When I think of tax evasion or corporate loopholes, I think paper shredders and mumbling accountants huddled over ledgers – not green pastures and high white fences… and yet, for wealthy landowners looking to avoid the brunt of high property taxes through agricultural credits and breaks, all it takes to save millions is a few stray heifers, or a handful of goats. Pat Garofalo is economic policy editor at Think Progress, and the author a recent op-ed called
Many religious traditions stress the importance of charity. But Mormons are remarkable for the amount and the precision with which they give to their church.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that each Mormon in good standing should tithe 10 percent of his or her income. The money goes right to church headquarters in Salt Lake City and then is distributed back to congregations around the world.
"That's written in stone, and preached from the pulpit," says Gordon Dahl, an economist at the University of California, San Diego, who is Mormon.
Over the weekend, the Senate overwhelmingly approved extending the payroll tax cut for two months...but before earners could count their thousand-dollar chickens, house speaker Boehner announced the extension would be DOA at the House, sparking a fierce public debate on a week better known for empty halls on Capitol Hill. But with all the kerfluffle over the payroll tax, there are a number of smaller, targeted tax cuts set to expire this year you probably haven't heard about.