>Lowden: Lower Corporate Taxes, While Gibbons Mows The Lawn

>** Who knew? Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons is serious about mowing grass [LVSun] and Scandalmonger has all the appropriate photos. His campaign signs say “He Kept His Promise” which seems an easy line except for the fact that evidently “increased fees” don’t count, unless the fees are raised by Democrats — at which time they are magically transformed into “tax increases.” He may have “kept his promises” about not raising taxes, but from another perspective it looks for all the world like he was entirely serious about kicking the can down the road for the next Governor to deal with declining revenues and sharply curtailed services.

** Meanwhile home prices are down 60% in Las Vegas, but that hasn’t stopped developers from trying to attract people to “new” homes, in addition to the 9,517 “new” homes already sitting vacant. [NYT] Other parts of the country seem to be climbing back out of the foreclosure swamp, but not southern Nevada where the 90 day mortgage delinquency rate inched up from 21.4% to 22.2%. [LVSun]

** Republican senatorial candidate, and erstwhile Poultry Princess, Sue Lowden campaigned in Winnemucca, NV [SPJ] suggesting to voters that what this country needs are lower corporate and payroll taxes. The payroll part might earn some credit here, but lowering corporate taxes doesn’t sound very appealing. Had the candidate researched the findings of the Tax Policy Center of the Brookings Inst. she’d have discovered that the actual corporate taxes paid in the United States are equal to 27.3% of the GDP; and, this might sound high except for the fact that the OECD average is 36.2%. More interesting still is the fact that corporations in the United States pay a lower percentage than Switzerland, Australia, Greece, Ireland, and Poland.

If those statistics aren’t persuasive, we can turn to the CBPP’s study of corporate taxation in the United States and find that 11 members of the OECD paid an average of 16.1% of their profits in taxes between 2000 and 2005, while US corporations paid 13.4%. Defenders of corporate profits often cite the tax rate as being “one of the highest” among developed countries. However, this claim ignores the evidence that the effective tax rate is significantly lower than the statutory tax rate; and, that there are a plethora of tax breaks available for US corporations. The claim also ignores the fact that many small corporations aren’t liable for the highest rates statutory rates (35%) since we have a graduated corporate income tax structure.

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