COGC & ATR support the Access to Court Challenges for Exempt Status Seekers Act
Today, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist and Cost of Government Center's Executive Director Mattie Duppler sent a letter to Senator Coats in support of his bill the Access to Court Challenges for Exempt Status Seekers Act (ACCESS). The bill aims to limit some of the authority the IRS has in determining which organizations are eligible for 501 (c)(4) status. In part the letter reads:
An ongoing investigation has revealed the IRS unfairly targeted conservatively aligned organizations from 2010 to 2013. Within that time, right-leaning groups that applied for 501 (c)(4) status faced more scrutiny than their liberal-leaning counterparts, including receiving requests for identification of group donors. Some of these groups waited upwards of two years for the IRS to act on their applications while the agency drew out its investigation.
Under the current law, groups seeking 501 (c)(4) designation are entirely at the mercy of an overreaching federal agency. The IRS should not have the authority to decide which organizations have the right to fully exercise their first amendment rights. The recent revelations about how the IRS has abused this power in the past have demonstrated that the agency has too much latitude to restrict Americans' participation in the public sphere. The ACCESS bill will limit this power by allowing groups seeking (c)(4) status the same recourse available to groups applying for (c)(3) status. After nine months, groups would be able to advocate for themselves in Tax Court if the IRS takes too long to act on their applications.
This bill provides necessary oversight of IRS actions and is an important step towards reigning in an agency that has overstepped its bounds for too long. We urge your colleagues to support your bill, the Access to Court Challenges for Exempt Status Seekers Act.
To read the whole letter, click HERE.
Happy Cost of Government Day, America! Workers Toil 186 Days to Pay For The Full Costs of Government
In 2014, Cost of Government Day falls on July 6.This day marks the point during the year when the average American has earned enough income to pay for his or her share of the spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government at the federal, state and local levels. While Americans may be celebrating Independence Day on July 4, they are still working to pay for the full cost of government until the end of the weekend. This will be the sixth consecutive year that COGD will fall in July; prior to President Obama taking office, COGD had never fallen after June 27.
All told, the full costs of government amount to 51 percent of GDP. Workers toil 121 days to pay for government spending alone, and 65 days to pay for regulatory costs. All told, Americans labor 186 days to pay off the full burden of government.
States like Connecticut and New Jersey must work past national COGD in order to pay for the costs of high spending and taxes in their states. The latest state COGD once again occurs in Connecticut, falling on July 26 for 2014. The earliest COGD goes to Louisiana, occurring on June 12 this year.
Reflecting the success of efforts by Republicans in Washington to cut the size of government by capping discretionary spending, the days worked to pay for federal spending decreased since last year. However, federal regulatory costs have increased since 2013. Increased unilateral executive action will only push these costs higher. While Americans worked 65 days to pay for the costs imposed by regulation in 2014, if the regulatory regime grows larger it will almost certainly auger much later Cost of Government Days in the future.