Jan 26, 2018

3 states are suing the government over the GOP tax bill

Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Dominick Reuter / AFP / Getty Images

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are suing the federal government over the GOP tax bill, specifically over the provision that added a $10,000 limit on state and local tax deductions. High-tax states often perceive this as an effective increase on their residents' tax burden.

Why it matters: This is the latest in a series of pitches many blue, high-tax states have been launching to try and bypass the new requirements.

Repealing income taxes and replacing them with payroll taxes on the employer-side could look attractive to high-tax states since payroll taxes are still deductible, Vox’s Dylan Matthews notes. New York’s Department of Taxation and Finance proposed a program like this earlier this month, per CNBC.

  • The downside: This method doesn’t address all income types, including capital gains and investments.

Residents could donate money to their state governments, and in turn state governments could provide them tax credits for the charitable contributions. This would act as a credit against their state income tax payments since charitable contributions are still deductible, the NYT’s Ben Casselman points out. There are proposals like this circulating in California and New York right now, per CNBC.

  • The downside: Jared Walczak, senior policy analyst at the Tax Foundation, told CNBC: "These [existing program] contributions produced an actual charitable benefit, whereas the proposals involve a pure tax swap…The IRS requires that charitable contributions have genuine charitable intent and a charitable outcome."

States are also considering shifting more taxes to corporations and away from individuals, per the NYT.

  • New sources of revenue are starting to look attractive to states as well, such as legalizing and taxing marijuana.

One final strategy blue states could employ to avoid the changes to state and local taxes: Winning back Congress.

Go deeper

Pandemic and protests can't stop the stock market

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United States equities were on pace to open higher Monday following big gains in Asia and Europe and a risk-on bid in currency markets.

Why it matters: Stock markets could continue to rise despite an unprecedented global pandemic, violent protests over police violence in the U.S. not seen since the 1960s, and spiking tensions between the world's two largest economies.

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There was a time when a months-long sports absence would have silenced athletes, leaving them without a platform to reach fans or make their voices heard.

Why it matters: But now that athletes boast massive social media followings and no longer need live game broadcasts or media outlets to reach millions, they're speaking out en masse amid protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people — delivering messages of frustration and unity, despite their leagues not currently operating.

The technology of witnessing brutality

Charging Alabama state troopers pass by fallen demonstrators in Selma on March 7, 1965. Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images

The ways Americans capture and share records of racist violence and police misconduct keep changing, but the pain of the underlying injustices they chronicle remains a stubborn constant.

Driving the news: After George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police sparked wide protests, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said, “Thank God a young person had a camera to video it."