Americans for Tax Reform

Study: 57% of NHL Free Agents Went to Teams with Lower Taxes

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, November 17th, 2014, 9:39 AM PERMALINK

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A new study jointly-released by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) and Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) reveals that of the 123 Unrestricted Free Agents who changed teams during the 2014 offseason, 57 percent of went to teams with lower taxes.

The study, titled Home Ice Tax Disadvantage looks at NHL team salary spending, personal income tax rates in the relevant province or state, and the “true cap,” which takes into consideration these rates. The purpose of the report is to show the impact that taxes – personal income taxes in particular – have on labor mobility. While the numbers are more extreme for NHL players, the concept is the same for millions of North American families.

“Injuries can damage your favorite sports team. So can high taxes in your state or province,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

Key findings include:

Of the 123 Unrestricted Free Agents who changed teams during the 2014 offseason, 57 percent went to teams with lower taxes. In total, those 78 players will pay $7,951,784 less in taxes next year.

From a tax standpoint, U.S. states are becoming less competitive compared to Canadian provinces: Six of the seven Canadian teams went up in the rankings between 2012 and 2014. Interestingly, Alberta’s combined federal and provincial taxes are now lower than the states that have no state income taxes. Of the 23 American teams, 21 of them fell in the rankings of best places to play between 2012 and 2014. Florida, Tampa Bay, Dallas, and Nashville fell from the top spot in 2012 to third best locations in 2014 to play from an income tax standpoint.

In dollar terms, the Los Angeles Kings players paid the highest total of $27.8 million to the federal government and $8.5 million to the state.

The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers tied for the lowest jurisdictional tax rate at 38.5 percent with the Florida, Texas, and Tennessee teams close behind at 40.5 percent.

Players for the Montreal Canadiens paid the highest tax taxes with a tax rate of 53.9 percent.

Having a no trade clause gives the power to avoid being sent to high tax jurisdictions. Jason Spezza’s tax savings by moving from Ottawa to Dallas are $394,732.

Players without a no-trade clause face a pay cut when traded to a high-tax jurisdiction. PA Parenteau will have to pay $349,535 more in taxes after moving from Colorado to Montreal.

Benoit Pouliot will save the most taxes moving from the New York Rangers to the Edmonton Oilers. If he had signed the same deal in New York he would have had to pay $575,752 more in taxes.

“The numbers don’t lie; NHL players take a financial hit to play in certain jurisdictions,” said paper author and CTF National Research Director Jeff Bowes. “Obviously, there are other factors at play besides taxes, but the fact remains that disparities in tax rates leave some teams at a major disadvantage.”

“NHL players are just one example of highly skilled workers who have a choice of where to work” added CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick. “The same principles apply far beyond professional athletes, but also for doctors, engineers and CEOs of major companies. If high tax rates make it more difficult to attract free-agents in the NHL, it’s not a stretch to believe it’s also be hard to attract other highly skilled workers. Governments need to keep that in mind when they’re considering the impact of tax rates on attracting top talent.”

The CTF and ATR study on the taxes of NHL players can be found HERE.

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Norquist Statement on Obama FCC Power Grab

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, November 10th, 2014, 2:51 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist issued the following statement:

“It tells us everything that Obama launched this naked power grab to control the Internet mere days after the election. If he believed that this would be popular or good policy he could have done this six years ago, or five years, or fours years ago. He could have introduced legislation to actually rewrite the law that he’s now trying to change by his own personal fiat. Taxpayers and consumers will fight hard to stop this damaging power grab.”

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EPA's Latest Carbon Rule Looks to Crush Coal Industry, Kill Jobs, and Threaten Affordable Energy

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, June 2nd, 2014, 4:49 PM PERMALINK

In its latest move in the war on coal, President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it would regulate carbon (CO2) from existing power plants. This unnecessary and expensive regulation will have dire consequence for the American economy, especially when it is paired with existing and pending EPA regulations.

A series of prior regulations will force over 300 coal-fired power plants to close down. More specifically, seven of the EPA’s final or pending regulations are projected to cost the economy more than $60 billion per year in lost GDP and to cause the annual loss of nearly 900,000 jobs.

But these regulations don’t only impact coal miners and heavy manufacturers that depend on coal for affordable electricity. When Americans were freezing and grid operators were stretched thin, many relied on coal-fired power to keep their lights on. In early January, around 75 percent of Southern Company’s coal power plants scheduled to retire were called upon to generate electricity. The Tennessee Valley Authority set new records for electricity demand at the same time that nearly 20 of its coal-fired generating facilities are scheduled for retirement.

The EPA is trying to justify its economic damage and threats to affordable base-load electricity through spurious co-benefit claims about reductions in instances of asthma and heart attacks. In reality, reducing carbon does not prevent asthma or heart attacks, after all, we exhale it every few seconds.

What we do know is that being unemployed can have serious effects on a person’s health. On June 15, 2011, Dr. Harvey Brenner of Johns Hopkins University testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee:

“The unemployment rate is well established as a risk factor for elevated illness and mortality rates in epidemiological studies performed since the early 1980s. In addition to influences on mental disorder, suicide and alcohol abuse and alcoholism, unemployment is also an important risk factor in cardiovascular disease and overall decreases in life expectancy.”

These negative consequences can spill over into the quality of life for poor children as the National Center for Health Statistics noted:

Children in poor families were four times as likely to be in fair or poor health as children in families that were not poor.

One of the best ways to help Americans is to ensure that they have a job. ATR will have much more to come on the mechanics and problems with this regulation, but until then, we’ll close with House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) comments, “The president promised under his plan, electricity rates would 'necessarily skyrocket,' and this is one promise he is actually delivering on. Four years after a Democratic Senate rejected cap-and-trade, the administration continues its pursuit to regulate where Congress refused to legislate. As the American economy shrunk last quarter, why in the world is the president pushing regulations that will serve to increase utility rates for consumers, send manufacturing jobs overseas, and hamstring our economic recovery? And despite the president’s focus on income inequality, this is a plan to make the poor poorer as it is the nation’s most vulnerable who suffer the most from higher energy prices and layoffs.”

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Harry Reid Looks to Resurrect RES During Lame-Duck

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Thursday, September 2nd, 2010, 11:22 AM PERMALINK

Harry Reid (D-Nev.) made news Tuesday when he announced that he would try to pass an energy bill during the lame-duck session. This comes as a surprise to most as Reid pulled his energy bill right before recess began as he couldn’t muster up the requisite votes. Even more surprising is that Reid said a key component of his lame-duck bill would be a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), a contentions policy amongst Members.

RES requires that a percentage of a state’s energy production be derived from “clean” energy sources, generally understood as wind and solar. Government imposed RES are necessary because wind and solar are not economically viable, they need government subsidies and mandates to compete with cheaper forms of energy.

While some think this is a political move to drum up support from the environmental lobby--Mr. Reid is currently involved in a heated primary debate with Republican Sharron Angle—let’s take Reid at his word. What are the economic implications for a national RES?

Heritage Foundation scholars crunched the numbers and found that instituting a 35 percent RES by 2035 America would loose 1,000,000 jobs.

Don’t take their word for it; look at Europe. In Spain, government subsidies for the wind and solar industry prevent 2.2 jobs from being created in the private sector and have contributed to the country's high unemployment levels.

Domestically, the DeSoto Solar Center in Florida was supposed to be the “largest solar power plant in the United States,” according to President Obama. The Center received $150 million from the Recovery Act. After using 400 construction workers to build the site, the Solar Center now employs only two people. So while the transition to new energy sources creates jobs, many of them are temporary, a distinction many on the left fail to make.

With unemployment already hovering around 10 percent, the last thing we need is from soon-to-be jobless Senators is an unnecessary energy bill. Implementing an RES during the lame-duck is bad policy, undemocratic, and appallingly arrogant.

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Documentation of the Obama-Biden Middle Class Tax Pledge

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010, 4:22 PM PERMALINK

“I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”

--Candidate Barack Obama, Sept. 12, 2008

“No one making less than $250,000 under Barack Obama’s plan will see one single penny of their tax raised whether it’s their capital gains tax, their income tax, investment tax, any tax.” 

--Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden, Oct. 3, 2008

“No family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase.”  


“If your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime.”

--President Barack Obama, Feb. 24, 2009

“The statement didn’t come with caveats.” 

--Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs, April 15, 2009, when asked if the pledge applies to the Obamacare legislation.

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Grover Norquist's thoughts on the 9/12 rallies

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Saturday, September 12th, 2009, 6:50 PM PERMALINK

POLITICO’s Arena features Grover Norquist’s thoughts on the 9/12 rallies:

This past week I travelled to the center-right coalition meetings in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and North Carolina and then this morning back to DC. I took my daughter out with stroller and walked for two hours against the flow of the 9/12 march to the taxpayer rally along Pennsylvania Ave. How many? Dunno. But two solid hours of marchers going past. Lots of great signs. One group of Obama fans standing off to one side. They were huddled around their sign "billionaires for tax cuts" and dressed in tuxes. They looked vaguely ridiculous contrasted with tens of thousands of actual middle class citizens sickened by the greed of Washington. The late Senator Moynihan spoke of the Reagan years as the time he realized that while his age cohort had always railed against the old farts...the modern Democrat party had become the old farts.

Obama and ACORN fancy they are the community organizers. They should drop by and see what real outrage and real community organizing--without taxpayer subsidies or paid union staff in purple T-shirts--looks like.

The denizens of the White House lack only big wigs to complete the Louis the Sixteenth and Marie Antoinette analogy. The already have the contempt for the little people down pat.

Play "Obama Healthcare Bingo" Tonight

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, September 9th, 2009, 3:57 PM PERMALINK

“Public option” “Change” “Bend the cost curve” Invocation of FDR, Truman, Nixon, or Ted Kennedy “Status quo”
“Deficit-neutral” “Bipartisan” “Investment” “Let me be clear” “The cost of doing nothing”
“Crisis” “Children and grandchildren” GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZED “FREE”SPACE “Waste, fraud, and abuse” “Naysayers” or "Fear-mongers"
“Quality health insurance” “Medical malpractice reform” “Keep insurance companies honest” “Well-financed forces” “Create choice and competition”
“Hope” “46 million uninsured” “Washington special interests” “Doctors and Nurses” “As I’ve said before”
Tonight at 8:00 PM Eastern Time, President Obama will address a joint session of Congress. Below is a handy Bingo card you may use to check off terms and phrases likely to be used. As a bonus, print out the different versions of the card and watch the speech with your friends or family: Card 1; Card 2; Card 3; Card 4


“Public option” – A government-run health plan
“Crisis” -- Excuse to hike taxes and grow the government per Rahm Emmanuel’s theory: “Never waste a crisis”
“Hope” – The medicine Obama will prescribe while you’re on a government waiting list
“Change” – Take-home pay of future generations due to massive spending increases and government expansion
“Bipartisan” – Tricking one gullible Republican into voting for a government-controlled health plan
“Children and grandchildren” – The people picking up the tab
“Investment” – The government spending your tax dollars
“As I’ve said before” – Prepare for a poll-tested line from stump speeches
“Deficit-neutral” – Raising taxes at least as much as you raise spending
“Quality health insurance” – A benefits package designed by unelected federal bureaucrats
“46 million uninsured” – Inflated number which includes illegal immigrants, those eligible for but not enrolled in existing government programs, and those who turn down insurance they can afford
“Waste, fraud, and abuse” – Magic asterisk when a politician needs a pay-for
“Well-financed forces” – K Street health industry lobbyists in bed with Obamacare
“Washington special interests” – K Street lobbyists President Obama likes to pretend are opposed to Obamacare but actually support it
“Status quo” – Government already controls half of the U.S. healthcare sector; Obamacare wants to take over the other half
“The cost of doing nothing” – Trillions less than Obama’s plan
“Let me be clear” – Prepare yourself for meaningless truism
Naysayers” or “fear-mongers” – Any person legitimately concerned about the rapid encroachment of government in their life
“Create choice and competition” – Driving out private sector health insurance by rigging any competition in the government’s favor
“Keep insurance companies honest” – see “create choice and competition” above
“Bend the cost curve” – The government rationing your healthcare
“Medical malpractice reform” – Something Obama, Reid, and Pelosi will never actually do since they are in the pocket of trial lawyers
“Doctors and Nurses” – Healthcare professionals who will be drafted into government employment when Obamacare eventually turns into a single-payer system 

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