TITLE

Federal Tax Policy: Information on Selected Capital Facilities Related to the Essential Governmental Function Test: GAO-06-1082

AUTHOR(S)
Brostek, Michael
PUB. DATE
October 2006
SOURCE
GAO Reports;10/13/2006, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Government Document
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Unlike state and local governments, Indian tribal governments are in general restricted to using tax-exempt bonds for activities that are an "essential government function," where "essential government function" does not include functions not customarily performed by state and local governments. This restriction has been difficult to enforce by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and increased the tax compliance burden on Indian tribal governments. GAO was asked for information on the number of facilities that state and local governments finance, construct, and operate in eight categories: (1) Rental housing, (2) Road infrastructure, (3) Parking garages and lots, (4) Community recreational facilities, (5) Golf courses, (6) Conference centers, (7) Hotel and tourist accommodations, and (8) State-owned gaming support facilities. GAO did not find a comprehensive, reliable source of the number of facilities. Instead, GAO searched and found a variety of public and private sources that had limited information on the amounts of financing provided by state and local governments in related categories. Data sources showed state and local governments (municipalities) provided a wide range of financial support in the following types of facilities: (1) Rental housing: From 2000 through 2004 municipalities borrowed, in 2004 dollars, a total of $46.4 billion in 3,557 bond issues for multi-family housing projects. Over the period these borrowings accounted for 33 to 45 percent of debt issued for housing projects. (2) Road transportation: From 2000 through 2004 municipalities borrowed, in 2004 dollars, a total of $61.4 billion in 1,091 issues for toll roads and highways. Over the period these borrowings accounted for 27 to 38 percent of debt issued for transportation facilities. (3) Parking facilities: From 2000 through 2004 municipalities borrowed, in 2004 dollars, a total of $3.5 billion in 220 issues for parking facilities. In addition, about 73 percent of the U.S. population lived in metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) that reported positive user charges for parking facilities. (4) Park and recreation facilities: From 2000 through 2004 municipalities borrowed, in 2004 dollars, a total of $60.9 billion in 3,085 tax-exempt issues to build public facilities, including $0.6 billion in 29 issues for theaters; $6.1 billion in 723 issues for parks, zoos and beaches; $5.3 billion in 119 issues for stadiums and arenas; and $4.6 billion in 420 issues in other recreation facilities. In addition, about 75 percent of the U.S. population lived in MSAs that reported positive user charges for park and recreation facilities. (5)Golf facilities: In 2005 there were about 2,400 municipal golf courses, about 15 percent of total golf courses in the United States. Municipal golf courses exist in all states. At least 120 golf courses in 29 states have been identified as financed, at least in part, with tax-exempt bonds. About 5 percent of municipal golf courses are...
ACCESSION #
23159656

 

Related Articles

  • Tax Compliance: Multiple Approaches Are Needed to Reduce the Tax Gap: GAO-07-391T.  // GAO Reports;1/23/2007, p1 

    The tax gap--the difference between the tax amounts taxpayers pay voluntarily and on time and what they should pay under the law--has been a long-standing problem in spite of many efforts to reduce it. Most recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimated a gross tax gap for tax year 2001...

  • 2007 Tax Filing Season: Interim Results and Updates of Previous Assessments of Paid Preparers and IRS's Modernization and Compliance Research Efforts: GAO-07-720T. White, James R.; Powner, David A. // GAO Reports;4/12/2007, p1 

    The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) tax filing season performance is a key indicator of how well IRS serves taxpayers. This year's filing season was expected to be risky because of tax system changes, including the telephone excise tax refund (TETR) which can be requested by all individuals...

  • Tax Gap: Multiple Strategies, Better Compliance Data, and Long-Term Goals Are Needed to Improve Taxpayer Compliance: GAO-06-208.  // GAO Reports;10/26/2005, p1 

    Long-term budget simulations by GAO and others show that we face large and growing structural deficits due primarily to known demographic trends and rising health care costs. Reducing the annual tax gap--the difference between what taxpayers timely and accurately pay in taxes and what they...

  • Capital Gains Tax Gap: Requiring Brokers to Report Securities Cost Basis Would Improve Compliance if Related Challenges Are Addressed: GAO-06-603.  // GAO Reports;6/13/2006, p1 

    For tax year 2001, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimated a tax gap of at least $11 billion from individual taxpayers misreporting income from capital assets (generally those owned for investment or personal purposes). IRS did not estimate the portion of this gap from securities (e.g.,...

  • Complexity and Taxpayer Compliance. Brostek, Michael // GAO Reports;6/28/2011, preceding p1 

    The article presents a study conducted by the Government Accountability Office which investigates tax gap in the U.S. It explores complex rules of the federal tax system and how it adds to taxpayer burden and economic efficiency costs. It discusses the complexities in reporting income and its...

  • Practice. Rettig, Charles P. // Journal of Tax Practice & Procedure;Jun/Jul2013, Vol. 15 Issue 3, p15 

    The article discusses a report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) based on a 2009 review of offshore voluntary disclosure programs (OVDP). The report described the nature of the noncompliance of 2009 OVDP participants and assessed efforts of IRS to detect taxpayers trying to...

  • HIGHLIGHTS OF A JOINT FORUM ON TAX COMPLIANCE: Options for Improvement and Their Budgetary Potential.  // GAO Reports;6/30/2008, preceding p1 

    The article presents information on the Forum on Tax Compliance: Options for Improvement and Their Budgetary Potential, that was held on September 6, 2007. The forum was convened by the U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), and the Joint...

  • Do Taxpayers Want Less Aggressive Returns? Wade, Stacy; Stephenson, Teresa // CPA Journal;Feb2009, Vol. 79 Issue 2, p40 

    The article reports that a recent study indicates that taxpayers often perceive and expect their tax preparers to be less aggressive than they actually are. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) stated that tax professionals have a lot of influence over the degree of compliance...

  • Avoiding the tax.  // Long Island Business News (7/1993 to 5/2009);8/15/2008, Vol. 55 Issue 40, p12A 

    The article reports on the outcome of a study conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), concerning income tax compliance of corporations in the U.S. The study shows that about 68% of foreign corporations and about two-thirds of American-owned corporations avoided federal...

Share

Read the Article

Other Topics