The mortgage interest deduction, a sacred cow in the U.S. tax code, does nothing to promote homeownership, according to an academic paper released Monday, a finding that undermines one of the core justifications for the tax break. Letting taxpayers deduct mortgage interest encourages them to buy bigger homes and more expensive homes – but it doesn’t change that fundamental decision about whether to buy in the first place
Even as Wall Street bulls tout Tesla’s stock, almost a conspiracy of silence has surrounded the most interesting questions. One of these concerns what happens when 300,000 customers who deposited $1,000 each for the forthcoming Tesla Model 3 learn that the $7,500 federal tax credit will expire before they can get their hands on it. Now we know. Tesla may not be too big to fail as far as the federal government is concerned, but it certainly is too big to fail as far as California politicians are concerned. As enthusiast site GreenCarReports.com says frankly of AB 1184, a bill recently passed by the state Assembly and awaiting Senate action: “CA bill would make up for federal electric-car incentives as they expire.”
For the first time in years, pay for the lowest-income Americans is rising faster than for other groups. Weekly pay for full-time earners at the lowest 10th percentile of the wage scale rose at a faster rate last quarter, year-to-year, than for any other group measured by the U.S. Labor Department—including those at the top of the income scales who earn five times as much. The shift for low-income workers—including restaurant workers and retail cashiers—who make about $10.75 an hour, is a sign that a tightening labor market is delivering better pay to workers who largely haven’t shared in gains since the recession ended eight years ago, according to economists and government data. Last quarter marked the first time since late 2010 that this earning group’s gains outpaced all others, including the 90th, 75th, 50th and 25th percentiles.
Tesla Inc.’s sales in Hong Kong came to a standstill after authorities slashed a tax break for electric vehicles on April 1, demonstrating how sensitive the company’s performance can be to government incentive programs. Not a single newly purchased Tesla model was registered in Hong Kong in April, according to official data from the city’s Transportation Department analyzed by The Wall Street Journal. In March, shortly after the tax change was announced and ahead of the April 1 deadline, 2,939 Tesla vehicles were registered there—almost twice as many as in the last six months of 2016.