Bloomberg BNA: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP)?
Wiehe: I am ITEP Deputy Director, my primary responsibility being to plan and execute state policy work, so I have a real bird’s eye view for what is happening in all 50 states, plus the pleasure of following the federal tax debate.
Bloomberg BNA: What is state tax base erosion?
Wiehe: Base erosion is happening to all major taxes. The one that gets the most attention sales tax—with the exception of a few states, like Oregon and Delaware—is one of a state’s major sources of revenue. The problem with sales taxes is that they were created in the early 20th century and are largely still an early 20th century tax. When the majority of sales taxes were put on the books, the kind of purchases consumers made were largely goods, so if you bought a lawnmower, you did not pay a service to mow your lawn. Read more (subscription may be required.)