Kelly William Cobb
Court of USA TODAY Rules e-Tax Constitutional
Gregoire Lied, Her Tax Pledge Died...Again
When Governor Christine Gregoire (D) ran for governor in 2004 she promised no tax increases. In her first year of office she raised the gas tax and various other taxes by hundreds of millions of dollars. Then, in her 2008 gubernatorial race, Gregoire said flatly, “I won't raise taxes in tough economic times. We're not going to be raising taxes.” Well…you guessed it.
It's Time for a Spending Cap in Minnesota
2009 State Tax Trends: Overview of Tax Changes and Spending Habits
- 14 states and D.C. raised cigarette taxes, more than any other type of tax this year. The trend continued despite the fact that tobacco tax collection is already coming in under projections.
- 8 states specifically went after small businesses and high-income earners by raising marginal income tax rates. While most were marketed as “millionaires” taxes, they kick in with incomes as low as $125,000.
- 8 states raised taxes on alcohol beverages, with many simply extending the state’s sales tax to include alcohol.
- 8 states raised taxes on internet commerce, known as eTaxes. Check out www.StopETaxes.com for more information.
- Tax cuts did not make state budget crises worse. In fact, states with budget surpluses in FY2009 actually cut taxes by over $105 million in the two years prior, while states with the largest budget gaps raised taxes well beyond other states – by over $370 million.
- Over the past two recessions state spending growth either matched or was below GDP growth. From 2005 onward, spending grossly outpaced GDP, causing a foreseeable gap in spending and tax revenues that cause the largest drop in tax collection in over 50 years.
- Higher income households move from states with high tax rates and burdens. Households that migrated from high-tax states had average incomes of $70,525 – above the national average of about $50,000. Households that specifically chose to move to low tax states had incomes of nearly twice as much, at $101,091.
Michigan Gov. Granholm's Healthcare Tax Flatlines in Senate
A new tax on doctors flatlined in the Michigan Senate yesterday, despite multiple attempts by Gov. Jennifer Granholm to resuscitate it. The 3% tax hike, which has been a priority of Granholm and some legislators, suffered a clear and bipartisan defeat when Senators rejected it by a whopping 32-4.
(photo by brykmantra)
Granholm Turns Up the Tax Hike Rhetoric in Michigan
Michigan Gov. Granholm and Teachers Union Pave the Way for Tax Hikes
Two hours into a government shutdown last night, the Michigan legislature caved on passing a set of budget bills and instead approved a temporary measure that keeps the government running for another 30 days. The midnight hold-up: approval of a K-12 budget that cuts school aid fund spending by less than 3% ($218 per pupil). The demand: higher taxes on Michigan residents.
Massachusetts Tax Hiker Dodges Alcohol Tax
Time and time again, ATR and taxpayer advocate groups point out that raising targeted taxes on specific goods (tobacco, alcohol, etc) results in consumers crossing state lines to find lower prices. And time and time again, legislators dedicated to taking more of their residents' money ignore both the data and empirical evidence (see here for example).
In late July, the Massachusetts legislature voted to raise the state sales tax from 5 to 6.25 percent and apply it to purchases of spirits, beer, and wine for the first time (the state already imposes other higher taxes on alcohol beverages). The tax hike came despite the fact that neighboring New Hampshire has no tax on spirits or wine.
Yet, in a hypocritical turn of events, this week State Rep. Michael Rodrigues (D) was caught lugging three bottles of tax-free liquor and two bottles of tax-free wine out of a New Hampshire liquor store just north of the Massachusetts border. Rodrigues not only voted in favor of the tax hike, but sits on the powerful House Ways and Means committee that first wrote and approved the legislation. (See his car with an MA House District 29 license plate parked outside the store above.)
In order to make sure Taxachusetts can squeeze every penny out of residents, state lawmakers have also made it illegal to cross state lines with more than 3 gallons of alcohol purchased in another state, forcing consumers to pay their higher tax rate. After some media pressure, Rodrigues announced he would comply with that law and turn over a check to the state for the taxes owed.
Candy: Breakfast of Champions
Kim Thatcher to Chair Oregon Taxpayer Protection Caucus
Today, Americans for Tax Reform announced that Rep. Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer, St. Paul, Newberg) will chair the Taxpayer Protection Caucus in the Oregon House of Representatives. The Caucus consists of all signers of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and provides a single voice on tax issues among pro-taxpayer legislators. With the addition of Representative Thatcher, there are now 45 active caucuses in 32 states. From ATR's press release:
“Kim Thatcher has proved to be a fiscal watchdog and a leading advocate for Oregon taxpayers,” said Kelly Cobb, Oregon state affairs manager for Americans for Tax Reform. “In recent years, policymakers in Salem have pushed for higher and higher taxes, including new taxes on residents and employers this year. As a result, unemployment has reached recordlevels and the state’s economy has been left in shambles."