Category: Federal Government

Don’t Make Cities and Towns Shoulder the Cost of Tax Reform

This is a guest post by Sam Mamet, executive director of the Colorado Municipal League. Back in the day, when I was still lobbying for the Colorado Municipal League under the Gold Dome of our state capitol, there was an old parlor game I used to have to play. It was called “Shift and Shaft.”

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How “Qualified Immunity” Protects State and Local Officials

When it comes to “qualified immunity”, state and local governments have experienced a winning streak like no other. Since 1982, the Supreme Court has denied police officers qualified immunity in only two cases. In the last few years, the Supreme Court has reversed a handful of lower court cases denying police officers qualified immunity in

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Six Things City Leaders Should Know About the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act

Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee released its long-awaited “Tax Cuts & Jobs Act” plan. The proposed tax reform plan aims to streamline the U.S. tax code and create some tax relief for middle and low income Americans by reducing the number of tax brackets, reducing marginal tax rates, and expanding family tax credits.

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The Final Days of the Clean Power Plan

Earlier this year, it seemed like a certainty: The Supreme Court would hear arguments concerning, and rule on, the legality of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), a key component of the Obama legacy. Now, with the proposal of new regulations intended to rescind the CPP, Supreme Court review seems less and less likely. If there

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Senate Plan Threatens State and Local Tax Deduction

Thursday evening, the Senate passed the FY2018 Budget reconciliation spending blueprint, paving the way for a potential $1.5 trillion tax cut. In a misguided effort to provide a pay for an ambition tax reform plan yet to be seen, Senator Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) proposed an amendment that opens the door to a cap or

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In Washington, Competing Forces Work to Reform Healthcare Markets

In Washington, news of the latest healthcare reform efforts seem to change by the hour. But it’s been a particularly productive week on the issue, as both Congress and the Administration made moves to implement competing agendas. Here’s a quick recap of what happened: On October 12th, the Trump Administration made two large announcements impacting

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South Dakota Asks Supreme Court to Consider Online Sales Tax

For years, local authorities have tangled with online retailers over sales tax collection within communities. But this fall, a new development in a blockbuster Supreme Court case could force the issue into the national spotlight. In Quill Corp. v. North Dakota (1992), the Supreme Court held that states cannot require retailers with no in-state physical presence to

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Supreme Court Hears Partisan Gerrymandering Case

All eyes and ears were focused on Justice Kennedy today during the Supreme Court’s oral argument in Gill v. Whitford. In this case, the court is asked to decide whether and when it is possible to bring a claim that partisan gerrymandering (redistricting to advantage one political party) is unconstitutional. In the 2012 election, in

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Five Things City Leaders Should Know About Tax Reform

This week, the “Big 6” tax negotiators comprised of leadership from the House, Senate and Administration, released its highly anticipated tax framework. The plan was a slightly updated version of the outline we saw in April. While the new document does provide some answers for cities, many unknowns still remain. Little has changed since the

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Supreme Court to Decide Significant Public Sector Union Dues Case (Again)

Last year, the Supreme Court was expected to overrule a crucial precedent supporting public sector unions, but the untimely death of Justice Anton Scalia complicated matters. Now, the case is returning — and a decision seems imminent. In 2016, the Supreme Court considered the case of a nearly 40-year old precedent requiring public sector employees

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