SciCombinator

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Concept: Taxation in the United States

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Taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) meant to improve health and raise revenue are being adopted, yet evaluation is scarce. This study examines the association of the first penny per ounce SSB excise tax in the United States, in Berkeley, California, with beverage prices, sales, store revenue/consumer spending, and usual beverage intake.

Concepts: United States, U.S. state, Macroeconomics, United States dollar, Indirect tax, Taxation in the United States, Consumption, Consumer spending

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Increasing tobacco excise taxes and implementing comprehensive smoke-free laws are two of the most effective population-level strategies to reduce tobacco use, prevent tobacco use initiation, and protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke. We examined state laws related to smoke-free buildings and to cigarette excise taxes from 2000 through 2014 to see how implementation of these laws from 2000 through 2009 differs from implementation in more recent years (2010-2014).

Concepts: United States, Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco smoking, Cigarette, Nicotine, Cigar, Taxation in the United States

36

Open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the most ambitious attempt to expand health coverage in the United States in decades, began October 1, 2013. The law offers Medicaid eligibility to citizens and qualified legal immigrants with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level in participating states and tax credits for private insurance purchased via marketplaces for persons not eligible for Medicaid who have incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level.(1) The effect of these provisions on insurance coverage . . .

Concepts: Health care, Health insurance, United States, Poverty in the United States, Law, Immigration to the United States, Law of the United States, Taxation in the United States

33

To illustrate the burden of high cigarette excise taxes on low-income smokers.

Concepts: Indirect tax, Excise, Excise taxes, Excise tax in the United States, Taxation in the United States

29

Capture and permanent geologic sequestration of biogenic CO2 emissions may provide critical flexibility in ambitious climate change mitigation. However, most bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration (BECCS) technologies are technically immature or commercially unavailable. Here, we evaluate low-cost, commercially ready CO2 capture opportunities for existing ethanol biorefineries in the United States. The analysis combines process engineering, spatial optimization, and lifecycle assessment to consider the technical, economic, and institutional feasibility of near-term carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). Our modeling framework evaluates least cost source-sink relationships and aggregation opportunities for pipeline transport, which can cost-effectively transport small CO2 volumes to suitable sequestration sites; 216 existing US biorefineries emit 45 Mt CO2 annually from fermentation, of which 60% could be captured and compressed for pipeline transport for under $25/tCO2 A sequestration credit, analogous to existing CCS tax credits, of $60/tCO2 could incent 30 Mt of sequestration and 6,900 km of pipeline infrastructure across the United States. Similarly, a carbon abatement credit, analogous to existing tradeable CO2 credits, of $90/tCO2 can incent 38 Mt of abatement. Aggregation of CO2 sources enables cost-effective long-distance pipeline transport to distant sequestration sites. Financial incentives under the low-carbon fuel standard in California and recent revisions to existing federal tax credits suggest a substantial near-term opportunity to permanently sequester biogenic CO2 This financial opportunity could catalyze the growth of carbon capture, transport, and sequestration; improve the lifecycle impacts of conventional biofuels; support development of carbon-negative fuels; and help fulfill the mandates of low-carbon fuel policies across the United States.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Petroleum, Climate change, Biofuel, Greenhouse gas, Global warming, Carbon capture and storage, Taxation in the United States

28

We describe the patterns of coverage gains associated with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expansions and use these patterns to assess the potential impact of alternative repeal or repeal and replace strategies because Congress and the president are weighing options to repeal or replace the ACA. We find that specific provisions of the ACA, including the Medicaid expansion and the structure of premium subsidies, have been associated with large and robust gains in insurance coverage. We evaluate the impact of retaining dependent coverage and high-risk pool provisions and show, on the basis of the ACA experience, that these provisions would have little effect on coverage. We find that many replacement proposal components, including flat tax credits and maintaining cost savings provisions, could jeopardize the ability of many of the ACA’s primary beneficiaries, as well as other Americans, to access coverage and care. By leading to a deterioration of the safety net, these strategies could also imperil population health activities. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print February 16, 2017: e1-e3. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2017.303665).

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Public health, Health, President of the United States, Population health, Insurance, Taxation in the United States

23

Cigarette excise taxes are an effective tobacco control strategy but they vary geographically due to differences in state and local taxation. There are also pronounced sociodemographic differences in community composition, suggesting that different population groups might face vastly different cigarette excise tax rates. In this study, we examine how cigarette excise tax rates differ for population groups defined by race, ethnicity, poverty status, and sexual orientation, and how these differences have evolved over time. We constructed annual cigarette tax rates in 109 mutually exclusive jurisdictions within the United States (U.S.) between 2006 and 2014. After merging with Census sociodemographic data, we calculated annual cigarette excise tax exposures for each population group as the average of each place-based tax, weighted by the proportion of the group living there. In 2014, the average U.S. resident was required to pay $2.68 in cigarette taxes, more than 60% of which was due to state and local taxation. On average, Asian/Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander populations faced the highest average tax ($2.95), which was $0.44 more than American Indian populations. Local taxes disproportionately augmented state and federal taxes for non-White populations, same-sex couples, and people living in poverty. Geographic variation in cigarette excise taxes produces sociodemographic variation in cigarette tax exposure. Raising cigarette taxes specifically in those places where groups at risk for tobacco-related disease are more likely to live, or otherwise creating geographically uniform tax levels, could reduce important disparities in cigarette smoking.

Concepts: United States, White American, Indirect tax, Taxation in the United States, Taxation, Value added tax, Corporate tax, Tax rates around the world

18

We report results from a large online randomised tax experiment in Guatemala. The trial involves short messages and choices presented to taxpayers as part of a CAPTCHA pop-up window immediately before they file a tax return, with the aim of priming honest declarations. In total our sample includes 627,242 taxpayers and 3,232,430 tax declarations made over four months. Treatments include: honesty declaration; information about public goods; information about penalties for dishonesty, questions allowing a taxpayer to choose which public good they think tax money should be spent on; or questions allowing a taxpayer to state a view on the penalty for not declaring honestly. We find no impact of any of these treatments on the average amount of tax declared. We discuss potential causes for this null effect and implications for ‘online nudges’ around honesty priming.

Concepts: Penalty, Tax, Public finance, Taxation in the United States, Goods

16

About half of all US states have cigarette minimum price laws (MPLs) that require a per cent mark-up on prices, but research suggests they may not be very effective in raising prices. An alternative type of MPL sets a floor price below which packs cannot be sold, and may be more promising. This new type of MPL policy has only been implemented in 1 city, therefore its benefits relative to excise taxes is difficult to assess.

Concepts: Implementation, Tax, Indirect tax, Excise, Excise taxes, Excise tax in the United States, Taxation in the United States

13

The public health consequences of federal income tax policies that influence income inequality are not well understood. I aimed to project the impacts on mortality of modifying federal income tax structures based on proposals by two recent United States (U.S.) Presidential candidates: Donald Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders. I performed a microsimulation analysis using the latest Internal Revenue Service public-use tax file with state identifiers (2008 tax year), containing nationally-representative data from 139,651 tax returns. I considered five tax plan scenarios: 1) actual 2008 tax structures; proposals in 2016 by then-candidates 2) Trump and 3) Sanders; 4) a modified Sanders plan with higher top tax rates (75%); and 5) a modified Sanders plan with higher top rates plus revenue redistribution to lower-income households (<$40,000/year). I combined projected changes in income inequality with vital statistics and estimates of linkages between income inequality and mortality. 29,689 (95% CI: 10,865-48,920) more deaths/year and 31,302 (95% CI: 11,455-51,577) fewer deaths/year from all causes are anticipated under the Trump and Sanders plans, respectively. Under the modified Sanders plan including higher top rates, 68,919 (95% CI: 25,221-113,561) fewer deaths/year are projected. Under the modified Sanders plan with redistribution, 333,504 (95% CI: 192,897-473,787) fewer deaths/year are expected. Policies that both raise federal income tax rates and redistribute tax revenue could confer large reductions in the total numbers of annual deaths among Americans. In this era of high income inequality, policymakers should consider joint federal tax and redistributive policies as levers to reduce the burden of mortality in the U.S.

Concepts: United States, Income, Tax, Taxation in the United States, Internal Revenue Service, Income tax, Taxation, Income tax in the United States