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advocacy community education
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Tax360 Welcomes State, National Experts
By CSCPA Finance and Operations Director Julie McNeal and Membership Director Julie Carroza
The CSCPA welcomed highly placed
state and national speakers to the 2011
Tax360
State and Federal Tax Forum
on November 8 and 9, resulting in a
comprehensive, in-depth look at state
and federal taxation from every angle.
State Taxation: November 8
The state tax day included speakers
such as Department of Revenue
Services (DRS) Commissioner Kevin
Sullivan
, making his first presentation
to a CSCPA conference as commis-
sioner. "Is There Tax Policy?" coupled
humor with a glimpse of the inner work-
ings of state government.
Sullivan's point that "tax policy has
been a surrogate for larger issues of
politics, economics, and power" tran-
scends Connecticut and is widely and
unfortunately applicable at both the
local and federal levels.
Sullivan's goals for the DRS include
active strategic business planning for a
lean (not mean!) DRS, revenue model-
ing and policy advocacy, advance-
ments in electronic filing, payments,
and refunds as well as tax gap-driven
programs, collection scoring, and virtu-
al audits.
State agencies, according to Sullivan,
need to begin to look at their work from
the perspective of the Connecticut tax-
payer and practitioner (an outside-
inside focus). The DRS is striving for
"purposes, programs, and projects ...
not just processing."
Conference
attendees
enjoyed
Sullivan's presentation, leaving com-
ments such as "great insight; thorough-
ly enjoyed his presentation," "I liked
hearing his perspectives on the DRS
and policy," and "good speaker; inter-
esting concepts on change."
Federal Taxation: November 9
The federal tax day opened with Diane
Lim Rogers, Ph.D.
, chief economist
with the Concord Coalition. The
Concord Coalition is an advocacy
group committed to economic disci-
pline, including strict pay-as-you-go
rules on tax cuts and spending.
The problem, according to Rogers, is
that on average for the 30 years
between 1980 and 2010, the federal
government spent at a rate of 21 per-
cent of GDP and collected revenue at a
rate of 18.3 percent of GDP. The only
years when inflows exceeded outflows
were from 1997 to 2001.
This annually accumulating 2.7 percent
gap, as bad as it is, only tells a small
part of the story because it is a cash
flow calculation. It doesn't take into
account all of the costs that are
CSCPA Finance and Operations Director Julie McNeal speaks one-on-one with speaker Diane Lim
Rogers of the Concord Coalition.