Upcoming National Meeting

51st Annual Meeting Webinar

This program offers sessions of interest to every state tax professional in industry, whether a COST member or otherwise, as well as in the consulting, accounting and legal profession. The program covers all types of state and local taxes that business taxpayers are confronted with today and provides updates on key SALT issues.

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Newsletters & Media

Cost Conscious

ISSUE 20-23; November 13, 2020

Failed Ballot Initiatives and Resulting Budget Issues – Ballot measures in California and Illinois that were expected to be a significant part of those states’ budget deficit solutions have failed (see below). Both states now face looming budget holes. How do you expect these states to address their budget shortfalls after failure of the ballot measures? (Pick two.)


Bloomberg TAX

New IRS Restrictions on PPP Loans


The latest IRS guidance on expenses paid with Paycheck Protection Program loan funds is still contrary to Congressional intent, write Bruce Hendrick, David Heidenreich, and Kylie Jennings of Carrington Coleman. According to the IRS, businesses can't deduct the eligible expenses paid with the proceeds of PPP loans. Businesses now face the choice of a greater tax burden or foregoing forgiveness of their PPP loans.

California Reports Record Pot Tax Revenue in Third Quarter


California reported a nearly 18% increase in quarterly cannabis-related tax revenue, continuing a steady upward trend since recreational cannabis use was legalized in 2018.

Minnesota Governor to Call Special Session to Pass Covid Relief


Minnesota Governor Tim Walz plans to call a special session of the state legislature to pass spending bills that provide relief to small businesses impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

New York Democrats Claim Supermajority in State Senate


New York state Senate Democrats on Monday claimed victory, saying they will win a supermajority of seats in that legislative chamber after weeks of absentee ballot counting.

Former Vermont Tax Chief Is New State Tax Administration Czar


A former commissioner of the Vermont Department of Taxes has been named executive director of the Federation of Tax Administrators.

Biden Plans to Nominate Janet Yellen for Treasury Secretary


President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to serve as his Treasury secretary, people familiar with the matter said, choosing the first woman and a seasoned central banker for the nation’s top economic policy job as the coronavirus pandemic threatens another U.S. downturn.

Biden to Pick Yellen as Treasury Secretary, Dow Jones Says


President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate former Fed Chair Janet Yellen as his Treasury secretary, Dow Jones reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

New Yorkers Received $40 Billion in Stimulus Help, Mayor Says


New York City residents received $40 billion in stimulus benefits that have been critical to the city’s recovery from the coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

California Dreams of Love From Biden After Four Years of Attacks


Vice President-elect Kamala Harris isn't the only Californian likely to head to Washington in January.

Illinois Fiscal Crisis Worsens, Leaving Tough, Taxing Choices


Illinois, overwhelmed by billions of dollars in delinquent bills and stark revenue shortfalls, has little choice but to raise taxes, cut spending, and beg for federal relief as its fiscal crisis continues to worsen.

Tax Notes

Report: Tax Policy Changes Would Help Louisiana Weather Future Disruptions


Louisiana should adopt fiscal reforms, including tax policy changes, so the state is better positioned to withstand future disruptions, according to a new report.

California Agency's Continued Use of SSNs on Mail Risks Identity Theft


California’s auditor has warned that practices by the state’s Employment Development Department continue to put residents at risk of identity theft and fraud, which could have tax ramifications.

Louisiana Sales Tax Applies to Airlines’ Aviation Fuel


The Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals has ruled in five opinions, including Spirit Airlines Inc. v. Robinson, that because there is an excise tax exemption for aviation fuel, airlines were not entitled to the sales tax exemption for fuel subject to the excise tax.

Mississippi Governor Calls for Individual Income Tax Phaseout


Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) has proposed phasing out the individual income tax by 2030 as part of his fiscal 2022 budget recommendations.

New Jersey Assembly Panel Advances Cannabis Regulation, Taxation Bill


A New Jersey legislative committee has advanced a bill that would allow municipalities to impose a transfer tax on sales of cannabis and would allow for a "social equity excise fee" on the cultivation of cannabis.

Arizona AG Says Company Paid for Income Tax Measure Signatures


The Arizona attorney general’s office has charged a company with breaking the law based on how it paid people to collect signatures for Proposition 208, a ballot measure to increase income taxes on higher earners.

Policy Experts Say New Jersey Shouldn't Rule Out Tax Increases to Fund Schools


To ensure schools are adequately funded, New Jersey should not rule out tax increases during the economic downturn, according to the authors of a new report from New Jersey Policy Perspective.

West Virginia Governor Looks to Eliminate Income Tax


With a large Republican majority behind him, West Virginia’s governor has said his first post-election priority is to eliminate the individual income tax, the state's largest source of revenue.

Virginia Governor Announces Support for Marijuana Legislation


Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has announced plans to introduce and support legislation to legalize marijuana in the upcoming legislative session.

Berkeley, California, Approves Tax on Ride-Hailing Trips


Berkeley, California, will begin taxing trips arranged via ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft under a ballot measure approved by voters in early November.

Featured Resources

COST - Council on State Taxation

Amicus Briefs

Level 3 Communications v. Oregon Department of Revenue

In its amicus brief, COST argues that the Tax Court’s decision allowing the imposition of property tax based on the enterprise value of a centrally assessed taxpayer should be reversed because it represents a stark departure from existing law and practice. It would unfairly upend the longstanding and well-settled expectations of centrally assessed businesses that pay property taxes in Oregon.

COST - Council on State Taxation

COST Studies, Articles & Reports

FY19 State And Local Business Tax Burden Study

This report, prepared by Ernst & Young LLP, shows all state and local business taxes paid in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia for FY19.

COST - Council on State Taxation

COST Comments & Testimony

Testimony in Continued Support of House Bill 75 – Local Political Subdivision Property Tax Complaints

Testimony to the Ohio Senate’s Local Government, Public Safety and Veterans’ Affairs Committee in continued support of H.B. 75 as it makes significant improvements by requiring a local political subdivision to notify property owners that a property tax valuation complaint may be filed along with requiring a formal resolution process prior to the subdivision contesting a property owner’s valuation