Essential reading: Officials say Obama could veto a bill blocking ‘fiscal cliff’ without tax hike for rich, and more

October 18, 2012

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

* Officials: Obama ready to veto a bill blocking ‘fiscal cliff’ without tax hike for rich. Lori Montgomery – The Washington Post. President Obama is prepared to veto legislation to block year-end tax hikes and spending cuts, collectively known as the “fiscal cliff,” unless Republicans bow to his demand to raise tax rates for the wealthy, administration officials said. Freed from the political and economic constraints that have tied his hands in the past, Obama is ready to play hardball with Republicans, who have so far successfully resisted a deal to tame the debt that includes higher taxes, Obama’s allies say. Link  

* Voters with questions at debate still have them. Trip Gabriel – The New York Times. Debate questioner Mary Follano, 54, a respiratory therapist with six grown children, some struggling with part-time jobs, said she agreed with President Obama on raising taxes on incomes above $250,000. But she was sympathetic when Mitt Romney said raising taxes on high earners would hurt small-business owners, who create jobs. Link  

* Starbucks faces boycott calls over tax affairs. Jennifer Thompson and Vanessa Houlder – The Financial Times. Starbucks was facing calls for a consumer boycott last night as MPs prepared to investigate claims it has paid just a few million pounds in corporation tax since bringing its coffee shops to the UK 14 years ago. As a campaign against the company gathered pace on social media, politicians and union leaders were among those urging people to avoid its 735 UK stores. Link 

* Gov. Jerry Brown to make Sacramento campaign stop for tax measure. Anthony York – The Los Angeles Times. Gov. Jerry Brown will make another appearance in support of Proposition 30 on Thursday, this time at a community college in Sacramento that faces additional cuts if his tax measure fails. With less than three weeks until election day, the centerpiece of his budget plan hangs in the balance. Link

* The best and worst U.S. cities for travel taxes. Scott McCartney – The Wall Street Journal opinion. Travel is one of the most heavily taxed activities in the U.S., even though most cities and towns try hard to encourage visitors and tourism. Travelers don’t vote where they travel, so cash-strapped cities and states continue to push fees and taxes onto hotel rooms, rental cars and airports. Link  

* The right way to increase taxes. Victor Fleischer – The New York Times opinion. The French know that wine and cheese are healthy enough in moderation. If only President François Hollande understood that the same should go for taxes. Link

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