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Economy and Taxes

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Clear nonpartisan analysis of fiscal and tax policy enables policymakers and the public to weigh competing theories on how to end the country’s economic crisis. Urban Institute researchers evaluated key components of the stimulus package and analyzed the tax proposals in the president’s budget. Warning decisionmakers about the unsustainable fiscal course ahead, our experts propose ways to control deficits and reform the entitlement programs that drive up spending. Read more.

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The Debt Ceiling Deal, the "Super Committee," and Retirement Programs

 
 
1040

Clear nonpartisan analysis of fiscal and tax policy enables policymakers and the public to weigh competing theories on how to end the country’s economic crisis. Urban Institute researchers evaluated key components of the stimulus package and analyzed the tax proposals in the president’s budget. Warning decisionmakers about the unsustainable fiscal course ahead, our experts propose ways to control deficits and reform the entitlement programs that drive up spending. Read more.

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Examples of Promising Practices for Integrating and Coordinating Eligibility, Enrollment and Retention: Human Services and Health Programs Under the Affordable Care Act (Research Report)
Stan Dorn, Sarah Minton, Erika Huber

States and non-profit organizations have used three approaches to successfully integrate enrollment and retention of health and human services programs: 1. Streamlining one program's eligibility determination based on data from other programs. This approach has helped uninsured children receive and retain health coverage, helped low-income seniors obtain SNAP, and produced state administrative savings. 2. Coordinated administration of multiple programs. Administrative savings resulted when multiple programs integrated their systems for case records, data matching, eligibility rules engines, on-line applications, and benefit payment. 3. Coordinating enrollment. Community colleges exemplify sites for enrolling consumers into multiple health and human services at once.

Posted to Web: September 15, 2014Publication Date: July 21, 2014

Preliminary Estimates of the Impact of the Camp Tax Reform Plan on Charitable Giving (Research Report)
Joseph Rosenberg, C. Eugene Steuerle, Ellen Steele, Amanda Eng

This note estimates the effects of four groups of provisions from the Tax Reform Act of 2014 on individual charitable giving. The provisions of the tax reform plan, released earlier this year by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), are estimated to decrease individual giving by 7 to 14 percent.

Posted to Web: September 10, 2014Publication Date: September 10, 2014

Assessing Pension Benefits Paid under Pennsylvania's State Employees' Retirement System (Research Report)
Richard W. Johnson, Barbara Butrica, Owen Haaga, Benjamin G. Southgate

Pennsylvania’s pension plan for state employees receives a failing grade in the Urban Institute’s state and local pension plan report card, and ranks as the third-worst plan in the nation covering newly hired general state employees. The plan scores poorly because it is inadequately funded, it penalizes work at older ages by reducing lifetime benefits for older employees, and it provides few retirement benefits to short-term employees. Age-25 hires must work 32 years before they accumulate rights to future pension benefits worth more than their required plan contributions. Various pension reforms could distribute benefits more equitably across the workforce.

Posted to Web: September 04, 2014Publication Date: September 04, 2014

Political Activity Limits and Tax Exemption: A Gordian's Knot (Research Report)
Roger Colinvaux

The article considers the correct tax treatment of political activity, examines administrative and legislative options to problems raised, and concludes that after the Citizens United decision, definitional political activity limits on noncharitable exempts should be eliminated, but only if the 527(f) tax on investment income remains vital and there are uniform donor disclosure rules. In addition, Congress should: extend the income tax to transfers of appreciated property to noncharitable exempts, take steps to prevent the laundering of independent expenditures through the charitable form, and develop a new tax baseline for political activity conducted "for profit" or outside of section 527.

Posted to Web: August 25, 2014Publication Date: August 05, 2014

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