THE INTERNET TAX MORATORIUM EXPIRATION

COUNTDOWN

Tell the Senate
to Make the
Moratorium
Permanent.
Click Here to Sign the Petition Before It's Too Late.
00
DAYS
00
HOURS
00
MINUTES
00
SECONDS

Joshua Culling

Paul LePage and Other Mainers on the Importance of the Pledge


Posted by Joshua Culling on Friday, May 4th, 2012, 11:26 AM PERMALINK


Mary Adams, who runs the monthly Center-Right Coalition Meeting in Augusta, Maine, is a long-standing advocate of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Due in large part to her tireless efforts, signing the Pledge is essentially a prerequisite for Republican candidates in the state. Gov. Paul LePage has joined 35 members of the Maine Legislature in signing the Pledge never to raise taxes.

In this video, Gov. LePage and others explain why the Pledge is instrumental in taking tax increases off the table and paving the way for a smaller, more efficient government.

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


Flashback: Buffett Rule Test Drive in Washington State


Posted by Joshua Culling on Monday, April 16th, 2012, 11:28 AM PERMALINK


  • In 2010, Initiative 1098 was sent to the ballot in Washington State. It would have imposed a new income tax on the wealthiest 1 percent of Washingtonians. Washington is one of seven states that levy no state tax on income of any kind.
  • On November 2, 2010, Washington voters defeated the new tax by a 64-36 margin. This is despite the millions of dollars poured into the effort by national public employee unions. It is the ninth time Washington voters have rejected an income tax at the polls.

Washington State’s Buffett Rule, November 2, 2010

NO

1,616,273 (64.15%)

YES

903,319 (35.85%)


Washington State voters have a long history of rejecting a personal income tax

  • 1934 – Voters reject constitutional amendment allowing for income tax.
  • 1936 – Voters reject constitutional amendment SJR 7 allowing for income tax.
  • 1938 – Voters reject constitutional amendment SJR 5 allowing for income tax.
  • 1942 – Voters reject another income tax measure. 
  • 1970 – Voters reject constitutional amendment HJR 42 allowing for income tax.
  • 1973 – Voters reject a HJR 37, providing for corporate and personal income tax, by a 3-to-1 margin.
  • 1975 – Voters reject Initiative 314, a 12% corporate income tax proposal.
  • 1982 – Voters reject Initiative 435, a corporate income tax proposal.
  • 2010 – Voters reject Initiative 1098, a personal income tax on high earners.

Even with millions of dollars of union money and a populist, tax-the-rich message, Washington blue state voters have consistently seen through the rhetoric and rejected higher taxes.

(Click for PDF)

More from Americans for Tax Reform


Release: 28 Suggestions for Brian Sandoval


Posted by Joshua Culling on Wednesday, March 14th, 2012, 2:29 PM PERMALINK


[PDF COPY]

WASHINGTON, DC—Today Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist sent a letter to the Nevada Legislature urging them to oppose Gov. Brian Sandoval’s second attempt to raise taxes. As if last year’s massive tax increase wasn’t enough, this $600 million proposal plants Gov. Sandoval firmly outside the GOP mainstream when it comes to taxes and effectively takes him out of consideration for a Vice Presidential nod.

In his letter, Norquist suggested that Sandoval reach out to 28 Republican governors who reformed government and cut spending to balance their budgets. An excerpt from the letter:

Certainly one could publically announce that one should never be considered for the vice-presidency as a Republican in ways less damaging to the taxpayers of Nevada. They did nothing to deserve this.

You might suggest that Gov. Sandoval spend some taxpayer money to make a phone call to Governor John Kasich of Ohio, or Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, or Scott Walker of Wisconsin, or Rick Snyder of Michigan, or Rick Scott of Florida, or Rick Perry of Texas, or Mitch Daniels of Indiana, or Paul LePage of Maine, or Susana Martinez of New Mexico, or Chris Christie of New Jersey, or Bob McDonnell of Virginia, or Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, or Sam Brownback of Kansas, or Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Sean Parnell of Alaska, or Robert Bentley of Alabama, or Nathan Deal of Georgia, or Butch Otter of Idaho, or Terry Branstad of Iowa, or Phil Bryant of Mississippi, or Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota, or Dave Heineman of Nebraska, or Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, or Luis Fortuño of Puerto Rico, or Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota, or Bill Haslam of Tennessee, or Gary Herbert of Utah, or Matt Mead of Wyoming.

They could teach him how to govern rather than raise taxes on Nevadans, as each of them did in their own states last year.

Americans for Tax Reform is a non-partisan coalition of taxpayers and taxpayer groups who oppose all tax increases.  For more information or to arrange an interview please contact John Kartch at (202) 785-0266 or by email at jkartch@atr.org.

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


28 Suggestions for Brian Sandoval


Posted by Joshua Culling on Wednesday, March 14th, 2012, 1:56 PM PERMALINK


In 2011, there was one Republican governor who opted for tax increases over the difficult decisions that come with governing: Nevada's Brian Sandoval. It's taken him no time to double down on that approach, announcing this week that he will instruct state agencies to budget a $600 million extension of a tax increase set to expire.

Sandoval should consider himself removed from the 2012 Veepstakes, as none of the current Republican candidates, all of whom have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, share his view that taxes are too low.

In a letter to Nevada legislators, Grover suggests that Sandoval might call on his Republican colleagues to share some advice on how they achieved balanced budgets in 2012 without raising taxes. We substituted Puerto Rico's Luis Fortuño for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who is still subsisting off her multi-billion dollar sales tax increase in 2010. Grover's letter is pasted below. For a PDF, click here.

March 14, 2012

Nevada House
Nevada Senate

Dear Legislator,

I write to urge you to stand with Nevada taxpayers against Governor Brian Sandoval’s latest proposal to increase taxes on the citizens of Nevada.

Last year 45 state legislatures and governors refused to raise taxes.  They chose to reform government and eliminate wasteful spending. Only five governors decided that they would rather raise taxes on their citizens than actually govern and make real decisions: Those governors live in New York, Illinois, Maryland, Connecticut and Nevada. Nevada was alone in having a Republican governor who raised taxes rather than reform the cost of government down.

Now Gov. Sandoval is asking Nevadans to pay for his failure to manage the state’s budget as other governors of both parties have done.

Certainly one could publically announce that one should never be considered for the vice-presidency as a Republican in ways less damaging to the taxpayers of Nevada. They did nothing to deserve this.

You might suggest that Gov. Sandoval spend some taxpayer money to make a phone call to Governor John Kasich of Ohio, or Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, or Scott Walker of Wisconsin, or Rick Snyder of Michigan, or Rick Scott of Florida, or Rick Perry of Texas, or Mitch Daniels of Indiana, or Paul LePage of Maine, or Susana Martinez of New Mexico, or Chris Christie of New Jersey, or Bob McDonnell of Virginia, or Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, or Sam Brownback of Kansas, or Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Sean Parnell of Alaska, or Robert Bentley of Alabama, or Nathan Deal of Georgia, or Butch Otter of Idaho, or Terry Branstad of Iowa, or Phil Bryant of Mississippi, or Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota, or Dave Heineman of Nebraska, or Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, or Luis Fortuño of Puerto Rico, or Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota, or Bill Haslam of Tennessee, or Gary Herbert of Utah, or Matt Mead of Wyoming.

They could teach him how to govern rather than raise taxes on Nevadans, as each of them did in their own states last year.

Onward,

Grover Norquist

President,
Americans for Tax Reform

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


'I Cannot Express How Disgusted I Am'


Posted by Joshua Culling on Thursday, February 9th, 2012, 3:41 PM PERMALINK


Last weekend, New Jersey teachers union Vice President Vincent Giordano that underprivileged students don't deserve educational choice if they can't afford it, because "sometimes, life isn't fair."

That latter point is true - life in New Jersey isn't fair for students from low-income families, because teachers unions have used their considerable political power to lock kids into failing schools. It's a smart strategy for the unions, who rely on their near-monopoly in urban areas to prop up schools that would be unable to exist in a competitive marketplace. Sure, school choice would result in better educational options and life outcomes for underprivileged kids, but that would mean less dues paying public school teachers to fund Mr. Giordano's $300,000 salary.

Gov. Christie is rightfully disgusted. Watch the first 2:30 of this video of the governor's speech on the topic:

 

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


ATR Applauds Indiana Right to Work


Posted by Joshua Culling on Wednesday, February 1st, 2012, 4:10 PM PERMALINK


Today Americans for Tax Reform applauded Governor Mitch Daniels and the state's Republican legislature for making Indiana the 23rd Right to Work state in the country. It is the first rust belt state to pass such a law.

Right to Work eliminates the ability of unions to require the payment of union dues upon employment. This practice is an assault on worker freedom and harmful to business competitiveness and economic growth.

America's booming economic regions are largely Right to Work. States in the South and West such as Texas, Georgia and Florida have seen dynamic growth while the forced unionization states of the Midwest and Northeast have languished.

A recent study on the 2010 Census showed that 7 of the 8 states gaining Congressional seats - and population - are Right to Work. 8 of the 10 states losing seats are forced unionization.

ATR President Grover Norquist issued the following statement:

“Mitch Daniels has cemented his legacy as a pro-jobs, pro-freedom governor with today's Right to Work news. Indiana has weathered the recent economic downturn better than most of its neighbors, in large part because of the fiscal prudence of the governor and the Republican legislature. But the lasting accomplishment is Right to Work, which will ensure worker freedom and economic growth for generations.

“While Pat Quinn's Illinois continues to tax and spend itself into oblivion at the behest of union bosses, Mitch Daniels' Indiana stands as an example for the entire Midwest.

“I also commend Speaker Brian Bosma, a true leader in this fight. His advocacy on behalf of Indiana workers and businesses suggests he has a bright future in Republican politics."

PDF.

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


Idaho Has a Surplus; Why Raise Taxes?


Posted by Joshua Culling on Monday, January 30th, 2012, 9:19 AM PERMALINK


In the next few weeks, the Idaho Revenue and Tax Committee may vote on a bill to raise the state's cigarette tax $1.25 per pack. That would take Idaho from the lowest tax among its neighbors to the second-highest.

As we have argued before, high excise taxes drive commerce across state lines as consumers seek lower prices. That negatively impacts small businesses in high-tax states, especially those close to the border with lower-tax states. Recently in South Carolina, for example, lawmakers imposed a 50 cent per pack increase, bringing the state's tax rate 20 cents higher than neighboring Georgia. In the next 6 months, Georgia retailers within 25 miles of the border saw a 5.1 percent increase in cigarette sales, to the detriment of South Carolina's border retailers.

The same scenario has borne itself out recently in Washington, D.C. and Chicago. Should Idaho go the same route, retailers will be forced to charge more than $12 per carton more than in Wyoming, or over $10 more than in Nevada.

We took this argument recently to Georgia, where lawmakers are said to be mulling a cigarette tax hike that will wipe out the state's tax advantage over South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama. Non-partisan fact checker PolitiFact analyzed our position and ultimately deemed it "Mostly True":

The question for us: Do excise tax increases, as Norquist wrote, "drive commerce across state lines"?

Our conclusion: Norquist has a good argument for his basic point, based on the research we’ve seen and people we’ve interviewed. The difference in taxes between some places, however, is so large ($2.20 a pack between Washington, D.C., and Virginia) that it adds some important context to this argument. With that additional bit of information, we rate Norquist’s claim as Mostly True.

Idaho currently projects a $77 million budget surplus. That combined with the tenuous economic recovery sets the stage for tax cuts, not job-killing tax increases. To see Grover's letter to the Idaho Legislature urging them to reject the cigarette tax hike, see below. For a PDF, click here.

If you're in Idaho, click here to take action and tell your lawmakers to vote NO on the tobacco tax hike.

30 January 2012

 

Idaho House

Idaho Senate

Dear Legislator,

I write in strong opposition to a proposed tobacco tax increase in Idaho. As we have seen in countless other states recently, targeted excise taxes drive commerce across state lines, hurting in-state small businesses and their employees. And with a projected budget surplus, this is certainly no time to raise taxes.

States compete for commerce and job growth. When government raises the cost of a particular good or service, consumers are free to purchase the product elsewhere. Currently, Idaho has a lower cigarette tax rate than any of its neighbors. If the state imposes a $1.25 per pack tax increase, only Washington will have a higher rate in the region. It is not difficult to envision a scenario in which a low-income smoker crosses the border to Wyoming to save over $12 on a carton of cigarettes.

In fact, this is exactly what we have seen in other states. In 2010, South Carolina instituted a 50 cent per pack cigarette tax increase, bringing its rate 20 cents higher than neighboring Georgia. In the following six months, Georgia retailers within 25 miles of the border saw a net increase in sales of 1.3 million packs – a 5.1 percent jump at the expense of South Carolina small businesses.

In 2006, Chicago, Illinois instituted a $1 per pack increase and the state actually saw a revenue decline, as an estimated 75 percent of smokers migrated to Indiana to purchase cigarettes. The same was true in Washington, D.C., which lost tobacco tax revenue in 2009 after the city raised its tax 50 cents per pack.

In Idaho, we are talking about an even larger tax increase than any of the above, meaning the incentive for consumers to cross state lines will be even stronger. Don’t take my word for it: Non-partisan fact checker PolitiFact recently examined ATR’s argument that higher tobacco taxes hurt retailers located near the border. They wrote:

The question for us: Do excise tax increases, as Norquist wrote, "drive commerce across state lines"?

Our conclusion: Norquist has a good argument for his basic point, based on the research we’ve seen and people we’ve interviewed. The difference in taxes between some places, however, is so large ($2.20 a pack between Washington, D.C., and Virginia) that it adds some important context to this argument. With that additional bit of information, we rate Norquist’s claim as Mostly True.

I urge you to avoid the folly of other states and protect Idaho small business by rejecting this harmful tax increase.

Onward,

Grover G. Norquist

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


IN: No Online Sales Tax to "Pay For" Death Tax Repeal


Posted by Joshua Culling on Thursday, January 5th, 2012, 3:07 PM PERMALINK


Last month, ATR joined the American Family Business Institute in supporting Indiana Sen. Jim Banks' bill to eliminate the state's death tax. The bill would scrap a particular damaging extra layer of taxation that drives wealth and population across state lines.

Recently, Senate Appropriations Chair Luke Kenley gave credence to the idea of scrapping the tax. Unfortunately, he feels the need for a "pay for" tax increase to replace the revenue currently generated by the death tax. His weapon of choice is a new tax on online sales.

This is a bad idea. First of all, there is no need to "replace lost revenue" from a tax cut. Indiana currently projects a mid-year surplus of $1.77 billion. This is the time to reduce the tax burden; there is no need to inflate the spending baseline by keeping the surplus in state government's hands.

But even more importantly, taxing the internet is unconstitutional and inflicts undue punishment in-state advertising businesses, who generally have closed up shop in states where such a tax has been imposed. From Grover's and AFBI's Dick Patten's letter to Sen. Kenley today:

Taxing Internet sales is an especially problematic idea. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Quill v. North Dakota enshrined the physical nexus standard for tax collection into law by forbidding states from forcing out-of-state companies (Internet or otherwise) with no physical presence to collect taxes. Taxing online sales is an issue for the U.S. Congress to review, as state-level attempts to dissolve the physical nexus standard violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution solely to raise taxes.

Internet taxes also have a proven history of punishing in-state advertising businesses, which often serve as the nexus for out-of-state online retailers. In every state the affiliate nexus tax has been enacted, retailers have terminated advertising agreements to avoid the unconstitutional tax, causing tens of thousands of in-state companies to close up shop or flee the state.

To read the entire letter, see below. For a PDF,click here.

January 5, 2012

Senator Luke Kenley
200 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Dear Chairman Kenley:

We write in response to your recent comments on the need to replace revenue “lost” by eliminating Indiana’s inheritance tax with a new tax on online sales. While I applaud you for adding legitimacy to current efforts to repeal the death tax, the savings to taxpayers should remain in the private economy. We feel strongly that the Indiana legislature should refrain from implementing a new, constitutionally dubious tax increase on Internet shoppers.

Due to the fiscal prudence of your legislature and Gov. Mitch Daniels, Indiana boasts a projected $1.77 billion surplus. This is the time to be reducing the state’s tax burden, not shifting it from one activity to another.

Taxing Internet sales is an especially problematic idea. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Quill v. North Dakota enshrined the physical nexus standard for tax collection into law by forbidding states from forcing out-of-state companies (Internet or otherwise) with no physical presence to collect taxes. Taxing online sales is an issue for the U.S. Congress to review, as state-level attempts to dissolve the physical nexus standard violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution solely to raise taxes.

Internet taxes also have a proven history of punishing in-state advertising businesses, which often serve as the nexus for out-of-state online retailers. In every state the affiliate nexus tax has been enacted, retailers have terminated advertising agreements to avoid the unconstitutional tax, causing tens of thousands of in-state companies to close up shop or flee the state.

Eliminating the death tax is a worthy goal in and of itself. The tax chases monetary and human capital across state lines and discourages hard work, productivity, and savings. Farmers are punished as they pass along land and equipment to the next generation and citizens who pay taxes their entire lives are unfairly hit with yet another layer of taxation after passing away.

The difference between smart government and wasteful government what is what one does when surpluses are realized. Gov. Daniels has the right idea with his automatic refunds of surplus dollars to taxpayers. You should follow suit. Rather than replacing one bad tax with another, it’s time to seriously reduce Indiana’s tax burden and allow the private sector to grow. If you have any questions about ATR or AFBI’s position on this issue, please contact Indiana State Affairs Manager Joshua Culling at jculling@atr.org or Palmer Schoening at Palmer@AmericanFamilyBusinesses.org.

Onward,

Grover Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform

Dick Patten
President, American Family Business Institute

CC: The Honorable Mitch Daniels

More from Americans for Tax Reform


ATR Stands With Gov. Daniels, Speaker Bosma on Right to Work


Posted by Joshua Culling on Thursday, January 5th, 2012, 8:54 AM PERMALINK


Gov. Mitch Daniels and Speaker Brian Bosma intend to make Indiana the nation's 23rd Right to Work state, and the first to pass a law since Oklahoma in 2001. But first, they need Democrats to show up to work.

Like we saw last year, Democrats are boycotting the legislative session to deny the necessary quorum to gavel in. Rather than work to improve or defeat legislation they don't like, Indiana Democrats are ignoring the will of the people and leaving their constituents without a voice in Indianapolis. Because that's what the unions want them to do.

This will be the most politically divisive fight at the state level in 2012. It will also be the most important. In a letter to the legislature today, Grover wrote:

This is probably the most politically charged issue you will face in your entire legislative tenure. Thousands of paid “protestors” will gather on your doorstep to make noise and vandalize property. Cowardly opponents in the legislature will literally flee the state to avoid taking a vote on this issue. Unions will use their (endangered) ability to steal from the paychecks of non-members to raise and spend millions of dollars against you if you vote yes on this issue.

Right to Work is important enough that you vote yes in spite of all these facts.

Daniels and Bosma should be applauded for realizing the enormity of this fight, and embracing it anyway. To see Grover's full letter to the legislature, see below. For a PDF, click here.

January 5, 2012

Indiana House of Representatives
Indiana Senate

Dear Legislator:

I write in strong support of the Right to Work bill moving through the legislature, and applaud House Speaker Bosma and Gov. Daniels for their courageous stance on behalf of worker freedom.

This is probably the most politically charged issue you will face in your entire legislative tenure. Thousands of paid “protestors” will gather on your doorstep to make noise and vandalize property. Cowardly opponents in the legislature will literally flee the state to avoid taking a vote on this issue. Unions will use their (endangered) ability to steal from the paychecks of non-members to raise and spend millions of dollars against you if you vote yes.

Right to Work is important enough that you vote yes in spite of all these facts.

First, it is a moral obligation. If someone chooses to work but not to join a union, she or he should be given that option. More importantly, workers should not be forced to give money to support political causes they don’t personally support. In 2010, for example, 94 percent of unions’ political spending went to Democrats, while only 61 percent of union members voted for Democrats.

But more importantly, Right to Work is about jobs. Employers are flocking to Right to Work states in droves, leaving the Midwest and the Northeast behind. From 1977 to 2008, non-Right to Work states realized job growth of 56.5 percent. Right to Work states saw 100 percent job growth.

Those job creators attract population and economic growth. In the last round of Census reapportionment, eight states gained Congressional seats while 10 lost them. Of the eight gainers, seven are Right to Work. Of the 10 losers, eight are forced unionization states. From 2000 to 2009, nearly 5 million Americans moved from forced unionization states to Right to Work States.  

From 1977 to 2008, per capita income growth was nearly 10 points higher in Right to Work states than non-Right to Work. If a Right to Work law had been in place in Indiana since 1977, the average family of four would earn about $11,700 more annually.

For all these reasons, I urge you to vote yes on Right to Work, and help Indiana become the 23rd state to pass such a law. This is an historic opportunity. If you have any questions please contact ATR’s Indiana State Affairs Manager, Josh Culling, at jculling@atr.org.

Onward,

Grover Norquist

CC: The Honorable Mitch Daniels

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


Mitch Daniels Leads on Right to Work


Posted by Joshua Culling on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012, 2:52 PM PERMALINK


Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has come out strongly in support of a Right to Work law. He has released a one-minute ad touting Right to Work as a vehicle for job creation and economic growth:

 

This is incredibly important. Without the leadership of the governor, prospects for passage of Right to Work are dubious. Even the governor's muted support or a statement that he'd sign if such a bill reaches his desk are often insignificant. Gov. Daniels' endorsement gives serious momentum to the legislation and puts wobbly Republicans in the legislature on notice. He is assuming significant political risk in pushing Right to Work, and to lose because of some nervous legislators is unacceptable.

Legislative leadership, to their credit, has been great on this issue. They've been making the case for Right to Work for months. With the governor's added boost, passage is much more likely. We saw this with Scott Walker's leadership on collective bargaining last year: His steel spine in the face of vicious attacks made sure that local Wisconsin governments would be given the flexibility to balance their own budgets without tax increases or layoffs, political consequences be damned.

Mitch Daniels is in the same boat with Right to Work, perhaps the most politically toxic idea of our time. He should be commended and supported for his courageous and important stance. It will define a large part of his legacy.

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


Pages

hidden