Americans for Tax Reform

Norquist Statement on South Dakota v. Wayfair

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Thursday, June 21st, 2018, 10:39 AM PERMALINK

Today, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist issued the following statement on the South Dakota v. Wayfair decision: 

"Today the Supreme Court said 'yes—you can be taxed by politicians you do not elect and who act knowing you are powerless to object.' This power can now be used to export sales taxes, personal and corporate income taxes, and opens the door for the European Union to export its tax burden onto American businesses—as they have been demanding.

If physical nexus is no longer required, as the Quill vs. ND case demanded, for sales taxes then it is no longer required for personal or corporate income taxes.

Now, California (or any state or city that loses population through exit) can tax people and businesses who do their best to avoid that state or city.

We fought the American Revolution in large part to oppose the very idea of taxation without representation. Today, the Supreme Court announced, 'oops' governments can now tax those outside their borders—those who have no political power, no vote, no voice."

Photo Credit: Karen Roach


North Carolina Lawmakers Move to Put Income Tax Cap In Line With Current Rate

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, June 20th, 2018, 3:23 PM PERMALINK

Today, the North Carolina House Rules Committee voted in favor of sending Senate Bill 75 to the House floor. SB 75 would refer a reduction in the constitutional income tax cap from 10% to 5.5% to the November ballot.

The North Carolina Senate has already voted to send this constitutional amendment to the ballot with bipartisan support. If 72 of the 120 House members vote for SB 75 in the coming days, this pro-taxpayers constitutional amendment will be on the ballot this fall.

This morning, Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist sent the following letter to members of the North Carolina House, encouraging them to vote Yes on SB 75:

Dear Representative,

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and our supporters across North Carolina, I urge you and your colleagues to vote Yes on Senate Bill 75, legislation already approved by the Senate that, if approved by the House, would refer a reduction in the constitutional income tax cap from 10% to 5.5% to the November ballot. By voting Yes, you can help protect the policy victories of recent years, which have made the state’s tax code less burdensome and more competitive.  

Gov. Roy Cooper is already proposing to undo some of the pro-growth tax relief you and your colleagues worked so hard to enact. The good news is that Gov. Cooper does not currently have a legislative majority that will permit him to sign the tax hikes he desires into law, but that might not always be the case. As such, it’s imperative that you and your colleagues take action now, while you can, to protect North Carolina taxpayers and lock in the savings you achieved for them.

When it comes to innovative, pro-taxpayer policy reforms, not one of the other 49 states can hold a candle to what you and your colleagues have accomplished in North Carolina in recent years. 2018 is about securing those policy victories and ensuring that this progress cannot be clawed back by future, less taxpayer friendly legislatures and governors. As such, I encourage you and your colleagues to vote to Yes on SB 75.

I thank you for your public service and your leadership. If you have any questions or if ATR can be of assistance, don’t hesitate to contact me or Patrick Gleason, ATR’s vice president of state affairs, at pgleason@atr.org or 202-785-0266.

 

Sincerely,

Grover Norquist

President

Americans for Tax Reform

Photo Credit: Orchidus


NY Assembly Should Follow Senate's Lead, Make Property Tax Cap Permanent

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, June 18th, 2018, 5:28 PM PERMALINK

ATR has released a letter to the New York State Assembly in support of Senate Bill S1207. You can read the full letter here or below.

Dear Speaker Heastie and Members of the Assembly,

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform and our supporters across New York, I urge you to take up and pass Senate Bill S1207, which would make the state’s property tax cap permanent.

New York’s property tax cap was first enacted in 2011. It was calculated in 2015 that residents would have paid an additional $7 billion in school taxes alone if not for the property tax cap. It has been one of the few protections New York taxpayers have enjoyed. It should be your priority to ensure it stays in place.

New Yorkers pay the highest combined tax burden in the nation, on average, 12.7 percent of their income, and they face some of the highest property taxes in the country.

Downstate property tax bills in Westchester, Rockland, and Nassau counties rank in the top 10 in the U.S. on average. Upstate is not saved from these burdens either. For example, Binghamton residents pay the highest property taxes as a percentage of home value in the nation.

The last thing individuals, families, and employers across New York can afford is for Albany to leave the door open for drastic property tax hikes.

Governor Cuomo and the Senate majority have led on this issue in a bi-partisan fashion and the Assembly has a great opportunity to join them in standing up for hard-working New Yorkers who want to build a future in the state, but can’t afford higher property taxes.

The legislature should send a clear message they won't risk massive property tax hikes on New Yorkers by sending SB 1207 to the Governor's desk. Moving forward, we urge you to lower those property tax burdens through unfunded mandate reform - something the Senate has taken steps on by passing legislation to stop future unfunded mandates.

ATR will be educating your constituents, and all New York taxpayers as to how lawmakers in Albany vote on important fiscal and economic matters throughout the legislative session and leading up to this November’s elections.

If you have any questions, please contact Doug Kellogg, State Projects Director, at (202) 785-0266 or DKellogg@atr.org.

Onward,

Grover Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform

 

Photo Credit: UpstateNYer


Maine Holds Its Primary Elections Next Week, And One Candidate Has Promised To Not Raise Taxes If Elected Governor

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Thursday, June 7th, 2018, 9:28 AM PERMALINK

In her campaign to be the next governor of Maine, Mary Mayhew has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a written commitment to Maine taxpayers to “oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.”

Maine’s Republican and Democratic gubernatorial primary elections will be decided this coming Tuesday, June 12th. Mayhew is the first and only candidate in the race thus far to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and in doing so, promise to voters to reject all efforts to raise taxes on Mainers.

“I applaud Mary Mayhew for making this principled commitment to hardworking Maine families,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “By making this important pledge to Maine taxpayers, voters know they have a candidate for governor in Mary Mayhew who will not raid taxpayer bank accounts if elected. Rather than raise taxes, Mayhew has made clear she’ll instead pursue reforms that make state government more efficient and less costly to taxpayers."

Americans for Tax Reform offers the Pledge to all candidates for state and federal office. In the 115th Congress, 46 U.S. Senators and 209 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, the Taxpayer Protection Pledge has been signed by 11 incumbent governors including Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.), Gov. Rick Scott (Fla.), and Gov. Paul LePage (M.E.), and nearly 1,000 state legislators across the country.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


ATR Applauds NYC Proposal to Allow Restaurants to Show the Impact of Taxes on Prices

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018, 5:31 PM PERMALINK

In a letter today, ATR President Grover Norquist offered support for a proposal, Intro 0823-2018, from New York City Councilman Joseph Borelli which would allow restauraunts to make clear to patrons how much of the cost of their meal comes from city taxes.

To view a PDF of the letter Click Here, full text of the letter is below:

 

May 23, 2018

The Honorable Joseph Borelli

New York City Councilman, District 51

250 Broadway, 1551

New York, NY 10007

 

Dear Councilman Borelli,

I write on behalf of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) in strong support of your proposal, Intro 0823-2018, which would allow restaurants in New York City to reveal to their patrons the costs imposed on them by government through taxes.

This is a commonsense measure that allows businesses to clearly communicate what drives the prices they must charge consumers - rather than being forced to hide costs that are driven up by government in the prices of their products.

The result would be more informed consumers, and citizens, who will have a better understanding of where their hard-earned money is going when they go out to enjoy New York City’s vibrant restaurant scene.

Restaurants in New York City face some of the highest taxes in the nation, and now are being squeezed by a dangerous, experimental $15 minimum wage. Jobs are at risk. Media reports indicate restaurants are already being negatively impacted by the rising minimum wage, which still has yet to hit the final $15-per-hour mark. These city policies, and more, drive up the operating costs of restaurants and prices for consumers. Businesses should be empowered to share these facts with their customers.

We applaud Council Members Cumbo and Powers for co-sponsoring this legislation. We urge all council members to support the restaurants in their districts, their employees, and customers by backing this proposal.

If you have any questions, please contact ATR State Projects Director Doug Kellogg at dkellogg@atr.org.

Onward,

Grover Norquist

President

Americans for Tax Reform

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

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Left-Wing Billionaire Michael Bloomberg: Raising Taxes on Poor People Is a “good thing.”


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018, 3:40 PM PERMALINK

Bloomberg: “The question is do you want to pander to those people?”

Bloomberg: “Taxes or life? Which do you want to do? Take your poison.”

Nanny-state-imposing left-wing billionaire Michael Bloomberg is now on video admitting how much he likes to raise taxes on poor people, calling such tax hikes a “good thing.” For years, Bloomberg has personally funded and promoted all sorts of regressive taxes and regulations in an attempt to push people around. He uses the coercive power of the government to force people to live their lives as he sees fit.

So here is Bloomberg on stage with another global mandarin, Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund. He refers to low income individuals as “those people” and then takes a shot at coal miners and the U.S. military. He clearly reveals his arrogant, bullying worldview. The entire thing is bad, but we've bolded a few of the most obnoxious sentences [click here for video]:

Michael Bloomberg: “Some people say, well, taxes are regressive. But in this case, yes they are. That's the good thing about them because the problem is in people that don't have a lot of money. And so, higher taxes should have a bigger impact on their behavior and how they deal with themselves. So, I listen to people saying 'oh we don't want to tax the poor.’ Well, we want the poor to live longer so that they can get an education and enjoy life. And that's why you do want to do exactly what a lot of people say you don't want to do.

The question is do you want to pander to those people? Or do you want to get them to live longer? There's just no question. If you raise taxes on full sugary drinks, for example, they will drink less and there's just no question that full sugar drinks are one of the major contributors to obesity and obesity is one of the major contributors to heart disease and cancer and a variety of other things.

So, it's like saying, ‘I don't want to stop using coal because coal miners will go out of work, will lose their jobs.’ We have a lot of soldiers in the United States in the US Army, but we don't want to go start a war just to give them something to do and that's exactly what you're saying when you say 'well, let's keep coal killing people because we don't want coal miners to lose their jobs.' The truth of the matter is that there aren't very many coal miners left anyways and we can find other things for them to do. But the comparison is: a life or a job. Or, taxes or life? Which do you want to do? Take your poison.

Christine Lagarde: “So its regressive, it is good. There are lots of tax experts in the room. And fiscal experts, and I’m very pleased that they hear you say that. And they all say that two things in life which are absolutely certain. One is death, the other one is tax. So you use one to defer the other one.”

Bloomberg: “That’s correct. That is exactly right. Well said.” [Applause]

To get the full effect of his arrogance, watch the video. For years, billionaire Bloomberg has sat atop an Ivory Tower with a massive checkbook, judging the appropriateness of raising prices on low-income consumers. He has no concept for the difficult choices consumers make on a daily basis and despite claiming he cares about things like public health, he’s actually championed taxes and policies that harm it.

For one, he’s committed $20 million in the last year alone to demonizing people who decide to quit smoking cigarettes. Many are able to quit thanks to the help of tobacco-free alternatives like vapor products. But Bloomberg is a major funder of organizations like the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids, an organization that pushes prohibition of vapor products for adults, despite the growing international consensus that they are at least 95% less harmful than cigarettes. His money is being used to harm public health by reducing the choices consumers have who are trying to improve their personal health in switching to lower risk alternatives.

Bloomberg also bankrolls the effort to raise the cost of everyday groceries in places like Chicago, New Mexico, Philadelphia, and Washington through higher beverage taxes. Soda taxes don’t work; they are regressive, unpopular across the political spectrum, and they result in low income people having less income in their pockets. The outcome is lower economic mobility simply because billionaire Bloomberg has no fundamental understanding of what it means to live paycheck to paycheck. So while he entertains the world’s wealthiest, his money is being used to make it harder for Americans to afford energy bills, mortgages, and everyday products. 

Bloomberg's statements drip with contempt for those of lesser means than he and his fellow billionaires. Lagarde praising Bloomberg for championing a soda tax because it prevents poor and middle income households from being able to afford soda pop sounds like satire, but in this case it's all too real.

Bloomberg's policy agenda isn't just bad policy, it has also proven to be terrible politics. Take Santa Fe, which is a left-leaing city where more than 70% of voters cast their vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Last year voters there resoundingly rejected -- with nearly two-thirds of the vote -- the same type of soda tax that Bloomberg is pushing all over the country. It's worth noting that the Santa Fe soda tax ballot measure received its highest level of support in the most affluent areas of Santa Fe -- where people closer to Bloomberg's considerable means and sophisticated tastes live -- whereas voters living in lower-income and predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods overwhelmingly voted against this regressive tax.

Bloomberg's soda tax on Chicago residents was so reviled that it was overwhelmingly repealed.

Bloomberg's remarks were made on April 19, 2018 at the IMF’s Spring Meeting.

[See also: List of Tax Reform Good News]

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Americans for Tax Reform Urges North Carolina Lawmakers Not To Rest On Their Yannys In 2018

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Friday, May 18th, 2018, 5:27 PM PERMALINK

North Carolina has been a bastion of good governance in recent years, enacting pro-growth tax reform that has returned billions of hard-earned dollars to Tar Heel State taxpayers. In addition to approving tax reform that makes North Carolina more attractive to investment and conducive to economic growth, state lawmakers have also instituted regulatory reform that has increased the job-creating capacity of employers, and empowered thousands of parents and children across the state with expanded school choice.

Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist sent a letter today to state legislators in North Carolina, where they convened their short 2018 legislative session this week. In light of recent success, ATR is urging North Carolina lawmakers to not rest on their laurels this short legislative session and to instead take action to protect taxpayers for years and decades to come.

Below is the letter ATR sent to lawmakers. For a copy of the PDF, click here.

 

May 18, 2018

To: Members of the North Carolina General Assembly

From: Americans for Tax Reform

Re: 2018 Short Session

Dear Senator,

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and our supporters across North Carolina, I urge you to utilize the recently convened 2018 short session to build upon the General Assembly’s impressive record of reform on tax, regulatory, education, and other policy matters.

By building up the largest rainy day fund in state history and keeping the trajectory of spending below the rate of population growth and inflation – all while enacting tax reform that has allowed individuals, families, and employers across the state to keep billions of dollars in hard-earned income that would have gone to state coffers under the old state tax code – North Carolina has become a national model in recent years for good governance and pro-growth tax reform.

However, I urge lawmakers to not rest on their laurels. Instead, I implore lawmakers in Raleigh to utilize the recently convened short session to enact constitutional and statutory safeguards that will protect North Carolina taxpayers well into the future, long after you and your colleagues have retired.

The best way to do this is to refer two constitutional amendments to the November ballot for voters to decide: one that would cap state spending at the rate of population growth and inflation, the other that would require a two-thirds supermajority vote by the General Assembly in order to enact a tax hike.

Gov. Roy Cooper is already proposing to undo some of the pro-growth tax relief you and your colleagues have worked so hard to enact. Fortunately, Gov. Cooper does not have a legislative majority that will permit him to sign the tax hike he desires into law, but that might not always be the case. As such, it’s imperative that you and your colleagues take action now to protect North Carolina taxpayers from Gov. Cooper’s high tax, high spending plans, as well as those of younger tax hiking politicians who will take office in North Carolina some day in the future.

When it comes to innovative, pro-taxpayer policy reforms, not one of the other 49 states can hold a candle to what you and your colleagues have accomplished in North Carolina in recent years. 2018 is about locking in those policy victories and ensuring that this progress can not be clawed back by future, less taxpayer friendly legislatures and governors.

I thank you for your public service and your leadership. If you have any questions or if ATR can be of assistance, don’t hesitate to contact me or Patrick Gleason, ATR’s vice president of state affairs, at pgleason@atr.org or 202-785-0266.

 

Sincerely,

Grover Norquist

President

Americans for Tax Reform

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

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Taxes Become Topic of Discussion in South Carolina Gubernatorial Race

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Thursday, February 15th, 2018, 4:48 PM PERMALINK

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) recently came under attack from Catherine Templeton, McMaster’s opponent who is challenging the incumbent governor in the upcoming June primary to be the GOP’s gubernatorial candidate this November.

Templeton – who has served as Director of the Department of Health and Environmental Control and is also former Director of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation – claimed at a recent Republican luncheon that Gov. McMaster signed into law “"the largest tax increase in modern history.”

Templeton’s claim here is false, and has been correctly ruled as inaccurate in fact checks conducted by both the Charleston Post & Courier and the Columbia, SC-based The State newspaper. As the Post & Courier fact check points out, the pension bill signed by McMaster that Templeton claims was a tax hike is a piece of legislation that, in fact, “did not include any new taxes.” Rather, that bill increased employer and employee contributions to the state pension system.

Templeton’s attack on Gov. McMaster here false and misleading. As it would happen, not only has he not raised taxes, but Gov. McMaster is one of 12 governors nationwide to have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a written commitment to voters to oppose and veto any and all efforts to raise taxes. Gov. McMaster kept his commitment to South Carolina voters by vetoing a regressive gas tax increase last year that was ultimately enacted when the legislature overrode his veto. Nikki Haley was a Taxpayer Protection Pledge signer during her time as governor. Catherine Templeton has also signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in her bid for office.

“After being hit with 20 federal Obamacare tax increases over the last eight years and a state gas tax hike last year, the last thing Palmetto State taxpayers need is to be hit with further tax hikes at the state level,” Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said. “As such, I applaud both Gov. Henry McMaster and Catherine Templeton for signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and in doing so, making the principled commitment to defend South Carolina voters from any and all efforts to raises their taxes.”

Photo Credit: Jimmy Emmerson


Clarification on Taxpayer Protection Pledge Violations in AZ-08 Special Election


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, February 13th, 2018, 2:48 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform was asked to clarify whether congressional candidates Debbie Lesko and Steve Montenegro violated their Taxpayer Protection Pledges to Arizona voters while in the state legislature.

The simple answer is yes.

When candidates or elected officials sign the state Taxpayer Protection Pledge to their constituents, they're promising to oppose and vote against ANY and ALL efforts to increase taxes.

Debbie Lesko violated her promise to voters to oppose any efforts to increase taxes when she voted in 2010 to refer a $3 billion tax increase to the ballot. While she didn't vote to raise taxes herself, she didn't oppose that clear effort to raise taxes either.

Steve Montenegro's case is similar in that he voted to create a mechanism through which El Mirage could levy an additional property tax. While the city never instituted the tax, Montenegro still failed to vote against that unsuccessful effort to raise taxes.

It is unusual for ATR to make an endorsement in a race, and we have not done so to date in the AZ-08 primary.  While the difference in magnitude between the two measures above is worth noting,  the Pledge is binary and for both of these two candidates the answer is yes.  It is up to the candidates themselves to make the subsequent case about their own records to taxpayers.  The voters will decide the degree to which a vote in violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, whether big or small (and whether ultimately resulting in a tax increase or not), affects their nomination choice.

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36 Governors Proclaim ‘Ronald Reagan Day’ in their State

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, February 6th, 2018, 1:28 PM PERMALINK

Ronald Reagan Legacy Project honors the legacy of the 40th President

Each year the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project sends requests to governors from all 50 states to issue a proclamation declaring February 6 "Ronald Reagan Day." This year, to celebrate Reagan's birthday, 36 states -- three with Democrat governors -- signed official proclamations recognizing Ronald Reagan Day in their state.

Grover Norquist founded the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project in 1997. The project is committed to preserving the legacy of the 40th President of the United States throughout the nation and abroad, and also works to encourage the naming of buildings, roads, landmarks, and schools after the late President. There are currently 151 domestic dedications in 33 states and the District of Columbia, and 17 international dedications in nine countries.

Norquist said: “Reagan reduced the size and scope of government, cut taxes for all Americans, and laid the foundation for economic prosperity. By the time he left office, America was freer, safer, and stronger in every way. Reagan’s leadership had a resounding impact on the lives of citizens here at home and individuals worldwide.”

The following 36 Governors have issued proclamations declaring today as Ronald Reagan Day in their states:

Alabama- Kay Ivey (R)

Arizona- Doug Ducey (R)

Arkansas- Asa Hutchinson (R)

California- Jerry Brown (D)

Colorado- John Hickenlooper (D)

Florida- Rick Scott (R)

Georgia-Nathan Deal (R)

Idaho- Butch Otter (R)

Illinois- Bruce Rauner (R)

Indiana- Eric Holcomb (R)

Iowa- Kim Reynolds (R)

Kansas- Jeff Colyer (R)

Kentucky- Matt Bevin (R)

Maine- Paul LePage (R)

Maryland- Larry Hogan (R)

Massachusetts- Charlie Baker (R)

Michigan- Rick Snyder (R)

Mississippi- Phil Bryant (R)

Missouri- Eric Greitens (R)

Nebraska- Pete Ricketts (R)

Nevada- Brian Sandoval (R)

New Hampshire- Chris Sununu (R)

New Jersey- Phil Murphy (D)

New Mexico- Susana Martinez (R)

North Dakota- Doug Burgum (R)

Ohio- John Kasich (R)

Oklahoma- Mary Fallin (R)

South Carolina- Henry McMaster (R)

South Dakota- Dennis Daugaard (R)

Tennessee- Bill Haslam (R)

Texas- Greg Abbott (R)

Utah- Gary Herbert (R)

Vermont- Phil Scott (R)

West Virginia- Jim Justice (R)

Wisconsin- Scott Walker (R)

Wyoming- Matt Mead (R)

There are 14 governors who have not issued a proclamation declaring Ronald Reagan Day in their states:

Alaska- Bill Walker (I)

Connecticut- Dannel Malloy (D)

Delaware-John Carney (D)

Hawaii- David Ige (D)

Louisiana- John Bel Edwards (D)

Minnesota- Mark Dayton (D)

Montana- Steve Bullock (D)

New York- Andrew Cuomo (D)

North Carolina- Roy Cooper (D)

Oregon- Kate Brown (D) 

Pennsylvania- Tom Wolf (D)

Rhode Island- Gina Raimondo (D)

Virginia- Ralph Northam (D)

Washington- Jay Inslee (D)

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk

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