More taxpayer fertilizer. Iowa board OKs additional $25M in tax credits for Orascom. (Quad Cities Times):
The unanimous vote by the board on Friday makes a total of $82.5 million in state tax credit benefits available to Orascom Construction, parent of the Iowa Fertilizer Company.
The $1.8 billion plant is expected to employ as many as 165 workers when completed.
In case you’re wondering, that’s about $500,000 per “permanent job.” That assumes that the money is actually buying jobs, but the plant almost certainly was going to be built in Iowa without the subsidies. The $82.5 million only buys politicians press conferences, ribbon cuttings and silver souvenir shovels, with our money.
Amy Hanauer and Tim Krueger argue that taxes play no role in taxpayer decisions to move from one state to another (The Tax Flight Myth: People Move for Jobs and Family, Not Taxes, State Tax Notes, July 8, 2013, p. 97 … ). Their conclusions are apparently based on empirical studies and computer models. They are wrong. Based on my experience as a practitioner who works with wealthy individuals and corporations every day, I can assure you that taxes often play a major role in these decisions and that in many cases, they are the sole reason for the move.
That’s right, in my experience. Taxpayers absolutely take taxes into account when they move, even if it’s hard to isolate in aggregate data. Tax aren’t everything, but they are definitely something.
Kim Reuben, Detroit’s bankruptcy: What does it mean for other cities? (TaxVox)
Jason Dinesen, Tax Aspects of Renting Your Home for a Day or Two. Taking in RAGRAI riders can give you some tax-free income.
Robert D. Flach, KEEPING A CONTEMPORANEOUS MILEAGE LOG. If you want to deduct your mileage, you need to keep your log up to date.
William McBride, American Corporations Losing Ground (Tax Policy Blog):
The U.S. corporate tax is the most punitive in the developed world, not just because the statutory corporate tax rate is the highest but also because the effective corporate tax rate is the highest or nearly the highest according to recent studies
TaxProf, The IRS Scandal, Day 74.
Tax offender of the year nominee. I no longer choose a Taxpayer of the Year, but Russ Fox still “honors” a “tax offender of the year.” I hope he will consider Ayawna Webster, former president of the D.C. Young Democrats and staff aide to a D.C. City Council Member, Harry Thomoas Jr. The Washington Post reports:
The former chief of staff to one-time D.C. council member Harry Thomas Jr. pleaded guilty Friday to falsifying tax documents in connection with payments for a 2009 political ball…
According to court documents, [non-profit chief Millicent] West worked with Thomas and Webster to send trust money intended to pay for youth programs to help cover the cost of the party.
Just when you think politicians can’t come up with ways to make you think less of them, they come through. Looting a fund for poor kids to pay for a “political ball” is notably evil.
Brian Mahany, Business Owner Pleads to Hiding Offshore Account
Jack Townsend, Liechtenstein Bank In U.S. Cross-Hairs
A video report on Rashia Wilson’s sentencing
She had a sixth-grade education and stole millions from the taxpayers. When that can happen — over and 0ver — there just may be a problem with IRS controls over refunds.
The Critical Question. Lap Dance Tax? (Jim Maule)
News you can use. The Data on Bar Fights (Freakonomics Blog)