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Monday, September 26, 2005

Shafroth on Meteorological Taxes -- Taxing Issues in Katrina's Wake

Katrina_1 Tax_analysts_logo_45 Frank Shafroth has published Meteorological Taxes -- Taxing Issues in Katrina's Wake, 37 State Tax Notes 955 (Sept. 26, 2005), also available on the Tax Analysts web site as Doc 2005-18833, 2005 STT 185-4.  Here is the opening:

I would not live always: I ask not to stay. Where storm after storm rises dark o'er the way.

Hurricane Katrina struck an unprepared nation last month with a fury that will have short- and long-term effects on federal, state, and local taxes and tax policy, the economy, the national debt, federalism, and federal tax reform. The CBO projects the hurricane's effects will cut the nation's economic growth by 1% by the end of this year and add 400,000 to the unemployment rolls. Compounding the natural catastrophe was the inability of federal, state, and local governments to work together in the face of a disaster long foretold. The torrential winds swept away any claims that the energy bill so trumpeted in August was helpful. The Energy Information Agency now calculates that the U.S. will spend 18% more on energy this year than last -- a total of $1.03 trillion, or 8.3% of the nation's gross domestic product. The hurricane blew away Congress's September tax cut agenda and should impose a mortal blow on the so-called Fair Tax (a proposed national sales tax). It made discussion of federal tax reform unlikely anytime soon.

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