Tax Break

Essential news: Travelers to Chicago pay steep taxes, and more

September 10, 2012

Welcome to the top tax and accounting headlines from Reuters and other sources.

* Chicago tops nation in tax burden for travels. Hugo Martin – The Los Angeles Times. For an average visit to downtown Chicago, a traveler will pay about $40.31 in combined taxes per day, according to the GBTA Foundation. The lowest taxes imposed on travelers can be found in the Florida cities of Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers and West Palm Beach. Link

 * Romney’s tax plan leaves key variables blank. Annie Lowrey and David Kocieniewski – The New York Times. If any single question can be said to dominate the presidential campaign, it is whether the conservative policies advocated by Mitt Romney would help or hurt the middle class. And no issue hits the heart of that question more than taxes. Link 

 * Romney blasts debt-ceiling deal that Ryan backed. Thomas Ferraro and David Morgan – Reuters. Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan denied that Mitt Romney’s proposal to cut taxes and eliminate yet-to-be-identified tax loopholes amounts to a “secret plan.” “What we don’t want is a secret plan,” Ryan said, explaining that the details are not being kept under cover but instead have not yet been worked out. Ryan suggested that eliminating tax loopholes would hit higher income people harder. Link 

 * Hollande acts over wealth tax crisis. Scheherazade Daneshkhu and Hugh Carnegy – The Financial Times. Francois Hollande said on Sunday there would be “no exceptions” in the imposition of his incoming 75 percent marginal tax rate on incomes over 1 million euros ($1.28 million) but that the measure would be dropped after two years because the economy was likely to have recovered by then. The French president spoke during a 25-minute, prime-time television interview aimed at countering falling opinion poll ratings and dispelling accusations of inertia after a weekend dispute over his flagship election measure. Link 

 * Hustler offers bounty for Romney’s tax info. Alicia Mundy – The Wall Street Journal. In a full page ad this morning in the Washington Post, on page 20 across from the op-ed pages, pornography magazine Hustler offers $1 million in cash for information on Mr. Romney’s “unreleased tax returns and/or details of his offshore assets, bank accounts and business partnerships.” “What is he hiding?” says the ad, which also runs in USA Today. Link

* The true history of Simpson-Bowles. The Wall Street Journal opinion. The Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction draft swapped fewer brackets and lower rates for fewer loopholes and “tax expenditures.” The appeal for Democrats is that tax revenue would grow with a faster-growing economy, and Republicans would have to accept a net tax increase reaching 21 percent of GDP. That’s far higher than the historic average between 18 percent and 19 percent and above the modern high of 20.9 percent in 1944. Link

($1 = 0.7812 euros)

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