Tax Cuts 2.0 in 90 Days, Tougher Tariff Talk, State Tax Tensions


President Trump says the White House will reveal new tax cut plan in 3 months. He told The Wall Street Journal that he’ll propose  a “fairly substantial… middle-class tax cut…” in 90 days, or just in time for Tax Day on April 15.  Essentially a campaign plan, it would be  contingent on Republicans holding onto the White House and the Senate and regaining control of the House in November. National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow had promised the plan “sometime later in the summer.”

Under US pressure, France delays its 3 percent digital tax. French President Emanuel Macron  agreed to delay a unilateral digital tax after a “good conversation” with Trump on Monday. France will put off the tax until later this year to give the OECD time to develop a multinational digital tax regime. In return, Trump agreed to put off additional tariffs on $2.4 billion in French goods including champagne and cheese.

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin warns Italy and Britain to follow suit. Mnuchin says that the US will impose tariffs on goods from Italy and the United Kingdom if those two countries proceed with their digital taxes. Representatives of 135 countries are meeting at the OECD next week to see if they can come up with a broad solution to the digital tax issue. Most back such a tax. The US wants it to be optional.  

While Trump doubles down on other tariffs on EU automobiles. Trump told The Wall Street Journal (paywall) that the European Union knows he is “going to put tariffs on them if they don’t make a deal that’s a fair deal.” He did not state a deadline, instead saying that the EU knows what it is and that he would share it “soon.” 

Virginia lawmaker wants to more than double the tax on guns and ammo. A Democratic Virginia delegate has introduced a bill that would more than double the sales tax on guns and ammunition to 15 percent. Revenue would fund gun violence prevention programs. 

Will Kentucky consumers pay a higher sales tax? A Democratic lawmaker has introduced a bill to raise the state sales tax from 6 percent to 8 percent starting next  January—the first increase since 1990. Small business owners worry such an increase will hurt them. The bill is now in the hands of the Republican controlled  House Appropriations and Revenue Committee.

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