Taxing Remote Workers And Closing In On A Stop-Gap Spending Bill

Taxes

Will Congress standardize state tax rules for remote workers? The Hill reports that lawmakers and tax professionals are working on  legislation to simplify a remote worker’s experience when filing taxes next spring. Many are working from homes that are in a different state as their employer, causing filing headaches and in some cases, higher taxes. GOP Sen. John Thune and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown introduced legislation in June to improve the situation but it has gotten stuck in the stalemate over the next stimulus bill. Its future is unclear. 

The Senate may vote today on the stop-gap spending bill. The House passed it late Tuesday night and Senate GOP leaders say they want to clear the measure as soon as possible. If they wrap up this week, Congress will likely recess until after the election—unless the Senate chooses to confirm a replacement for the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Meanwhile, the Business Roundtable urges more coronavirus relief. The association of chief executives of major US companies wants Congress to return to the negotiating table to pass another relief bill. The group’s quarterly CEO economic outlook survey found that 76 percent of respondents don’t expect to recover this year. 

Will New York State raise taxes on the rich to cover the cost of the pandemic? New York’s Democratic lawmakers have introduced a number of bills to  raise taxes on the wealthy, but their fate is unclear. Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo prefers more funding from the federal government. Neighboring New Jersey has raised income tax rates for millionaires to 10.75 percent, higher than New York State’’s top rate of 8.82 percent. But New York Budget Director Robert Mujica noted that most of his state’s billionaires and millionaires live or work in New York City. For them, the combined state and city income tax rate is 12.6 percent—higher than New Jersey’s top rate of 10.75 percent. 

In Washington State, will King County add a sales tax? County Executive Dow Constantine has proposed a 0.1 percent sales tax hike to fund housing for people who are chronically homeless and other behavioral health supports. It’s in a two-year budget that also would cut 450 jobs. While much of the county’s revenue comes from property taxes that have remained fairly stable, sales tax revenues have declined. They fund bus service and mental health programming, both of which would face cuts absent sufficient revenue.

House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Oversight has a new Chair. Rep. Bill Pascrell will lead the panel, succeeding the late John Lewis. Pascrell has been in Congress since 1996 and is a longtime member of the Ways & Means Committee. 

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