Tax Break

Essential reading: New Yorkers face higher real estate taxes, and more

January 16, 2013

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

* Tax bite to climb from boom years. Josh Barnanel – The Wall Street Journal. While property values are slowly rising in New York, a quirk in the tax law will drive up property taxes by considerably more, including higher taxes on 69 homes damaged in superstorm Sandy, according to new city data. Link 

* Rep. Levin: Curb some tax breaks, keep others. John McKinnon – The Wall Street Journal. President Barack Obama’s proposed limit on tax deductions is the most likely model for raising revenues as part of a balanced approach to reducing deficits and averting the latest fiscal crisis, Rep. Sander Levin, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, said Tuesday. Link  

* Wind industry’s roar may diminish in 2013. Ryan Tracy – The Wall Street Journal. The U.S. wind industry is planning new wind farms again after Congress renewed subsidies, giving idled factories that make turbines and components the prospect of a fresh set of orders in the second half of 2013. But industry officials say this year’s projects are unlikely to match the record number of megawatts installed in 2012. Link  

* ‘Tax extenders’ that slip under the radar. Victor Fleischer – The New York Times opinion. Consider the special tax break for “qualified small business stock,” which provides a zero percent tax rate on capital gains from certain investments. A better name would be the “angel investor loophole.” Link  

* Republican road folly. The Wall Street Journal editorial. Many states are grappling with road congestion and a scarcity of dollars for improvements. Let’s hope they aren’t tempted by the unfortunate financing plan released this month by Virginia’s Republican Governor Bob McDonnell. The plan raises taxes by a net $2 billion or so over five years by replacing the state’s 17.5 cent a gallon gas tax with a 0.8 percent increase in the state sales tax to 5.8 percent and a $15 hike in the state vehicle registration tax. Link  

* For taxpayer advocate, a familiar refrain. Michelle Singletary – The Washington Post opinion. Taxpayer advocate Nina Olson recently submitted her annual report to Congress and top on her list of things that need to be fixed is the complexity of the tax code, which she called the most serious problem facing taxpayers. Link

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