Americans for Tax Reform

California Governor Gavin Newsom Proposes Multi-Billion Dollar, Mid-Recession Tax Hike

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, May 18th, 2020, 8:13 PM PERMALINK

In a new article published in Forbes today, ATR’s Patrick Gleason writes about how across the U.S. there “are many examples of companies that have volunteered their expertise and capabilities to help the country get through the pandemic.”
 
Gleason’s article reports on the various ways companies have helped with the pandemic response. Some have done so by stepping outside of their commercial comfort zone, redirecting operations to the production of goods and services they previously did not make or provide, such as face masks and other personal protective equipment. Other businesses are helping society weather the pandemic by focusing on their core business functions and competencies, be that the researching of vaccines or the provision of data.
 
These businesses are stepping up to help the country get through the pandemic at the same time they are seeing their bottom line’s take huge hits and are subsequently forced to trim payroll (something government officials refuse to do themselves). It is in this context that some governors and mayors are seeking to saddle employers with tax increases that will further reduce their job sustaining capacity.
 
California Governor Gavin Newsom (D), for example, recently released a revised budget proposal for the coming fiscal year that starts in July. Newsom’s new budget proposal raises taxes on employers by $4.5 billion annually through a “temporary” suspension of net operating loss deductions, along with a prohibition of research and development tax credits.
 
In addition to this new multi-billion dollar tax hike that would hit employers at a time when many can least afford it, Governor Newsom’s revised budget maintains his previous proposal for a new tax on vaping products projected to generate about $33 million annually.
 
“Lawmakers will debate the plan over the next few weeks and must enact a budget by June 15,” Bloomberg Tax reported last week. “Newsom must sign it by the start of the fiscal year July 1.”
 
Governor Newsom’s proposals aren’t the only major tax threats facing California employers. This November Golden State voters will decide the fate of a government union and Democrat Party-backed ballot measure that, if approved, would raise property taxes on businesses by approximately $12 billion annually. This massive tax hike, which has been endorsed by presumed Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden, would remove Prop. 13’s constitutional property tax cap for commercial businesses.
 
This is the first installment in a new series examining the most economically-damaging tax hikes that have been proposed in the middle of this pandemic-driven recession.
 

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Is Sending A Tax Bill To Out-Of-State Emergency Health Workers.

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Friday, May 8th, 2020, 12:25 PM PERMALINK

In Forbes today, ATR’s Patrick Gleason has a new article that covers the way in which New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) is holding out-of-state volunteer workers financially hostage in and attempt to get more money from the federal government.

“Governor Cuomo’s remarks, in which he referred to the prospect of not taxing out-of-state volunteer health workers as a ‘subsidy,’ indicate that he would reconsider this approach only if the federal government sends more money to New York,” Gleason writes.

This latest ploy - in which Cuomo is using emergency volunteer health workers as a bargaining chip to get more federal aid on top of the more than $7 billion New York received through the CARES Act - is consistent with the Cuomo administration’s long history of corruption and malfeasance with taxpayer dollars.

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

Photo Credit: Zack Seward


ATR Applauds Governor Larry Hogan For Defending Maryland Taxpayers

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Thursday, May 7th, 2020, 4:23 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform applauds Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) for his vetoes today of two job-killing, business-harming tax hikes that were approved in March by the Democrat-controlled Maryland General Assembly.

The tax increases vetoed by Governor Hogan today include House Bill 732, legislation that imposes a new tax on digital advertising similar to what a number of European nations are calling for, along with a tax hike on tobacco and vaping products. Governor Hogan also vetoed House Bill 932, which applies the state sales tax to digital goods and services such as e-books, streamed movies and music. 

“Governor Larry Hogan has wisely used his veto power to protect individuals, families, and employers across Maryland from a misguided tax increase that, in addition to burdening businesses with added costs at a time when many simply cannot afford it, would’ve triggered a costly legal challenge that would’ve unnecessarily squandered scarce taxpayer resources at a time when state government is facing unprecedented demands,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax.

Many were surprised in March when Democrats who control the Maryland General Assembly passed these controversial tax hikes at a time when it was already clear that the pandemic-driven downturn was pushing many businesses to the brink.

“The fact that the Maryland legislature is dumping these tax proposals on them at this time of crisis is really something to be upset about,” Jeff Friedman, a partner at Eversheds Sutherland’s Washington D.C. office, told Bloomberg Tax shortly after Maryland lawmakers approved the digital ad tax last month.

Maryland state lawmakers recently announced that they will not return to Annapolis in May for a veto session, so Governor Hogan's vetoes today will protect Maryland employers and families from these tax threats for the time being. 


Toledo Voters Resoundingly Reject Income Tax Hike

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, April 29th, 2020, 12:45 PM PERMALINK

On Tuesday April 28, during an Ohio primary election that was delayed on account of the pandemic, voters in Toledo, the Buckeye State’s fourth most populous city, rejected Issue 1, a 22% local income tax hike supported by Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz. More than 55% of the electorate ended up voting No on Issue 1.

Issue 1, had it passed, would’ve raised the local income tax rate from 2.25% to 2.75%. This half a percentage point, 22% rate hike would’ve hit individuals, families, and small businesses at a time when many are struggling to weather the coronavirus-driven downturn.

The Toledo Mayor’s proposed income tax hike was defeated despite the fact that the Yes campaign heavily outspent the tax hike’s opposition. Approximately $165,000 was spent in support of Issue 1, versus $3,000 spent in opposition, most of it by the Lucas County Young Republicans. Americans for Tax Reform also contributed to voter education efforts.

“Toledoans have spoken loudly and clearly: They’re paying close attention to city government, and they are not buying what this administration is selling,” the Lucas County Young Republicans noted in a statement released on election night. “An income tax increase that was sold as a plan to fix the roads was instead a method of enriching special interests with no oversight.”

Some see this outcome in Toledo, located in a county where most voters cast ballots for Hillary Clinton in 2016, as a bellwether for what to expect from voters later this year. If so, that could be cause for Democrat concern.

That’s because the presumptive Democrat nominee for president, Joe Biden, is running on a proposal entailing trillions of dollars in higher federal taxes, including much higher income tax rates. There are many candidates and officeholders for state and local office who, like Biden, are campaigning on proposals that call for a much higher overall tax burden.

If voters in other cities and states are as disinterested in tax hikes as are voters in Toledo, that spells trouble for Democrats up and down the ballot.

“Taxpayers in Toledo spoke loud and clear on April 28. A tax hike is the last thing that taxpayers and the economy need right now,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

“Issue 1 would’ve reduced the job creating capacity of small businesses at a time when most are struggling to stay in existence,” Norquist added. “Toledo voters saved more than their own hard-earned income by rejecting Issue 1. They saved jobs.”

Photo Credit: David Grant


Map Of States With Delayed Tax Filing Deadlines

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, March 24th, 2020, 4:50 PM PERMALINK

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced that the upcoming federal income tax filing deadline is moved from April 15 to July 15, 2020.

“Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed,” explains a March 21 statement released by the IRS. “This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax.”

Now state government officials across the U.S. are taking action to delay their tax filing deadlines in order to sync up with the extended federal deadline, which will help avoid taxpayer confusion and also increase household and small business liquidity at time of economic uncertainty.

The states shaded green on the above map have moved their filing deadline to the same as the new federal deadline of July 15. The five states colored yellow have delayed their filing deadlines but, to an extended date that is different than the new federal deadline of July 15. The extended dates for those five states are:

Hawaii - July 20

Idaho - June 20

Iowa - July 31

Mississippi - May 15

Virginia - June 1

The nine states shaded gray do not impose a state income tax. While Tennessee and New Hampshire do not tax wage income, they do tax investment income. The deadline to pay investment income taxes has been delayed in Tennessee, but not in New Hampshire


ATR Urges South Carolina Lawmakers To Sell Debt-Ridden, State-Owned Utility

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Friday, January 24th, 2020, 7:34 PM PERMALINK

South Carolina lawmakers recently convened their 2020 session, during which they will debate a number of important issues, such as cutting the Southeast’s highest state income tax rate, and education reform that provides more choice to parents.

Among the most important issues to be debated in Columbia this year is what to do with Santee Cooper, the state-owned utility company that has accumulated billions of dollars in debt, much of it due to the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project fiasco. Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist recently sent a letter to South Carolina lawmakers urging them to approve the sale of Santee Cooper to a buyer who will assume the utility’s debt.

“Of all the options put forth to date, only the sale of Santee Cooper has the potential to reduce or eliminate the enormous future costs to be borne by the ratepayers and provide the ability to protect ratepayers in the future,” explains a recently released by the Palmetto Promise Institute Report.

While the sale of Santee Cooper to a private entity is the best solution for South Carolina taxpayers, it’s critical that such a sale not result in ratepayers continuing to bear the cost of bad decisions made by officials at the state-owned utility through future rate hikes. As such, ATR is urging Palmetto State lawmakers to approve the sale of Santee Cooper before the current legislative session ends, and to do so in a manner that protects taxpayers, ratepayers, and eliminates the possibility of a taxpayer bailout.

ATR recently launched a digital ad campaign urging South Carolinians to sign a new petition that urges lawmakers to sell the state-owned utility to a private entity who will assume Santee Cooper’s debt, so that ratepayers and taxpayers aren’t stuck with the bill for a failed nuclear project.

To sign the petition, click here

 


North Carolina Lt. Governor Dan Forest, Who Is Challenging Governor Roy Cooper, Signs Taxpayer Protection Pledge

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, January 7th, 2020, 7:07 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform applauds North Carolina Lt. Governor Dan Forest (R-NC) for becoming the first and so far only candidate running for Governor in North Carolina who has ruled out tax hikes if elected this November.

By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a written commitment to North Carolinians (not ATR) to oppose and veto any and all efforts to pass a net tax hike, Dan Forest has demonstrated the stark contrast between him and his opponent, incumbent Governor Roy Cooper, when it comes to taxes.

While Governor Roy Cooper has made clear that he would ratchet up income and other tax rates if only he had a Democrat-run General Assembly that would send such bills to his desk, Lt. Governor Dan Forest, by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, has made clear that tax hikes will be a non-starter and off the table in the Old North State if voters put him in the Governor’s mansion in Raleigh this fall. 

Governor Roy Cooper has repeatedly stated and made clear that he would like to undo the personal and corporate income tax relief that has been enacted in North Carolina since Republicans took control of the General Assembly nearly a decade ago.

On January 1, 2019 North Carolina’s personal income tax rate dropped from 5.499% to 5.25%, while the state’s corporate rate dropped from 3.0% to 2.5%, the lowest corporate income tax rate among states that impose the levy. In the lead up to those income tax cuts last year, Governor Roy Cooper repeatedly urged state legislators to vote to stop that scheduled tax relief from taking effect. Fortunately for taxpayers, North Carolina lawmakers ignored Governor Cooper’s advice and went forward with that tax relief.

North Carolina is a presidential, senatorial, and gubernatorial battleground state in 2020. In addition to that, there are import state supreme courts seats up for election, along with all of the state legislative races that will determine which party controls redistricting post-2020 in a state that will be adding a congressional district. When it comes to the gubernatorial race, North Carolina taxpayers will have a clear and stark choice.

“I applaud Lt. Governor Dan Forest for making this important commitment to North Carolina taxpayers,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Governor Roy Cooper wants to undo the pro-growth tax reforms enacted in North Carolina in recent years, which have served as a model for the nation and allowed North Carolina families to keep billions of dollars in hard-earned income that would’ve otherwise gone toward government coffers. At the same time North Carolina lawmakers have returned billions to taxpayers, over the objections of Governor Cooper, North Carolina Republican legislators have smartly kept state spending in line with the rate of population growth and inflation. The result is that North Carolina, contrary to what Governor Cooper and his allies predicted, has realized repeated budget surpluses at the same time state lawmakers have returned billions to taxpayers, despite objections from Roy Cooper. 

"Lt. Governor Dan Forest’s pledge to taxpayers makes clear that unlike Governor Cooper - who wants to tear down the progress North Carolina has made with tax reform, school choice, and regulatory reform - Dan Forest would protect taxpayers and pursue pro-growth policies if elected governor.”

Photo Credit: Gerry Dincher


South Carolina Begins 2020 With The Highest Income Tax Rate In The Southeast, But Some State Lawmakers Don’t Want The Year To End That Way

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Friday, January 3rd, 2020, 2:48 PM PERMALINK

As the new year begins and most state lawmakers prepare to start new legislative sessions, South Carolina stands as one of the states most in need of rate-reducing tax reform in 2020.

Yes, South Carolina has been drawing people from other states around the country because the Palmetto State has a lot going for it. Yet South Carolina’s relative economic success has been occurring despite the state’s uncompetitive tax code, which imposes the region’s highest income tax rate on individuals, families, and small businesses.

Americans for Tax Reform sent a letter to South Carolina lawmakers today urging legislators to make 2020 the year they pass tax reform that significantly reduces the Palmetto State’s personal and corporate income tax rates. South Carolina’s 7.0% top personal income tax rate, which also applies to thousands of small businesses that file under the individual income tax system, stands above neighboring Georgia’s 5.75% top rate and North Carolina’s 5.25% flat income tax rate. South Carolina’s disadvantage relative to nearby Florida and Tennessee, to states with no income tax, is even greater.

In addition to bringing down the corporate and personal income tax rates, there are other changes that South Carolina lawmakers could include in a pro-growth tax reform package, such as a cut to, or elimination of the state’s business license tax.

The political stage has arguably never been more optimally set for lawmakers in Columbia to get much-needed tax reform done. Governor Henry McMaster (R), a Taxpayer Protection Pledge signer, has made it clear he would like to see lawmakers send rate-reducing tax reform to his desk. Speaker Jay Lucas and other key lawmakers have also expressed an interest in making it so South Carolina no longer imposes the region’s highest income tax rate. On top of all of that, the state has a nearly $2 billion budget surplus, approximately half of which is reoccurring dollars.

If South Carolina lawmakers can’t get rate-reducing tax reform across the finish line this year, it’s hard to see when it will happen. In addition to enacting tax relief in 2020, the letter sent by ATR today also urges Palmetto State lawmakers to approve the sale of Santee Cooper, the state-owned utility that has racked up billions of dollars in debt, and to do so in a manner that will ensure ratepayers are not on the hook for that debt.

To learn more about how Santee Cooper accrued billions of dollars in debt, and why selling the utility is the only way to ensure ratepayers are not saddled with this debt, check out the new report released this week by the Palmetto Promise Institute.

Photo Credit: Jeff Turner


ATR's 2019 Naughty & Nice List

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Sunday, December 22nd, 2019, 8:48 PM PERMALINK

NAUGHTY

Joe Biden: For promising “First thing I would do as President is eliminate the President’s tax cut.”


NICE

President Donald J. Trump: For delivering one of the strongest economies in history thanks to his signature piece of legislation, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. 

 

NAUGHTY

Bernie Sanders: For pushing “Medicare for All”. According to a report by the Urban Institute, a government takeover of healthcare would require a $32 trillion tax hike over the next decade. 

 

 

NICE

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas): For leading a coalition of 20 Senators urging Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to use his executive authority to end the inflation tax by indexing the calculation of capital gains taxes. 

 

NAUGHTY

Elizabeth Warren: For proposing a “wealth tax” that could double the size of the IRS. 

 

NICE

Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Republican members of the Texas legislature: For enacting property tax relief and referring an income tax prohibition to the ballot ultimately approved by voters.

 

NAUGHTY

Mitt Romney: For his ignorance, loudly proclaiming in the White House that adults don’t like flavored vapes. Adults respond

 

NICE

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: 187 judges.

 

NAUGHTY

42 Democrat Senators led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.): For voting to give their wealthiest blue state taxpayers a massive federal tax break at the expense of the middle class. 

 

NICE

Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.)For winning the fight to permanently ban earmarks.

 

NAUGHTY

Joe Biden: For saying “I would raise the corporate tax.”

 

NAUGHTY

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R): For imposing a host of tax hikes, a vaping ban, and for leading the charge to impose a regional carbon tax through the Transportation Climate Initiative.

 

NAUGHTY

Governor Jay Inslee (D) and Democrats in the Washington legislature: For imposing massive tax hikes on businesses, which will cost residents of the Evergreen State jobs and opportunity. 

 

NICE

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and Republican members of the TN legislature: For enacting tax cuts this year and for expanding school choice with a new Education Savings Account program.

 

NAUGHTY

Michael Bloomberg: For his love of imposing tax hikes on the poor

 

 

NAUGHTY

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker (D): For pushing his progressive income tax hike measure onto the 2020 ballot.

 

NICE

Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)For consistently standing strong against socialist price controls on medicine. 

 

NAUGHTY

Pierre Delecto

 

NAUGHTY

Citizens Climate Lobby: Caught on tape admitting they “soft-pedal” carbon tax cost and complexity. 

 

NICE

Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) and 28 other Senators: For reintroducing legislation that permanently repeals the death tax. 

 

NAUGHTY

Elizabeth Warren: For proposing a 30% national gun tax and a 50% national ammo tax. 

 

NICE

Michigan Republicans: For refusing to go along with Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) proposed 45-cent gas tax hike. 

(Pictured: Lee Chatfield, Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives)

 

NAUGHTY

Joe Biden: For saying “I’m gonna double the capital gains rate to 40 percent.”

 

NICE

House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseFor being a bulwark against the carbon tax. 

 

NAUGHTY

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: For pushing a 95 percent excise tax on hundreds of medicines including cures for cancer, hepatitis C, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis. 

 

NICE

Arizona Republicans: For making sure tax conformity did not result in a net tax hike. 

 

NAUGHTY

Mitt Romney: For fantasizing about a carbon tax

 

 

NICE

House Ways and Means Ranking Member Kevin BradyFor fighting to make the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s middle class tax cuts permanent. 

 

NAUGHTY

Phone-It-In Congressman Francis Rooney (R-Fla.):
For co-sponsoring carbon tax legislation and threatening households with a new national energy tax north of $1 trillion. [Be sure to call him “Ambassador” or else] Rooney will retire from Congress at the end of his term rather than face a primary challenger. 

 

NAUGHTY

Former Rep. Ryan Costello: For lobbying on behalf of carbon tax organization after he himself voted for the Scalise anti-carbon resolution while in Congress. Total Swamp Move.

 

 

NAUGHTY

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) and Democrats in the New Mexico legislature: For imposing what some have called the largest tax hike in state history. Adding insult to injury, this tax hike was enacted during a roughly $800 million surplus.

 

NICE

North Carolina House and Senate Republican caucuses: For getting another round of tax relief passed, overcoming opposition from Democrat Governor Roy Cooper, who is calling for tax hikes.

(Pictured: John R. Bell, IV, North Carolina House majority leader)

 

NAUGHTY

Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D) and Colorado Democratic legislators: For trying to kill the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, the nation’s strongest taxpayer safeguard, with Proposition CC. Fortunately Colorado voters rejected that measure, which would’ve gutted the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights by ending the refunds it requires when tax collections are too high.

 

NAUGHTY

Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.):
For his introduction of legislation to double capital gains taxes.

 

NAUGHTY

House Democrats: For suing the Treasury Department in a blatantly illegitimate maneuver to release the President’s tax returns. And for voting against numerous Republican proposals to permanently cut taxes for the middle class. 

 

NAUGHTY

Mitt Romney:
For opposing an end to the inflation tax on capital gains.

 

 

 

 


ATR Joins Coalition Opposing Regional Cap & Trade Scheme

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, December 17th, 2019, 2:40 PM PERMALINK

Today, Americans for Tax Reform joined a coalition of nearly 20 stakeholder organizations in sending an open letter expressing opposition to the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI). The TCI is a regional cap-and-trade scheme, the details of which were released today, that will drive up energy costs for motorists and have the same overall effect as a carbon or gas tax hike in the 12 northeastern and mid-Atlantic states that are party to the initiative. 

The participating states are: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.

“Gas taxes are regressive in nature. The TCI will hurt lower-income and rural residents much more significantly than their higher-income, urban peers,” states the open coalition letter sent in opposition to TCI today. “Since motor fuels are economically ‘inelastic,’ the higher costs imposed by the TCI’s fuel tax will have to come out of other areas of household budgets. People already struggling to make ends meet will be forced by their own governments to make painfully difficult choices. Economically speaking, this is bad policy. Morally speaking, it’s just cruel.”

Americans for Tax Reform will be urging lawmakers and governors in TCI states to reject the proposed cap and trade scheme during their 2020 legislative sessions, and will be educating the public as to how TCI would do the greatest harm to taxpayers who are least able to afford the added cost. Worse, all of that economic pain would come with effectively no environmental gain. 

To read the coalition letter in its entirety, click here.

 

Photo Credit: Robert Geiger


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