Pathways to Tax Reform: The Concept of Tax Expenditures by Stanley S. Surrey PDF

By Stanley S. Surrey

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Sample text

Moreover, it is a scrutiny that views the special tax provisions embodying these tax subsidies for what they really are — expenditure programs that must be considered and tested by expenditure standards. D o we as a country really want to spend this much money, in these ways, to assist these activities and these persons? D o our expenditure priorities encompass these spending targets? A rigorous examination of the items in the Tax Expenditure Budget is therefore a necessary ingredient in any search for efficiency and economy in Government spending.

Instead, this rapid tax depreciation was defended as an incentive for the purchases of new machinery and equipment by providing Government assistance for those purchases through tax reduction. This is equally true of the investment credit. The special provisions in the oil and mineral areas are not defended as necessary to measure real net income from natural resource operations. Financial accounting does not use percentage depletion and immediate write-off of intangible drilling expenses in determining business net income from these operations.

Thus, if expressed in direct expenditure language, the present assistance for owner-occupied homes under the tax deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes would appear as follows: — for a married couple with more than $200,000 in income, H U D would, for each $100 of mortgage interest on the couple's home, pay $70 to the bank holding the mortgage, leaving the couple to pay $30. It would also pay a similar portion of the couple's property tax to the state or city levying the tax. — for a married couple with income of $10,000, H U D would pay the bank on the couple's mortgage $19 per each $100 interest unit, with the couple paying $81.

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