Ukraine Money In An Omnibus Spending Bill; Paying More At the Pump

The fate of a bipartisan Ukraine bill. Lawmakers are looking at a huge funding bill to support Ukraine but they have differences over the amount and the use. President Biden is asking for at least $6 billion but some lawmakers want as much as $10 billion. Sponsors hope to include the money in a catch-all appropriations bill that Congress needs to approve by March 11 to prevent a government shutdown. One dispute: Would the Ukraine money come from other defense spending or be added on to the appropriations bill? 

TPC’s Matheson: Higher oil prices could help fuel a green transition. With energy prices rising in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, TPC’s Thornton Matheson writes that while a federal gas tax holiday might seem tempting, it would be fiscally and environmentally more responsible to phase in higher fuel taxes, and then introduce a weight indexed vehicle miles traveled tax to finance road infrastructure investment. In inflation-adjusted terms, gasoline prices are only slightly above their average value over the past decade. 

Kentucky Senate passes income tax rebate bill. The measure would draw on the state’s surplus to give over $1 billion in income tax rebates. Individuals would receive up to $500 and jointly filing households would receive up to $1,000.  

Idaho Republican lawmakers want to eliminate most property taxes, raise sales taxes. They are considering legislation to  increase the sales tax rate from 6 percent to 7.85 percent. Their proposal would eliminate all property taxes—$760 million in revenue—for owner-occupied homes except where the taxes are used to repay voter-approved bonds or directly fund school districts.

Washington State considers tax breaks for small businesses. Senate Bill 5980 would eliminate the business and occupancy tax for businesses with less than $125,000 in gross receipts. About 125,000 Washington businesses would receive $50 million in tax relief. Some Senate Republicans favor deeper cuts including a gas tax rebate or sales tax cut. Democrats say the state cannot afford those reductions.  

New York State lawmakers propose a tax on ammunition. Two Democrats in the Senate and Assembly have proposed an excise tax on ammunition production in the state. The revenue from the two- to five-cent tax would fund gun violence research.


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