ATR Launches Campaign to Defeat Vapor Products Tax Hike in Pennsylvania

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Posted by Paul Blair on Monday, June 20th, 2016, 4:35 PM PERMALINK


On the heels of a July 1 deadline for the FY 2016-2016 budget, legislative leaders and Governor Tom Wolf (D-Pa.) are in the final stretch on deciding the size of the annual budget and whether tax hikes will be an element of the deal. Unlike last year, broad based tax increases including the sales and income tax seem to be off the table. Unfortunately, the target of money-hungry lawmakers seems to be smokers, vapers, and gamblers.

In response to these targets for tax hikes, ATR has again launched a campaign to defeat any and all efforts to raise taxes, with a specific focus on the proposal to impose a massive and new 40% wholesale tax on tobacco-free vapor products.

The first set of lawmakers’ constituents who will receive phone calls urging them contact their lawmaker to tell them to reject taxes hikes on products that are helping smokers quit includes:

  • House Speaker Mike Turzai (HD-28)
  • House Majority Leader Dave Reed (HD62)
  • Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (SD34)

 

A sample script can be read here:

Hi, this is Linda Adams with an important message about a pending tax increase in Pennsylvania. This call was paid for by Americans for Tax Reform at 202-785-0266. Republicans are on the verge of passing a massive new tax hike on small businesses that are helping smokers quit. This will hurt public health and kill jobs. Press 1 on your phone now to connect to your state Senator Jake Corman to tell him to reject tax hikes. Press 1 now.

Click here to listen.

The increasing body of scientific evidence suggests that vapor products are between 95 and 99 percent less harmful than combustible cigarettes and are being used by smokers as smoking cessation products. To target with tax hikes a product that helps smokers quit works at cross purposes with decades of efforts to curb the use of cigarettes and makes for horrible tax and public health policy. 

ATR will be closely monitoring this debate and urges lawmakers to rein in out-of-control spending instead of soaking consumers and businesses with unaffordable tax hikes. Additional legislative districts may be added to this campaign in the coming days. 

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Martin Cathrae: Flickr

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While Neighboring States are Cutting Taxes, Louisiana Set to Pass 2nd Round of Tax Hikes this Year

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Posted by Miriam Roff on Saturday, June 18th, 2016, 1:00 PM PERMALINK


The Louisiana legislature is in the midst of a special session called by Governor John Bel Edwards (D- La.)  to address a projected $600 million shortfall for the next fiscal year, which begins at the end of the month. Just three months after he signed into law a $1.2 billion tax hike, Gov. Edwards is looking for more hard-earned income from Pelican State taxpayers and plans to hold funding for education programs and health care programs hostage unless his demands for further tax hikes are met.

As lawmakers in Louisiana are laying on the tax increases, lawmakers in neighboring states—Texas, Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Arkansas—have moved in the opposite direction by enacting major tax reform packages over the last few years.

The question is not whether the Louisiana legislature will pass a second round of tax hikes this year, but by how much and which taxes they will raise. Senate President John Alario thinks the state needs an additional $450 in revenue, whereas the house so far has only agreed to raise taxes by $222 million.

Yet, one thing is clear this special session: Louisiana lawmakers are going to expand the scope and size of government and make it even harder for Louisiana to compete with neighboring states for employers and new residents. The following bills approved by the senate yesterdayHouse Bill 38, House Bill 35, Senate Bill 6, and Senate Bill 10— have set this stage.

Tennessee and Mississippi are the latest of the southern states to jump on the rate reducing income tax cut bandwagon. This legislative session Tennessee became a true no-income tax state by fully phasing out its Hall Tax and Mississippi set the stage for fully phasing out its Franchise-Tax over the next decade.  According to the non-partisan Tax Foundation, by eliminating the Hall Tax, Tennessee propelled itself forward from being 15th best in the nation for business tax climate to 11th best.

North Carolina lawmakers also understand the importance of good, efficient tax policy. Legislators reduced income taxes in 2013 and 2015, which improved their business tax climate ranking from 44th worst in the nation to 16th best and are not going to stop. This session they plan to pass further tax relief.

Even Arkansas recognizes the importance of smart tax policy, as last year they enacted income tax relief.

And lastly, it should come as no surprise that Texas and Florida vie for being number one in job creation, as Gov. Rick Scott (R- Fla.) has publicly stated that he wants to beat the Lone Star State in job growth. Who could blame him? Both states house some of the best business tax climates in the nation.  According to the non-partisan Tax Foundation, in 2016 Texas had the 10th best business tax climate in the nation and Florida had the 4th best. Furthermore both states do not rest on their laurels and continue to look for ways to improve their tax code. Just last year, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) enacted further rate reducing tax reform by passing $4 billion in tax cuts on businesses and property owners. Last year Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) also passed $428.9 million in tax cuts and this year he passed a tax relief package totaling close to a half billion dollars for this session.

All of these states are ready to welcome Pelican State businesses and jobs with open arms for example, take Gov. Rick Scott.  

“As Governor Edwards continues to rally behind tax increases and bad business policies, we stand ready to help Louisiana companies grow and create jobs in Florida,” Scott said in announcing his trade mission. “Florida has added over one million new jobs and our job growth rate is growing almost 60 percent faster than the national average. Many Louisianans already vacation in Florida, and they will save more of their money by moving their businesses to our state.”

Louisiana lawmakers are just digging the state into a deeper hole by enacting bad tax policy. While these ill thought out policies will be a boon for states like Texas, Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Arkansas, they will be disastrous for Louisianans who will see an exodus of jobs and businesses. 

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Greg Nissen

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Smokey Geo

Hang on... this piece also says Louisiana has a $600 million deficit and the governor is "holding education and healthcare funding hostage" unless there's a tax increase that can pay the bills. Why is this "bad policy?" Nothing here suggests the state is expanding government beyond some unacceptable scope... how is paying the state's bills and refusing to fund certain important programs unless there's money to pay for them anything but rational?


New Study Shows EPA Overestimated Benefits and Underestimated Costs of the Clean Power Plan

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Posted by Bradley Wyatt on Friday, June 17th, 2016, 5:20 PM PERMALINK


A new study released by the Manhattan Institute last week criticized the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) for their flawed analysis of the Clean Power Plan (CPP). Last August, the EPA released the final version of the CPP, which is projected to kill thousands of jobs, reduce GDP, and increase energy prices. As one would expect, the unelected bureaucrats at the EPA failed to present an accurate cost-benefit analysis of the President’s signature energy legislation.

Within the study, The Manhattan Institute made three key findings:

  • The EPA’S cost-benefit analysis of the CPP is fallacious;
  • The EPA drastically underestimated the costs of the CPP; and
  •  The CPP will have NO measurable impact on world climate. 
     

CPP lacked basic logic in that it compares estimates of world economic benefits to U.S. only costs. The EPA ignored the broader impacts on the U.S. economy including potential reductions in future U.S. GDP growth from higher energy costs. Also being ignored by the EPA was the impact of changes in future U.S. economic growth on the world economy.

Within the Study, Jonathan Lesser of the Manhattan Institute concluded:

“There are few benefits, which have been massively overestimated, and huge costs, which have been massively underestimated…from a cost benefit perspective, there’s simply no justification for the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.”

The study further showed that the EPA drastically underestimated the costs of CPP. For instance in the final version of the CPP, the agency claimed that it would only cost around $9 billion a year. However a recent study by NERA Economic Consulting project those costs will likely be over $40 billion annually, a difference of over $30 billion.

Lastly, Manhattan Institute study points out the CPP will have no measurable impact on world climate. The study cites an EPA-sponsored climate model showing that the CPP will have an estimated impact of less than 0.01 degrees Celsius by the year 2100 – literally all cost and no benefit for U.S. consumers and businesses.

It is clear that the Obama Administration has little to no concern for the drastic impact the CPP will have on the economy and American families, and is content ignoring those costs as long as the President’s ideological agenda is achieved. This most recent study pointing out flaws in the EPA’s analysis of the CPP and the related costs and benefits is only further proof of this Administration’s lack of concern for the well-being of the nation. 

 

Photo Credit: TexasGOPVote.com

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“Jock Tax” Dunks on Lebron in Game 7

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Posted by Brady Wilson on Friday, June 17th, 2016, 3:43 PM PERMALINK


The Cavaliers will have to give their best effort to complete a historic upset in Game 7, but Lebron will have to pay a little extra thanks to California’s steep “Jock Tax.” The jock tax targets traveling professionals, most notably athletes. Of the 21 states and 8 municipalities that have the tax, California, home to the Golden State Warriors, has the highest version in the country at 13.3%.   

Since the jock tax is calculated by a “duty day” system, the athlete’s income is taxed based on how many working days he spends in the state. NBA players have about 229 days in season, and Lebron will spend at least three of those days in California because of Game 7. Since Lebron brings in $23.2 million in salary, that breaks down to $101,310.04 per duty day X 3 days in California = $303,930.13.  Since the tax is 13.3%: 303,930.13 X .133 = $40,422.70.

That means Lebron will owe up to a whopping $40,422.70 just from the jock tax to the state of California just to play in Game 7.   

Whether he wins or loses, Lebron will see a large portion of his bonus disappear. A win will net each player a $118,063.13 bonus, meaning Lebron is losing 1/3 just to the jock tax. If the Cavs lose, each player on the roster will bring home a $78,231.60 bonus, where James will actually be giving away half of his bonus just to pay in Game 7.  

Throughout the NBA Finals series against Golden State, Lebron alone is set to pay California up to $161,690.80 in jock taxes. 

It is difficult to think of 6’8, 250 lbs James as vulnerable. Sure, $161,000 might not be much to James, but he has no voice in California taxes. As a resident of Ohio, James cannot vote on tax laws in California, nor can he vote for politicians who to represent him. Instead, a tax is being forced on him with no opportunity to object. 

The taxes don’t end with the jock tax either. James still has to pay the IRS at the marginal rate of 39.6 percent, plus FICA and state income taxes.  

James will be the center of attention during Game 7, but the jock tax does not single out superstars. Instead, anyone who travels with the Cavaliers organization for Sunday’s game will have to pay the California jock tax. That means that trainers and equipment managers who are not bringing in the high paying NBA contracts will still have to shell out their earnings to California.

 

Photo Credit: Keith Allison

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Remembering Nancy Reagan: Sign A Petiton To Rename A Park In Her Honor

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Posted by Rayanne Matlock on Friday, June 17th, 2016, 2:22 PM PERMALINK


Nancy Reagan’s life was one of class, service, and selflessness. While Ronald Reagan served as Governor of California, Mrs. Reagan dedicated most of her time to visiting veterans and the disabled. As First Lady, Nancy Reagan promoted the Foster Grandparents program. The program paired children with foster grandparents, creating a love and bond beneficial for both the children and the elderly. 

After the Reagans left office, Mrs. Reagan started the Nancy Reagan Foundation which later became the Nancy Reagan Afterschool Program. The purpose of the Nancy Reagan Afterschool Program is to act as a drug prevention and life skills program for children in school. Additionally, after Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1994, Nancy and Ronald Reagan supported the Ronald & Nancy Reagan Research Institute. The institute is dedicated to research about Alzheimer’s and finding a cure for the disease.

Congressman Jody Hice (R-Ga.) introduced H.R. 5457, legislation to designate Gravelly Point Park as Nancy Reagan Memorial Park. Located near the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Gravelly Point Park is a popular destination for enjoying the backdrop of Washington D.C. while watching planes land on the runway. The renaming of the park next to the airport named after her husband would be an appropriate tribute to Mrs. Reagan.

Please sign the petition to rename Gravelly Point Park to Nancy Reagan Memorial Park to honor First Lady Nancy Reagan.   

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Highlights from This Week in Washington

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Posted by Bradley Wyatt on Friday, June 17th, 2016, 11:00 AM PERMALINK


1. Nancy Reagan Memorial Park: Congressman Jody Hice (R-Ga.) introduced H.R. 5457, legislation to designate Gravelly Point Park as Nancy Reagan Memorial Park. Located near the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Gravelly Point Park is a popular destination for enjoying the backdrop of Washington D.C. while watching planes land on the runway. The renaming of the park next to the airport named after her husband would be an appropriate tribute to Mrs. Reagan.

2. Soda Tax: The Hillary Clinton-endorsed soda tax was imposed by the Philadelphia City Council today on a 13- 4 vote. Philadelphians will now face a soda tax of 1.5 cents per ounce. The tax will increase the price of a 12-pack of soda pop by $2.16, directly affecting low and middle-income families. Clinton said she was “very supportive” of the tax.

“No one looks at Philadelphia as a bellwether,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, which came out strongly against the Philly soda tax earlier this month. “It’s a declining city. It’s a labor union-controlled city where the unions raise taxes on anyone they goddamn want to.”

3. Manhattan Institute Clean Power Plan Study: A new study release by the Manhattan Institute last week criticized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on their Clean Power Plan act. Last August, the EPA released the final version of the proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP), which would attempt to reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions. As usual, the unelected bureaucrats at the EPA failed to present an accurate cost-benefit analysis.

4. Net Neutrality Ruling: The DC Circuit Court’s 2-1 decision in favor of the FCC’s Internet regulations represents a significant blow to the integrity of the Internet. The decision fails to address any meaningful issue and will serve to stifle innovation and investment in the future.

Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform said:

“Treating the internet as a 19th century utility means putting it under political control, driven by backward looking bureaucrats. Such treatment will kill innovation, delay the future and abort thousands of new entrepreneurial efforts. This court decision must not stand.”

5. Jock Tax: There is more on the line in Game 6 than just the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. If Golden State doesn’t close out the NBA Finals in Cleveland, everyone in the Cavaliers’ organization will have to pay California’s “Jock Tax” for Game 7.

Photo Credit: Brook Ward 

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Jonathan Johnson Challenging Tax-Hiking Governor Gary Herbert in Utah

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Posted by Miriam Roff on Friday, June 17th, 2016, 10:22 AM PERMALINK


Jonathan Johnson (R-Utah) has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in his bid to defeat incumbent Governor Gary Herbert. In signing the Pledge, a written commitment to voters to “oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes,” Johnson has demonstrated that he is a staunch defender of Beehive State taxpayers.

His pledge can be viewed here.

Johnson is the only Republican candidate running against incumbent Gov. Herbert. Utah’s primary election will be held on Tuesday, June 28.

As governor, Herbert has supported and signed tax hikes into law. Just last year, Herbert signed a $75 million gas tax increase and a $76 million property tax hike. Herbert has also pushed to impose the tobacco tax on vapor products, a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes.

Under Gov. Herbert’s tenure, taxpayers have been hit with $625 million in tax increases.

“By signing the pledge, Johnson demonstrates that he will protect taxpayers from higher taxes, something that Gov. Herbert has failed to do,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “While Gov. Herbert has been nothing but a rubber stamp for tax increases, Johnson understands that government should be reformed in a way that it spends and takes less taxpayer dollars, and will oppose tax increases that prolong failures of the past.”

Johnson is the former CEO and current board chairman of Overstock.com, a Utah-based online retailer.

Previously, he served as a clerk in the Utah Supreme Court, practiced corporate law at two international law firms, and was chief financial officer and general counsel at a publicly traded software company. A graduate of Brigham Young University law school, he also worked as an adjunct law professor.

Johnson serves on the governing boards of the Utah Technology Council, University of Utah Hospital Foundation, Utah Foundation, Salt Lake Chamber Clean Air Task Force, and Hale Centre Theatre.

Americans for Tax Reform offers the Pledge to all candidates for state and federal office. In the 114th Congress, 49 U.S. Senators and 218 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are pledge signers. Pledge signers include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, and GOP Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady are also pledge signers.

On the state level, approximately 1,000 incumbent state legislators are Pledge signers. Eleven incumbent governors are pledge signers including Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.), Gov. Rick Scott (Fla.), Gov. Nikki Haley (S.C.), and Gov. Pat McCrory (N.C.).

 

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Hillary-Endorsed Soda Tax Passed By Philly City Council

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Posted by Toni-Anne Barry on Thursday, June 16th, 2016, 5:44 PM PERMALINK


The Hillary Clinton-endorsed soda tax was imposed by the Philadelphia City Council today on a 13- 4 vote. Philadelphians will now face a soda tax of 1.5 cents per ounce. The tax will increase the price of a 12-pack of soda pop by $2.16, directly affecting low and middle-income families. Clinton said she was “very supportive” of the tax.

Clinton endorsed the tax despite making a pledge to the American people that she will not raise taxes on anyone earning less than $250,000.

Bernie Sanders called out Clinton’s violation of her middle-class tax pledge. As reported by NBC News, Sanders said:

"Frankly, I am very surprised that Secretary Clinton would support this regressive tax after pledging not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000. This proposal clearly violates her pledge," he said.

Sanders also said:

“The mechanism here is fairly regressive. And that is, it will be increasing taxes on low-income and working people.”

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said: “Hillary said she would cheerfully support tax hikes on low and middle-income American who drink soft drinks. What taxes on low-income Americans would she really oppose? Any?”

Further details about this and other Hillary Clinton tax hike endorsements can be found at Americans for Tax Reform’s dedicated website, www.HighTaxHillary.com

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juandos

It's interesting that in "no whites in this ciy" those cities take on that Liberia look.

Just coincidence, right?

Nick

Diversity Means Chasing Down The Last White Person

Why is 'diversity' and mass immigration the 'privilege' of ALL and ONLY white populations?

Anti-whites demand No-White-Anything-Anywhere.

It’s G eno cide.


Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signer Doug Burgum Wins ND Governor Primary

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Posted by Miriam Roff on Thursday, June 16th, 2016, 3:18 PM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform congratulates Doug Burgum (R- N.D.) on winning the North Dakota gubernatorial primary. Doug Burgum is a Taxpayer Protection Pledge signer.

Americans for Tax Reform offers the Pledge to all candidates for state and federal office. In the 114th Congress, 49 U.S. Senators and 218 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are pledge signers. Pledge signers include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, and GOP Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady are also pledge signers.

On the state level, approximately 1,000 incumbent state legislators are Pledge signers. Eleven incumbent governors are pledge signers including Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.), Gov. Rick Scott (Fla.), Gov. Nikki Haley (S.C.), and Gov. Pat McCrory (N.C.).

Burgum is an entrepreneur and former CEO of Great Plains Software, purchased by Microsoft in 2001. Burgum has founded many successful businesses and in 2009 was awarded the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award, North Dakota’s highest honor, by then-Governor John Hoeven.

Burgum faces State Rep. Marvin Nelson (D) in the November election. 

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Doug Burgum

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The Grover Norquist Show: The Real Science and Politics Behind Global Warming

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Posted by Alec DiFruscia on Thursday, June 16th, 2016, 12:16 PM PERMALINK


In Episode 57 of the Grover Norquist Show, Heartland Institute CEO Joe Bast joins Grover to discuss the new book Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming. The book explains why the Left’s favorite statistic that “97% of scientists” agree that climate change is man-made is actually just a tactic to shut down debate. The book also discusses other statistics that are commonly used to “prove” global warming is man-made, and how liberal scientists manipulate these stats to further their agenda.

Listen to the full interview below:  

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/

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Oscarphone

. . . it's for the kids.

Oscarphone

Apparently. All you need to know is that when the next teacher's union asks for more money, perks, tenure and retirement benefits unhinged from their contributions that "it's for the kids."

juandos

The kids would be better off by just giving the kids the money instead of wasting on the teachers...

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