Tennessee Has the Highest Beer Tax Rate in the U.S.

Tennessee has the highest beer tax rate in the country, according to a new report from the Tax Foundation.

Tennessee’s rate is $1.29 per gallon, one of just two states that charge more than $1 per gallon in the country. Alaska charges $1.07.

In the fiscal year just completed at the end of July, Tennessee collected more than $19 million in beer tax, which was $1.6 million more than it had budgeted. The year before, it collected $18.7 million in beer tax.

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Biden Signs $740 Billion Climate, Tax and Health Care Bill into Law

President Joe Biden signed a $740 billion spending package into law Tuesday, the final step for the green energy, health care and tax hike bill after months of wrangling and controversy, in particular over the legislation’s hiring of 87,000 new IRS agents to audit Americans.

Democrats at the White House Tuesday touted the bill’s deficit reduction of $300 billion over the next decade. The bill includes several measures, including a $35 per month cap on insulin copays, an extension of Affordable Care Act subsidies, and authorization for Medicare to negotiate certain drug prices.

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U.S. Senate Passes Massive Tax and Spend Bill Targeting Carbon Emissions, Prescription Drug Costs, More

The U.S. Senate on Sunday passed a $740 billion new taxing and spending bill that seeks to combat climate change and allow the government to control the price of prescription medications, among other things.

No Republicans voted for the bill, named the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, in the divided 50-50 Senate, forcing Vice President Kamala Harris to break the tie. The measure must return to the House for a concurrence vote after senators passed several amendments Sunday. The House is expected to take the bill up again on Friday. If the House concurs, President Joe Biden has indicated he will sign it.

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Rep. John Rose Commentary: Inflation Is the Invisible Tax

Inflation is an invisible tax that Tennesseans have to pay each and every day. Everywhere you look, inflation is wreaking havoc. At the gas station: gas is up 48 percent. At the grocery store: beef is up 20 percent, chicken is up 15 percent, butter is up 14 percent, fruits and vegetables are up 7 percent, and coffee is up 12 percent. At home: electricity is up 11 percent, furniture is up 15 percent, and rent is up 5 percent. What about a vacation? You still won’t be able to escape inflation as hotels are up 29 percent and flights are up 23 percent.

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Bills Aims to ‘Triple-Tax’ Michigan Car-Sharing Industry

Renting out cars on Turo allowed Bill Huffhine of Rochester Hills to retire early.

But a bill package in the Michigan House could “triple-tax” the emerging peer-to-peer car-sharing industry, Huffhine said, and squash the thin margins that let him accelerate a one-vehicle side-hustle in 2018 into a 20-vehicle fleet.

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Michigan Attorney General Nessel Snags $3.5 Million in Turbotax Settlement for 115,000

About 115,000 Michiganders should receive payments totaling more than $3.5 million from Intuit, the owner of TurboTax, for deceiving consumers into paying for tax services that should have been free.

As part of a multi-state agreement, Attorney General Dana Nessel said Intuit will pay $141 million in restitution nationally to millions of consumers it unfairly charged for a free service.

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Kemp Signs Bill to Give Georgia Taxpayers a More than $1 Billion Refund

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a measure Wednesday to give a one-time tax refund to eligible Georgia taxpayers.

Taxpayers who are single or married and filing separately will receive a $250 refund under House Bill 1302. Heads of households will receive a $375 refund, while married taxpayers who file jointly will receive a $500 refund.

The Georgia Department of Revenue will credit taxpayers with the refund once they file their 2021 taxes, which are due April 18. Taxpayers who already have filed their 2021 taxes will receive a refund based on what they indicated on their tax returns.

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Tennessee Revenues for February $212 Million More Than Budgeted

Tennessee tax revenues for February of $1.2 billion exceeded the budgeted estimate of $1.03 billion by $212 million or 20.6 percent, Commissioner of the Department Finance and Administration Butch Eley announced Friday.

February 2022 revenues were also $111.7 million more than what the state received in taxes in February 2021, reflecting a growth rate of nearly 10 percent.

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Bipartisan Bills Would Eliminate Michigan Sales Tax on Vehicle Rebates

row of cars

The Michigan Senate will consider legislation to eliminate sales and use taxes from automotive manufacturer rebates, which could save new car buyers in the state an estimated $31 million annually.

House Bills 4939 and 4940 passed the Michigan House earlier this week. The bipartisan bills were sponsored by Reps. John Damoose, R-Harbor Springs, and Joe Tate, D-Detroit.  The bills aim to take new vehicle customers off the hook for paying taxes on automotive manufacturer discounts.  

Currently, Michigan car buyers incur a tax obligation for the full price of the vehicle they purchase, and no deductions are allowed for rebates offered by manufacturers. The bills under consideration would exempt rebates from state sales and use taxes.

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Manchin Objects to Dems’ Billionaire Tax, Saying They ‘Create a Lot of Jobs’

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin came out against his party’s plan to tax billionaires in order to finance their social-spending package just hours after it was first released.

“I don’t like it. I don’t like the connotation that we’re targeting different people,” Manchin told reporters Tuesday morning, describing billionaires as people who “contributed to society and create a lot of jobs and a lot of money and give a lot to philanthropic pursuits.”

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Businesses Push Back Against Biden Plan to Track All Bank Transactions over $600 Through the IRS

Joe Biden outside

A major component of President Joe Biden’s plan to raise revenue to pay for his trillions of dollars in new federal spending is now under fire from trade associations across the country.

The Biden administration has made clear its plan to beef up IRS auditing by expanding the agency’s funding and power. Biden’s latest proposal would require banks to turn over to the Internal Revenue Service bank account information for all accounts holding more than $600.

In a sharp pushback against the proposal, more than 40 trade associations, some of which represent entire industries or economic sectors, signed a letter to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., raising the alarm about the plan.

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Joe Biden Mistakenly Calls Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ‘Jennifer’ as She Backs Infrastructure Plan, Mileage-Tax Pilot Program

President Joe Biden mistakenly called Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) “Jennifer” on Wednesday, an apparent reference to a previous Michigan governor, Jennifer Granholm, who is now Biden’s energy secretary.

Of course, the two Great Lake State Democrats aren’t that easy to get confused; Granholm finished her tenure as governor eight years before Whitmer took office.

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Farmers Cry Foul over Biden’s Death Tax Proposal

Woman with ball cap on, out in the fields of a farm

President Joe Biden has proposed amending the inheritance tax, also known as the “death tax,” but farmers around the country are raising concerns about the plan.

In the American Families Plan introduced earlier this year, Biden proposed repealing the “step-up in basis” in tax law. The stepped-up basis is a tax provision that allows an heir to report the value of an asset at the time of inheriting it, essentially not paying gains taxes on how much the assets increased in value during the lifetime of the deceased. This allows heirs to avoid gains taxes altogether if they sell the inheritance immediately.

Under Biden’s change, heirs would be forced to pay taxes on the appreciation of the assets, potentially over the entire lifetime of the recently deceased relative. 

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Republicans Push Back Against ‘Politicization’ of IRS

President Joe Biden has pushed for beefing up IRS audits of corporations to raise revenue for his new spending proposals, but Republicans are raising the alarm about the potential consequences of the plan.

Biden unveiled his “Made in America Tax Plan” earlier this year as a strategy to help fund his trillions of dollars in proposed new federal spending that includes several tax hikes. Despite this, a bipartisan coalition in the U.S. House and Senate have agreed to a basic framework for Biden’s proposed infrastructure plan, but one element has been the theme of the negotiations among Republicans: no new taxes.

The GOP pushback against raising taxes, though, puts more pressure on the Biden administration to find ways to fund his agenda. Aside from Biden’s controversial tax hike proposals, the president also has proposed adding $80 billion in funding to the IRS so it can increase audits of corporations.

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Gov. Whitmer Vetoes PPP Tax Refund Bills Days After Business Summit

Two days after touting her administrations support of Michigan’s small businesses, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed bipartisan bills that would have exempted certain business purchases of personal protection equipment (PPE) from the 6% state sales tax.

The bills would have offered businesses exemptions and refunds for sales or use tax paid on PPE retroactive to March 10, 2020, through 2021.

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Business Tax Filings Could Get Easier in Ohio

Bill Roemer

A bill passed by the Ohio House would eliminate a step businesses owners must take to file taxes with the state and local governments and free up time for those owners to create more jobs and increase business, according to the bill’s sponsor.

The legislation allows businesses to opt into a system run by the Ohio Department of Taxation to pay net profits taxes to the state, and the state notifies each municipality of the taxes. Currently, business owners can decide to be part of the state’s system but must notify municipalities themselves, instead of a one-time notification.

“The current system for filing municipal net profits tax in Ohio creates unnecessary paperwork for our hard-working business owners,” Rep. Bill Roemer, R-Richfield, said. “As if the complications of the tax code itself weren’t enough, the state also requires businesses to jump through unnecessary administration hoops to meet their tax obligations. This bill streamlines and simplifies this process, so our business owners can spend more time creating jobs and contributing to our local economies, instead of complying with burdensome filing requirements.”

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Critics of Biden’s Proposed Oil-and-Gas Industry Taxes Fueled by Gas Shortages

Gas shortage "out of service" stickers

Gas shortages on the East Coast have helped rally Congressional opposition to the portions of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan that would force oil and gas companies to pay more in taxes.

House Republicans sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., calling on Democrats to oppose Biden’s plan to “eliminate tax preferences for fossil fuels.”

The letter, signed by 55 Republicans, came after a cyber attack of Colonial Pipeline shut down a major pipeline on the East Coast and led to fear-driven gasoline shortages. The attack also raised questions about the nation’s energy infrastructure and vulnerability to attack.

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Georgia House Passes on Effort to Study State’s Tax, Revenue Structure

The Georgia House has rejected a bill that would have launched a review of the state’s revenue and tax structure.

Senate Bill 148 would have created two panels to study and make recommendations for the state’s coffers. It would have re-established the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians and create the Special Joint Committee on Georgia Revenue Structure.

The House voted, 139-20, against the bill Thursday. It had 39 sponsors. 

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Gov. DeWine Signs into Law Expanded Tax Exemption for Spouses of Fallen First Responders

A new law signed by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine will increase tax exemptions for spouses of fallen first responders.

House Bill 17 was an expansion of previous legislation and increases the homestead tax exemption from $25,000 to $50,000. The legislation allows the spouse of a fallen first responder to exempt $50,000 of their home’s appraised value from property taxes or the manufactured home tax.

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New York Gov. Cuomo Tells Hero Healthcare Workers Who Traveled There to Save Coronavirus Patients Now Must Pay State Income Taxes

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who once pled for an influx of healthcare workers to treat COVID-19, now says they have to pay up for the privilege of having worked there to treat the coronavirus.

Cuomo said out-of-state medical professionals who volunteered to help his state owe income taxes, Fox News said. That applies even if they stayed on the payroll in their home states. However, only workers who stayed in New York for more than 14 days are on the hook.

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Hermantown City Council Proposes Tax Hike for $28 Million Recreation Improvements

The City Council of Hermantown, a Duluth suburb, wants state lawmakers to approve a resolution to place a half-cent sales tax increase on the November ballot.

Council members this week passed a resolution 4-1 to consider increasing the city’s sales tax by 0.5 percent for 20 years.

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China, Tariffs, Trade, Cost and Prices: An Explainer

by Rick Manning   Stock markets go up and down based upon the latest trade rumors. Predictions of price hikes make headlines, yet the inflation rate remains at the levels, 2.0 percent at last count, desired by the Federal Reserve. What is going on?  And is this even really a trade war with…

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Ohio Senate Breaks Even Further from Governor DeWine, Lowering Gas Tax to Six Cents

The Republican-held Ohio Senate joined Republicans in the House of Representatives in opposing Gov. Mike DeWine on his proposed gas-tax hike. House Bill 62 (HB 62), the 2020-21 Ohio transportation budget, first proposed by DeWine on Feb. 12, originally called for an 18 cent increase to the current gas tax. This was the…

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Georgia Legislators Pursue ‘Netflix Tax’ to Cash in on Digital Streaming

by Brittany Hunter   When the private sector needs to generate more revenue, entrepreneurs innovate and create in order to draw in consumers and raise profits. When the government needs to generate additional revenue, they are left with only one option: Extort through fees and taxation. And after it has taxed…

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Federal Judge Ends Obamacare!

Obamacare

A federal court has ruled that all of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is unconstitutional based on the individual mandate that requires people to have insurance and how that affects a new tax law. The ruling came just before Saturday, which is the deadline to enroll for Obamacare for…

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Waters’ Spotty Ethical Record and Extreme Policy Positions Leave Many Questioning Her Fitness to Serve as Banking Chair

by Richard McCarty   Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA-43) represents all that is wrong with Washington, D.C., yet she is next in line to chair the House Financial Services Committee should Democrats seize control of the House. It should be noted that the Financial Services Committee has broad authority with jurisdiction…

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Tennessee Lawmakers Introduce a Bill to End Mandatory Emissions Tests

Tennessee State Senators Bo Watson (R-Hixson) and Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) joined State Representative Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah) to file  Senate Bill 2656, which would end mandatory emissions tests for vehicles registered in those counties that still have the requirement. The bill’s summary, as it appears in the legislative database reads: Motor Vehicles –…

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Nashville Taxpayers Voice Skepticism of Proposed $14 Million Tax Incentive Deal for Opryland Waterpark Development

Tennessee Star - Sound Waves

Once again, powerful business interests have approached the Metro Nashville Development and Housing Agency for a tax break, and once again, the Metro Nashville Development and Housing Agency appear to be all-too-happy to grant their request. Nashville taxpayers, however, are not so eager. In a statement released by the Beacon…

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