Category: taxation

What Justice Kennedy Meant to Cities

As of July 30, the last day of this year’s historic Supreme Court session, Justice Anthony Kennedy is retired. For states and local governments, he will be forever remembered — not least as the justice who championed allowing online sales tax collection. In March 2015, Justice Kennedy wrote that the “legal system should find an

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For Smart Cities, Blockchain Technology Opens New Possibilities

Today, Americans have supercomputers in their pockets, on their wrists, in their cars and in their home appliances. Internet usage is at an all-time high, with 89 percent of the population having access in 2018 — compared to 52 percent in 2000. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 90 percent of American adults have

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What City Leaders Should Know about South Dakota v. Wayfair

On Thursday, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court handed down a major victory in South Dakota v. Wayfair, concluding that state and local governments can require remote retailers with no physical presence in the state to collect and remit sales taxes. After years of congressional inaction, the decision brings cities one significant step closer

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States and Local Governments Win Landmark Online Sales Tax Case

On Thursday, in South Dakota v. Wayfair, the Supreme Court ruled that states and local governments can require vendors with no physical presence in the state to collect sales tax. According to the court, which ruled in a 5-4 decision, “economic and virtual contacts” are enough to create a “substantial nexus” with the state allowing

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Supreme Court Hears Internet Sales Tax Arguments in South Dakota v. Wayfair

In South Dakota v. Wayfair South Dakota is asking the Supreme Court to overrule precedent and hold that states and local governments may require retailers with no in-state physical presence to collect sales tax. The National Conference of State Legislatures estimated that states lost $23.3 billion in 2012 from being prohibited from collecting sales tax

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Leveraging Your City’s Employee Benefits Package

This is an NLC staff post by Anita Yadavalli. On March 11-14, city leaders from across the nation gathered at the Congressional City Conference in Washington, D.C., to speak up for city priorities and rebuild America’s infrastructure. I was quite busy during that time, flocking from meeting to meeting, greeting seasoned city leaders and welcoming

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5 Things City Leaders Should Know About Opportunity Zones

This is a guest post by Steve Glickman and John Lettieri, co-founders of the Economic Innovation Group. Opportunity Zones is a new community development initiative established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 designed to spur long-term private investment in low-income communities nationwide. The program offers a federal tax incentive for reinvesting

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What the ‘Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’ Will Mean for Cities

After a last-minute procedural delay forced the House of Representatives into a re-vote, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) this morning passed both houses of Congress. The bill  will now head to President Trump, who is expected to sign it into law. The Senate had to make several last minute changes to the

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Tax Reform Continues to Race Forward

A lot has happened in the past month on tax reform. On November 16, the House passed its version of a tax bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R.1), just under a week after the Senate released its own version of the bill. After a tenuous 20 hours of debate and deal-making, the Senate

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How to Measure Pension Fiscal Health in Your City

The state of retirement funding has become an obvious fiscal concern for city governments, especially since the Great Recession. In fact, a recent National League of Cities survey revealed the cost of employee/retiree pensions ranks third (following infrastructure needs and public safety needs) among the most negative factors impacting city budgets. Perhaps more telling is

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