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This blog post is one in a series detailing President Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2013.

Most of the attention on President Obama’s proposed tax changes in his 2013 budget proposal has focused on his proposal to sunset the Bush tax cuts for household income above $250,000 per year and his long-term goal of using the “Buffett Rule” to replace the Alternative Minimum Tax.

Looking beyond the headlines, however, reveals some proposals that have relevance for future tax reform efforts at the federal and state levels.

On the personal income tax, for example, President Obama proposes to reduce the value of many income-tax exclusions and deductions for high-income Americans. Under the current system, the value of these exclusions and deductions are significantly higher for high-income households than lower-income households: $1 in such deductions and exclusions reduce the tax liability of high-income households by up to 35 cents, compared to 10-25 cents for low- and middle-income households.

The president’s proposal, originally part of his American Jobs Act, would cap the value of those exclusions and deductions at 28 cents on the dollar for high-income households. Similar proposals to reduce the value of tax subsidies for wealthier households at the state level could raise tens to hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue for North Carolina without raising income tax rates.

Also among the President’s proposed tax changes are provisions that would close some of the most egregious corporate tax loopholes. For instance, Obama’s proposed budget would eliminate a loophole that allows corporations to deduct interest expenses from overseas investments even when indefinitely deferring US taxes on the income from those investments. Read More

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Mitt Romney has achieved a seemingly unparalleled feat in the context of the 2012 presidential campaign: he’s united former governor Sarah Palin and President Obama around a common cause. Both have recently called on the former Massachusetts governor and Bain Capital co-founder to make his income tax returns available to the public.

Thus far, Mr. Romney has broken with recent precedent for presidential campaigns and refused to release his tax returns.

The recent disclosure of the executive compensation packages of another prominent private equity firm, the Carlyle Group, together with the overwhelming, broad-based public support for the “Buffett Rule,” may shed some light on Mr. Romney’s unusual decision.

Howard Gleckman of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center has written how the Carlyle disclosure has revealed new information about how multi-millionaire private equity executives are able to pay a far lower tax rate than many middle class families by taking advantage of the carried-interest tax loophole (aka “the carry”): Read More