Americans for Tax Reform

Alabama Taxpayers Better Hold On To Their Wallets. Their Politicians Are Plotting A Gas Tax Hike.

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Friday, December 14th, 2018, 5:56 PM PERMALINK

The Alabama legislature doesn't kick off its 2019 session for another three months, but spending interests are already laying the groundwork for a gas tax increase in the new year. 

"A gas tax of up to 12 cents a gallon has been discussed, but according to Alabama House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter, the target for a tax increase in Alabama is more likely to be in the six to 10 cent range, which could raise between $180 million and $300 million dollars a year," Dale Jackson reported this week in Yellowhammer News.

Also this week Americans for Tax Reform sent the following letter to Alabama lawmakers encouraging them to reject calls to to raise the gas tax and pointing out that a gas tax hike would claw back the federal tax relief that their constituents received thanks to passage of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act:

To: Members of the Alabama Senate

From: Americans for Tax Reform

Dear Senator,

With the 2019 legislative session only a few months away, I write to encourage you and your colleagues to use the coming year to enact reforms that will help grow the state economy and protect taxpayers. 

While there are many opportunities to improve Alabama’s tax and regulatory climate, it’s important to first do no harm. As such,  I urge that you reject the aggressive, but misguided push to hike the state gas tax , a proposal that would diminish and, in some cases, could totally erase the relief that your constituents have received from federal tax reform. 

Attempting to impose a regressive tax hike that will do the greatest harm to households who can least afford it is already bad enough. It’s even worse when it has already been documented that existing transportation dollars are not appropriately spent. 

Ballot measures to hike state gas taxes were resoundingly rejected in Missouri, Utah, and Washington State just last month. Between that and the throngs of French citizens now protesting President Emmanuel Macron’s gas tax hike, which he just suspended, it’s clear that gas tax hikes are a political loser, both at home and abroad. 

In addition to being terrible politics, the proposed gas tax increase is also bad policy. Consider that a state gas tax increase would counteract the benefits of federal tax reform and eat into Alabama taxpayers’ federal tax cut savings. This is one of the reasons why Congress has declined to raise the federal gas tax, despite pressure for them to do so; the same sort of misguided pressure that is currently being applied to you and your colleagues. 

To read the letter in its entirety, click here.


ATR Urges Michigan Lawmakers to Reject Protectionist Legislation

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, December 12th, 2018, 2:23 PM PERMALINK

Michigan lawmakers are working tirelessly this session to bring about positive labor reforms that would expand worker's rights in the Great Lakes State.  

Unfortunately, special interests are trying to ride the coattails of this important work by pushing HB 6551, separate legislation that would allow incumbent PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) providers to secure an exclusive government franchise in their service area. ATR sent the following letter to Michigan legislators urging them to reject this protectionist policy: 

December 12, 2018 

To: Members of the Michigan Senate                                                                              

From: Americans for Tax Reform 

Re: Oppose House Bill 6551 

Dear Senator, 

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and our supporters across Michigan, I urge you to oppose House Bill 6551, legislation that would benefit incumbent PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) providers at the expense of Michigan’s frail and elderly. 

PACE is a federally authorized, state-administered program that allows certain Medicare/Medicaid (dual eligible) recipients to receive wrap-around medical and other services in a single facility while remaining with their families in their homes instead of being forced into a nursing home. Currently, incumbent PACE providers in Michigan serve only a small fraction of potential PACE participants, yet they are still pushing HB 6551 as a way to shut out other providers.  

If implemented, HB 6551 would allow incumbent PACE providers to secure an exclusive government franchise in their service area. This protectionist policy would have grave consequences for an underserved population of PACE eligible seniors in Michigan, leaving around 20,000 without access to a PACE provider. 

I know that Michigan lawmakers are passing very important legislation for workers’ rights. The special interest groups that stand to benefit from government blocking out its competitors are trying to slip this protectionist bill in amidst your very helpful collection of legislation. Please tell the special interests they cannot ride the coattails of your important work. ATR urges lawmakers to vote NO on HB 6551. 

ATR will be educating Michigan taxpayers as to how lawmakers vote on HB 6551 and other important tax, budget, and regulatory issues this session. 

Sincerely, 

Grover Norquist 

President 

Americans for Tax Reform 

Photo Credit: David Marvin


ATR Announces Defend21.org

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, December 11th, 2018, 2:40 PM PERMALINK

Following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, America became increasingly internationally competitive.

Before December 2017, the U.S. 35% corporate tax rate was the highest in the world. Higher even than China’s 25%. Our tax rate was higher than every major competitor.

The cornerstone of America’s new, more competitive tax system is the 21 percent corporate rate.

Every Democrat in the House and Senate opposed this tax reduction and they are now threatening to raise the corporate income tax as part of proposals to expand or create new government programs. Raising the 21 percent rate will harm today’s strong economic growth, growing wages, record job openings, and lower utility bills.

“Democrats view any tax rate hike from 21% to be a raid on a piggy bank --- ‘free money.’ Taxpayers and taxpayer friendly elected officials now must defend 21 percent as a bright line in the sand that cannot be crossed,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

“If we fail to stop any and every effort to break the 21 percent ceiling, then every year there will be demands from special spending interests to raise the rate ‘just one or two points’ to fund ‘fill in the blank,’” said Norquist.

Americans for Tax Reform will officially launch “Defend21.org” in early 2019.

 

Photo Credit: Clker-Free-Vector-Images


Dem Carbon Tax Bill is So Bad it's No Wonder Rooney & Fitzpatrick Bailed

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, November 28th, 2018, 6:30 PM PERMALINK


On Tuesday and Wednesday, Florida Democrat congressman Ted Deutch and much of the establishment press hyped the release of a (horrible) "bipartisan carbon tax bill!" -- but when the launch events came around, the two Republican congressmen were nowhere to be found. Reps. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) appear to have wisely bailed. Perhaps they felt misled by Deutch as to the contents of the bill.

Deutch's office touted a Tuesday evening media conference call in order to announce the carbon tax bill. The media advisory stated:

Tuesday, Nov. 27 7:30 PM: Bipartisan representatives discuss the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act -- Democratic Reps. Ted Deutch, John Delaney, and Charlie Crist and Republican Reps. Francis Rooney and Brian Fitzpatrick hold press call on the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

The call started 15 minutes late and nobody seemed to know what was going on. Finally, Democrat Deutch got on the call and announced that Republicans Rooney and Fitzpatrick would not be on the call due to "scheduling" issues.

A reporter tried to ask a question but the host couldn't figure out how to run the call. It was a debacle from start to finish (and these people want you to send your money to DC to impose a complex new tax scheme to radically re-order your life).

Then on Wednesday at 9:00 AM at the big carbon tax bill launch event at the House Triangle, the Republicans were also (wisely) no-shows.

Deutch awkwardly claimed, again, that Republicans Rooney and Fitzpatrick could not attend due to "scheduling" issues.

Deutch said:"Unfortunately due to, ah, scheduling conflicts they are unable to make it this morning."

Democrat Deutch proceeded to cheerlead for his carbon tax with another Democrat, the eternal politician Charlie Crist (D-Fla.)

When you consider the parade of horribles brought forth by the Deutch carbon tax bill, it is no wonder Republicans Rooney and Fitzpatrick were nowhere to be found. Bill details are below:

Imposes a massive and continually racheting national energy tax, allowing politicians to raise taxes without ever having to vote. Just like the French proposal that starts with a big tax that gets more oppressive with time, the bill imposes a $15 per ton carbon (energy) tax, increasing by $10 per year into the future. Within five years the tax would automatically rise to $55 per ton. For reference, the carbon tax handily rejected by blue Washington state voters in November started at $15 and ratcheted up by $2 per year. Perhaps Deutch thinks the voters just want to be taxed at even higher rates.

Shovels taxpayer money into a giant vat for IRS, EPA, and State Department bureaucrats. The IRS and EPA will develop a cozy relationship -- and what's not to love about that -- to siphon cash from the vat of taxpayer funds for what the bill calls "Administrative Expenses" and "Other Administrative Expenses." For reasons unclear, State Department bureaucrats will also have access to the vat of taxpayer funds. What could go wrong?

Gives broad powers to IRS chief to find new products and entities to be carbon-taxed. The IRS is directed to work with the EPA in order to find more tax targets: "Any manufactured or agricultural product which the [Treasury] Secretary in consultation with the [EPA] Administrator determines" is a tax target. The newly-carbon-taxed items will be added to the long list already specified in the bill: Iron, steel, steel mill products including pipe and tube, aluminum, cement, glass, fiberglass, pulp, paper, chemicals, and industrial ceramics.

Gives broad powers to the EPA chief. The bill gives czar-like powers to the EPA chief including the power to impose "monitoring, reporting, and record-keeping requirements" on Americans. The bill also gives the EPA chief power to conduct investigations and force "information collection."

Establishes a creepy DC-based "Carbon Dividend Trust Fund" that seeks a backdoor two-child limit on families. The “Carbon Dividend Trust Fund” leftovers will somehow be routed from DC on a per-person basis and households with more than two children are considered unworthy: The legislative language specifically imposes “a limit of 2 children per household.”

Here it is, straight from the bill text:

“A carbon dividend payment is one pro-rata share for each adult and half a pro-rata share for each child under 19 years old, with a limit of 2 children per household, of amounts available for the month in the Carbon Dividend Trust Fund.”

Gives broad powers to the Treasury Department to issue even more rules and regulations. The bill language states:

"The Secretary shall promulgate rules, guidance, and regulations useful and necessary to implement the Carbon Dividend Trust Fund."

Imposes income tax on the carbon tax "dividend." Yes, the government fleeces the taxpayers and sends the carbon tax money to DC, where it is siphoned off by bureaucrats. Then a leftover "dividend" is supposedly sent out to the countryside where it is then subject to income tax! Here is the bill language:

 “(D) FEE TREATMENT OF PAYMENTS. -- Amounts paid under this subsection shall be includible in gross income.

A tax on a tax, which will likely increase the complexity of your annual tax filing. Here's an idea -- how about not taking the money from taxpayers in the first place?

Greases the skids for a European-style Value Added Tax, a cash cow for big government by erecting a complex carbon tax border adjustment scheme.

Authorizes armed carbon tax enforcement agents. The bill authorizes armed carbon tax enforcement agents to collect the new tax on energy used by Americans. As if customs enforcement doesn't already have enough on its plate, the bill states:

“The revenues collected under this chapter may be used to supplement appropriations made available in fiscal years 2018 and thereafter -

 “(1) to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in such amounts as are necessary to administer the carbon border fee adjustment.”

Authorizes certain government sharing of Social Security information. The bill states:

“(B) COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY. -- The Commissioner of Social Security shall, on written request, disclose to officers and employees of the Department of the Treasury individual identity information which has been disclosed to the Social Security Administration as is necessary to administer section 9512

Americans for Tax Reform opposes the bill. "The proposed carbon tax is a gas tax and a tax on your electric bill. Worse, it increases automatically year after year so the politicians can raise your taxes without ever having to vote," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "The tax will be hidden in the price of all goods and services. A hidden tax. A permanent tax. An uncontrolled tax that increases without end."

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Ted Deutch


Carbon Tax Bill Imposes Backdoor Two-Child Limit

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, November 27th, 2018, 1:37 PM PERMALINK

This week Democrat congressman Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) is introducing a bill to impose a massive national carbon (energy) tax on the American people and seeks to impose backdoor family planning of two children per household:

-The carbon tax monies will flow from the people to the federal government, where it will be deposited into a creepily named “Carbon Dividend Trust Fund.”

-The EPA and IRS will work together to funnel taxpayer dollars toward “Administrative Expenses” and “Other Administrative Expenses.”

-The “Carbon Dividend Trust Fund” leftovers will be routed to households on a per-adult and per-child basis, but households with more than two children are considered a menace by the bill authors: The legislative language specifically imposes “a limit of 2 children per household.”

Here it is, straight from the bill text:

“A carbon dividend payment is one pro-rata share for each adult and half a pro-rata share for each child under 19 years old, with a limit of 2 children per household, of amounts available for the month in the Carbon Dividend Trust Fund.”

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said: “The carbon tax is a bad idea. Even the French don’t like it. And now, this Democrat carbon tax bill adds a sick twist: population control through taxation.”

Photo Credit: akamarpreet


Great News For Tennessee Taxpayers: All Republicans Running To Be The Next Governor Have Pledged To Oppose Tax Hikes

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, June 27th, 2018, 1:58 PM PERMALINK

The Tennessee primaries are a little more than a month away, but we already know that the winner of the Republican primary will be a candidate who has committed to protecting taxpayers. That’s because all four Republicans running for Governor - Rep. Diane Black, Bill Lee, Randy Boyd, and state house Speaker Beth Harwell - have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. 

By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, Boyd, Black, Lee, and Harwell have committed to Tennessee residents that they will oppose and veto any and all efforts to raise taxes if elected to replace Bill Haslam as governor. 

“I applaud all the candidates running in the GOP gubernatorial primary for making such an important commitment to Tennessee taxpayers,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Following passage of federal tax reform, the United States has become an even more attractive destination for investment. Avoiding tax increases will ensure that Tennessee remains one of the most attractive destinations in the U.S. for the expected influx of global capital. By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, all Republicans running for governor have made clear that they recognize the importance of keeping Tennessee a low tax state.” 

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, this commitment is shared 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.

President Ronald Reagan endorsed the Pledge and campaigned for Pledge-signing candidates in the 1986 midterm elections.

Photo Credit: Kaldari


Norquist Statement on Janus Worker Freedom Victory

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, June 27th, 2018, 10:05 AM PERMALINK

Today, ATR President Grover Norquist issued the following statement on the Janus v. AFSCME decision:

“This is the most consequential victory for civil rights in the United States in decades.

For more than half a century, millions of Americans were told they could not serve as policemen, teachers, or firemen unlessthey joined a union and paid annual dues.

No American should be forced to join any organization or pay cash to others as a requirement to earn and keep their job.

A great injustice has been righted.

Every year for decades, billions--billions with a B--of dollars have been taken by force by government labor unions from workers without their permission and  spent on politics against their wishes.

That ends today, decades late, but once and for all.

The  greatest assault on American democracy is the outrage of billions of dollars of forced union dues taken from workers without their consent and spent to buy elections over a 50 year period."

Photo Credit: Geoff Livingston


Norquist Statement on South Dakota v. Wayfair

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

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

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

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

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

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


Pages

×