Corporate Tax-Cut Proposals Offer False Hope

September 14, 2010

A number of 2010 gubernatorial candidates propose to reduce or eliminate their state’s corporate income tax, saying this will stimulate growth and create jobs. But, while states are understandably eager to get their economies moving again, corporate tax cuts will not likely work. Among the most important reasons why:

Amazon's Brawl with States Hurting Local Communities

May 11, 2010

As ABC reports today, Amazon.com is fighting North Carolina’s attempt to collect sales taxes that residents owe on their online purchases. This is one of several ongoing fights between the company and states trying to collect the roughly $8.6 billion they’re owed each year from Internet sales. With states laying off thousands of teachers and taking other painful steps to close huge budget shortfalls, Amazon’s actions are coming at the expense of the public interest.

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