Joint Committee on Taxation was already flagging oil and gas subsidies in the 1920s

The Joint Committee on Taxation of the US Congress has gradually posted many of its publications going back as early as 1926.  Special tax rules for natural resources were a focus of JCT's attention even in its earliest days.  By the mid-1920s, standard cost depletion had already been jettisoned for discovery value.  Under cost depletion, taxpayers could write off what they'd invested in the mining property.  Discovery value depletion introduced subsidization, as it allowed the write off of the value of minerals at the time of discovery, even if that value was more than the investm

New Subsidyscope database pries open the door on tax expenditures just a little bit more

Improved visibility on tax expenditures was one of my biggest hopes for Pew's Subsidyscope when I joined the advisory board, so I am very happy to see the first step of this launched.  Have a look at it here.  With an aggregate value of more than $1 trillion in 2009 (see page 12), it is high time to focus more attention and resources to establish better transparency and accountability in this area. 

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