Upcoming National Meeting

51st Annual Meeting Webinar

This program offers sessions of interest to every state tax professional in industry, whether a COST member or otherwise, as well as in the consulting, accounting and legal profession. The program covers all types of state and local taxes that business taxpayers are confronted with today and provides updates on key SALT issues.

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Newsletters & Media

Legislative Alert

ISSUE 20-54; December 1, 2020

District of Columbia Council Expands Reach of False Claims Act; COST Article on the Inefficiency, Ineffectiveness and Obsolescence of U.S. Sales Tax Systems Published in Tax Notes State and Tax Notes International

Cost Conscious

ISSUE 20-24; November 30, 2020

While there are many things to be thankful for this season, we at COST are most thankful for you, our members, without whom we would not be able to do what we love every day. So, thank you! We hope you and yours have had a very enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday.


Bloomberg TAX

Suit Alleges Expedia, Others Cheated Nevada on Lodging Taxes


Online travel companies including Expedia, Orbitz, and Hotels.com knowingly cheated Nevada out of hundreds of millions of dollars in lodging tax revenue over at least six years, a whistleblower lawsuit says.

Colorado Lawmakers Approve Pandemic Tax Relief for Restaurants


Restaurants and bars struggling with Covid-19-related restrictions will receive a temporary tax break under a bill approved by Colorado lawmakers and sent to Gov. Jared Polis.

Reinstated California Worker Must Eat Taxes on Back-Pay Award


A Los Angeles County Department of Health Services employee who was fired and successfully sued to get her job back isn't entitled to an additional award to cover the excess tax liability she incurred after being awarded back pay, a state appeals court said.

IRS Extends Loosened Email, E-Signature Policies Again


The IRS extended, through next summer, a memorandum easing its acceptance of e-signatures and use of email during the coronavirus pandemic.

Powell Says No Rift With Mnuchin, Signals Fed Not Stepping Back


Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell indicated Wednesday that there was no rift between the central bank and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over the sunsetting of emergency lending programs.

Pelosi, McConnell Fan Stimulus Hopes With Clock Running Out (1)


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell each took a stab at breaking the deadlock over a new stimulus, but it wasn’t clear that either side budged enough to get a deal in the short time Congress has left to act.

Corporate Tax Chat: Marie Pearse, Head of Tax At Pennon Group


Marie Pearse, head of tax at Pennon Group, a FTSE 100-listed utility company, spoke with Bloomberg Tax about completing a multi-billion dollar M&A deal during lockdown, generational differences in customers' opinions of tax planning, and why bringing assets onshore means fewer sunny business trips for executives.

It’s Time to Educate Lawyers as Leaders


A new Sunday afternoon class at Georgetown Law on "Lawyers as Leaders" became the most attended class in school history. Dean William Treanor and Associate Dean Hillary Sale say law students want and need opportunities to develop and practice leadership skills long before they actually become leaders in their field or community.

How Millennials—and Gen Z—Will Transform Tax


The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated what was already an unprecedented pace of digital and legislative change. As the 10th annual EY Young Tax Professional of the Year competition kicks off, Kate Barton, EY Global Vice Chair—Tax, shares how the tax function has been transformed by new and emerging technologies, and what this means for a tax professional starting their career today.

Wisconsin DOR Publishes Updated Sales and Use Tax Brackets


The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) Dec. 1 published updated sales and use tax brackets. The sales tax payable by a retailer to the DOR is based on the tax rate multiplied by total taxable sales, regardless of the amount of tax collected from customers using the bracket system. The tax collectible from customers must be: 1) rounded down to the next lowest penny, for amounts less than $0.005; and 2) rounded up to the next highest penny, for amounts equal to or greater than $0.005. The DOR also alerts taxpayers that effective March 31, the baseball stadium tax was discontinued. [Wis. Dep't of Revenue, Publ'n 229, 12/01/20]

Tax Notes

Lawmakers, Business Owners Sue to Overturn Arizona Income Tax Measure


Opponents of an Arizona ballot measure that will increase taxes on higher earners to fund education have filed a lawsuit, Fann et al. v. Arizona, to overturn the law before it takes effect.

Arkansas Official Calls for Phaseout of Individual Income Tax


The lieutenant governor of Arkansas has called for phasing out the individual income tax, which is the state’s largest source of revenue.

Illinois Email Dump Shows Madigan's Interest in Utility's Property Tax Work


A large cache of emails provided by Illinois’s largest utility provider highlights Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan’s intense interest in securing contracts for property tax work for the utility.

New York Tribunal Upholds Return Preparer Penalty


The New York Tax Appeals Tribunal ruled in Matter of Almonte that a tax return preparer failed to meet the burden of showing that the tax division's assessment of the tax return preparer penalty was erroneous.

Pennsylvania Electric Vehicle Fees Tabled for Now


Pennsylvania lawmakers ended the 2020 regular session with no agreement on legislation to impose road usage fees on electric vehicles and eliminate the alternative fuels tax on electricity.

Wrigley Field Granted Historic Landmark Status, Associated Tax Credits


Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, has been granted National Historic Landmark status, granting significant tax benefits.

Minnesota House Republicans Announce Tax Relief for Businesses


Minnesota House Republicans have announced a coronavirus relief package that includes sales tax and license fee relief for businesses whose operations were limited or closed by the recent shutdown.

Oregon Unitary Relationship Rule Change Draws Business Ire


A proposed change to Oregon's rules for determining whether corporations have a unitary relationship could complicate compliance for taxpayers, according to business groups.

Featured Resources

COST - Council on State Taxation

Amicus Briefs

Level 3 Communications v. Oregon Department of Revenue

In its amicus brief, COST argues that the Tax Court’s decision allowing the imposition of property tax based on the enterprise value of a centrally assessed taxpayer should be reversed because it represents a stark departure from existing law and practice. It would unfairly upend the longstanding and well-settled expectations of centrally assessed businesses that pay property taxes in Oregon.

COST - Council on State Taxation

COST Studies, Articles & Reports

FY19 State And Local Business Tax Burden Study

This report, prepared by Ernst & Young LLP, shows all state and local business taxes paid in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia for FY19.

COST - Council on State Taxation

COST Comments & Testimony

Testimony in Continued Support of House Bill 75 – Local Political Subdivision Property Tax Complaints

Testimony to the Ohio Senate’s Local Government, Public Safety and Veterans’ Affairs Committee in continued support of H.B. 75 as it makes significant improvements by requiring a local political subdivision to notify property owners that a property tax valuation complaint may be filed along with requiring a formal resolution process prior to the subdivision contesting a property owner’s valuation