Contingency, Benefits, Scams, and Breaks

Pelosi: No infrastructure bill without a social spending reconciliation bill. The House Speaker says her chamber will not consider a bipartisan public works bill until the Senate first passes a budget reconciliation measure that is expected to include about $3.5 trillion in social spending. This is the two-track process that Senate Republicans have opposed. The gamesmanship continues. 

Businesses that benefit from infrastructure investment oppose higher taxes to fund it. The Washington Post reports that at least 12 profitable major US companies that paid little or no US income tax in 2020 support an infrastructure deal that would give them new business but belong to industry groups that lobby against raising corporate taxes to fund it. The construction,  engineering, and manufacturing firms have said little themselves about the tax hikes. But the trade groups that represent them say they’d make it harder for US firms to compete against foreign firms even though U.S. corporate tax bills have been cut to their lowest level in decades. “I think it’s completely outrageous,” said TPC’s Steven Rosenthal.

IRS warns families about Child Tax Credit scams. Criminals may text, call, or email families to solicit information the scamsters claim is required to receive monthly Child Tax Credit payments. But the IRS reminds families that “the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information.”

DC Council votes to raise marginal tax rates on the wealthy. The District of Columbia’s council tentatively approved new taxes that could raise $100 million in fiscal 2022 for housing vouchers, subsidies for day-care workers’ wages, and monthly payments to low-income families. The measure would raise marginal tax rates to 9.25 percent for single earners making between $250,000 and $500,000 annually, raise the rate to 9.75 percent for those earning between $500,000 and $1 million, and to 10.75 percent for those making $1 million or more.  The council will review the budget a second time in August.

Disney gets another Florida tax break. The Walt Disney Co. plans to spend $864 million to build a campus in Lake Nona and says it will move  2,000  jobs to the southeastern Orlando community. In exchange, Disney would get up to $570 million over 20 years from a tax incentive program administered by Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity. Companies that invest at least $25 million and create at least 100 net new jobs are eligible for a capital investment tax credit. 

Maine reinstates property tax deferral for seniors. Thanks to funding from the American Rescue Plan, Maine has restored a law that allows the state to pay qualifying seniors’  property taxes. When they die, their estate repays the state. Maine repealed the program in 1991 because of a lack of funding. 

India’s tax crackdown on a critical newspaper. Tax authorities raided one of subcontinent’s most prominent newspapers. The government alleges the newspaper evaded taxes, but the Hindi-language paper with a circulation of over four million has been critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration. The newspaper is not the first news organization to be in the Indian tax authority’s crosshairs since Modi gained power in 2014. 

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