Americans for Tax Reform

Ten Outrageous Items the IRS Purchased With Taxpayer's Money

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, April 15th, 2015, 11:48 AM PERMALINK

Throughout the 2015 tax season the IRS has desperately tried to convince Americans that it needs more money. It is ridiculous that the agency is now pleading poverty, after years of outrageous spending habits. A Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report outlines the abuses in the IRS employee credit card program. Below are the top ten most ridiculous items purchased with IRS credit cards:

Item #1: Nerf Footballs
IRS employees used their credit card to purchase $119 worth of Nerf footballs that were intended to be used for a “team-building exercise.”  As if that wasn’t bad enough, they never used the balls, which are “currently stored in a filing cabinet” somewhere in the bowels of the IRS.

Item #2: “Related Alcohol Purchases”
At one luncheon, IRS credit cards were used for “related alcohol purchases” including 28 bottles of wine—for 41 guests.  As a bottle of wine contains about five servings, this equates to three and a half glasses of wine per person. 

Item #3: Thomas the Tank Engine Rubber Wristbands
For the child in all of us, the IRS purchased these for “managers’ meetings.”  These were part of the “almost $4,000 in improper decorative and give-away items” that TIGTA found in their review.

Item #4: "World’s Largest Crossword Puzzle"
Along with some jigsaw puzzles, the IRS purchased the “world’s largest crossword puzzle.”  These purchases cost $89 of taxpayer money.  Hopefully the IRS actually used these in their “team building” activities.

Item #5: “Plush Animals”
Even IRS agents need a little love sometimes, which may be why plush animals were purchased with IRS credit cards as give away prizes.  Who wouldn’t want to go home and squeeze their little teddy after a long day of harassing free-market grassroots groups?

Item #6: Bathtub Toy Boats
Another one of the “give-away items” at the IRS managers’ meetings were “bathtub toy boats”.  The IRS spent $418 to purchase these, along with some other “improper decorative and give-away items.”

Item #7: Stove Top Hats
Not many people can pull off the hat like Abe Lincoln did, but that didn’t stop IRS agents from trying to outdo our 16th President.  Stove top hats were purchased using an IRS credit card as yet another “give-away prize.”

Item #8: Kazoos
The IRS must enjoy the sound of Kazoos.  They used your tax money for “novelty decorations and give-away items, such as kazoos” which were awarded as prizes during their managers’ meetings. 

Item #9: “Dinner at an approximate cost of $140 per person.”
The report notes a “dinner at an approximate cost of $140 per person, four times the Federal Government per diem rate in Washington D.C.”  At the time of this conference the per diem rate was $36 for dinner.

Item #10: A $100 Per Person Lunch
The IRS spent five times the Federal Government per diem rate of $18 when they bought lunch at $100 per guest.  And they say there is no such thing as a free lunch.

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Norquist Congratulates Rand Paul on Campaign Launch

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, April 7th, 2015, 11:56 AM PERMALINK

ATR president Grover Norquist today issued the following statement praising Senator Rand Paul:

"Senator Rand Paul has been a strong and consistent friend of taxpayers. I have known Rand Paul since we worked together in the taxpayer movement in the early 1990s. As a Senator he signed and kept the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. If elected president he would be the first taxpayer activist to become president. A healthy precedent."

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35 Governors Declare February 6 as "Ronald Reagan Day"

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Friday, February 6th, 2015, 2:37 PM PERMALINK

Happy Birthday Mr. President. 

The Ronald Reagan Legacy Project sends requests to governors from all 50 states to issue a proclamation declaring February 6 "Ronald Reagan Day" annually. On Reagan's 104th birthday, 35 states -- five with Democrat governors -- signed official proclamations recognizing the late president.

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 108 domestic dedications in 28 states, and 14 international dedications in seven countries

Grover Norquist, founder and chairman of the RRLP, had this to say about President Reagan: “Even though it’s been more than 25 years since he left office, Ronald Reagan remains the leader his successors should emulate. His steadfast leadership revived a lagging U.S. economy, created a period of prosperity that lasted nearly 20 years, and restored America to its position as leader of the free world. His accomplishments outweigh those of all his successors combined. He represents the gold standard for leadership.”

The following 35 Governors have issued proclamations declaring today as Ronald Reagan Day in their states:

Alabama- Robert Bentley (R)

Arizona- Doug Ducey (R)

Arkansas- Asa Hutchinson (R)

Colorado- John Hickenlooper (D)

Delaware-Jack Markell (D)

Florida- Rick Scott (R)

Georgia-Nathan Deal (R)

Idaho- Butch Otter (R)

Illinois- Bruce Rauner (R)

Indiana- Mike Pence (R)

Iowa- Terry Branstad (R)

Kansas- Sam Brownback (R)

Louisiana- Bobby Jindal (R)

Maine- Paul LePage (R)

Maryland- Larry Hogan (R)

Massachusetts- Charlie Baker (R)

Michigan- Rick Snyder (R)

Mississippi- Phil Byant (R)

Nebraska- Pete Ricketts (R)

Nevada- Brian Sandoval (R)

New Hampshire- Maggie Hassan (D)

New Jersey- Chris Christie (R)

New Mexico- Susana Martinez (R)

North Carolina- Pat McCrory (R)

North Dakota- Jack Dalrymple (R)

Ohio- John Kasich (R)

Oklahoma- Mary Fallin (R)

South Carolina- Nikki Haley (R)

South Dakota- Dennis Daugaard (R)

Tennessee- Bill Haslam (R)

Texas- Greg Abbott (R)

Vermont- Peter Shumlin (D)

West Virginia- Earl Ray Tomblin (D)

Wisconsin- Scott Walker (R)

Wyoming- Matt Mead (R)

 

There are 15 governors who have not issued a proclamation declaring Ronald Reagan Day in their states:

Alaska- Bill Walker (I)

California- Jerry Brown (D)

Connecticut- Dan Malloy (D)

Hawaii- David Ige (D)

Kentucky- Steve Beshear (D)

Minnesota- Mark Dayton (D)

Missouri- Jay Nixon (D)

Montana- Steve Bullock (D)

New York- Andrew Cuomo (D)

Oregon- John Kitzhaber (D) 

Pennsylvania- Tom Wolf (D)

Rhode Island- Gina Raimondo (D)

Utah- Gary Herbert (R)

Virginia- Terry McAuliffe (D)

Washington- Jay Inslee (D)

 

 


 

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ATR Presents 2015 State of the Union Bingo


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, January 19th, 2015, 5:46 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform once again presents a series of handy Bingo cards you may use to check off terms and phrases likely to be used during President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.  

Print out all versions of the card and watch the speech with your friends, family, or book club: [BINGO Card I]  [BINGO Card II]  [BINGO Card III]

Official Terms and Definitions:

 

“Work together” = I will work together with my pen and phone.

 

“Infrastructure" or "Roads and Bridges” = Bullet trains to nowhere.


“Internet” = A dangerously under-regulated segment of the economy the FCC should start micromanaging.

 

"Investment” = Tax hikes.

 

“Balanced” = Tax hikes.

 

“Fair share” = Tax hikes.

 

"Inequality” = Tax hikes.


"1%” = How kids feel after a Michelle Obama school lunch.

 

"Children and Grandchildren” = The people picking up the tab.


“Energy” = What my administration expends to ensure the Keystone XL Pipeline is never built.

 

"I or Me” = Center of the known universe.

 

“Education” = Teachers union payoff.

 

“Regulation” = Thank you for not asking about the 300 coal plants that are doomed due to my EPA regs.

 

“Affordable” = Affordable only after a taxpayer-funded subsidy. But not really.

 

"Middle Class” =  Those who are the target of seven tax hikes in Obamacare.

 

"Recovery”  =  The weakest post-1960 recovery on record.

 

“Deficit” = The product of an overspending problem which I want to “fix” with tax hikes.

 

“Compromise” = You pay. I spend.

 

“Responsibility” = Don’t forget to send in your Obamacare 'Shared Responsibility Payment' to the IRS.

 

"Health Insurance” = If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Oh, wait.

 

“Access” = Government mandates + more tax dollars.

 

"Special Interests” = Taxpayers.

 

“Jobs” = Where young adults used to spend their time instead of Mom and Dad’s basement.

 

“God bless America” =  Good luck filling out your Obamacare tax forms. 

 

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IRS Watchdog: Elderly and Disabled Taxpayers Not Allowed to Leave Messages


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, January 14th, 2015, 4:42 PM PERMALINK

In its annual Report to Congress today, the office of the National Taxpayer Advocate outlined a series of Internal Revenue Service failures. In the “Access to the IRS” section, the report details the trouble taxpayers face reaching the right person in order to meet their tax obligations:

"The IRS does not answer the phone at local offices and has even removed the option it once provided for taxpayers, including the elderly and disabled, to leave a message.

Until 2013, taxpayers — including the elderly and disabled — were allowed to leave a voicemail requesting an in-person appointment. But now, elderly and disabled taxpayers attempting to navigate the automated helpline maze are asked to email the IRS to set up an appointment. The automated message instructs as follows:

“If you are disabled or elderly and require special accommodations for service, please email us at…"

But this leaves many taxpayers in the dark. As the report states:

"Demographic research data show only 57 percent of adults over age 65 use the Internet compared with 87 percent of all adults. According to 2010 Census data, only 41 percent of those with a non-severe disability use the Internet and only 22 percent of those with a severe disability age 65 and older use the Internet. For those without Internet access, the only viable ways to reach the IRS are by phone, or in person."

On its helplines, the IRS is required to provide taxpayers the option to speak with a live person. But as the report states, the IRS won’t even answer questions about what lines are considered helplines:

"TAS [Taxpayer Advocate Service] twice inquired of the IRS in a formal information request whether it considers the 3709 lines to be ‘helplines' for the purpose of § 3705(d) of RRA 98, which would require them to have an option to speak with a live person. TAS also asked what lines the IRS does consider to be helplines. Twice, the IRS declined to answer these questions."

The full report may be accessed here.

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The IRS' Bogus "Washington Monument Strategy"


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, January 14th, 2015, 12:49 PM PERMALINK

The IRS is employing scare tactics in their latest gambit to increase its taxpayer-funded budget. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has threatened delayed refunds, long call wait times, the specter of identity theft, and now, no-show days for IRS employees.

This is an old beltway bureaucrat trick. Popularly known as the “Washington Monument Strategy”, it involves bureaucracies weathering budget cuts by making changes in the most painful and transparent way. It harkens back to an old story about the National Park Service complying with a small budget cut by shutting down public tours of the Washington Monument.

“Koskinen is telling the world that he’s not competent and capable enough to manage the IRS with the budget that Congress gave him,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "He should apologize for taking a job he’s not ready for and step down and be replaced by somebody capable. 

The IRS itself was caught wasting time and effort running political interference for President Obama’s re-election campaign by attacking tea party organizations and others who disagreed with the President.  They were doing that rather than managing the IRS. There’s a long list of people who should have been fired for playing politics at the IRS. That will provide some of the savings right there.”

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Over 40 Free Market Groups Outline Requirements for New CBO Director


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, December 29th, 2014, 4:51 PM PERMALINK

Today Americans for Tax Reform and over 40 other free market groups and individuals sent a letter to House and Senate Leadership outlining essential characteristics when considering a new CBO director:

Dear Leaders in the House and Senate,

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in recent years has employed inaccurate and opaque models that impacted political debates and policy outcomes, ultimately to the country's detriment. For example, as Congress debated the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, CBO adopted a mode of analysis that incorporated Jonathan Gruber’s model, using that to score the legislation to justify its passage and to assess its impact. Neither policymakers nor the public were given sufficient information about the model and scoring process, and Professor Gruber himself has acknowledged that this scoring process was manipulated to achieve a desired result. 

The CBO has also consistently used a neo-Keynesian approach to economic analysis, assuming that economic growth will not be negatively affected by the size of government or rate of taxation. By disregarding how incentives change the way people behave, and disregarding the effect of high taxes and government spending in discouraging economic productivity and growth, the CBO has been inherently biased toward larger government and more public spending.  In short, while the CBO used a dynamic scoring model—one that takes into account how incentives impact behavior—on rare occasion, they used it far too sparingly.

To provide the American people with better information and a more thorough understanding of how proposed policies impact economic growth and their own pocketbooks, CBO needs a new director who would use dynamic scoring more broadly, provide more transparency about models and assumptions, and constantly assess which models provided the most accurate assessments in the past so that methodologies can be refined for the future.

As the Chairmen of the House and Senate Budget Committees submit recommendations to the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate for the next CBO director, they should seek someone with a strong research background, sufficient so that he or she will have credibility with both Republicans and Democrats, real world experience with forecasts, and significant management experience commensurate with the importance of leading an agency with such critical responsibilities. Most importantly, however, the candidate must have a commitment to improving CBO, and a willingness to engage with the Joint Committee on Taxation to provide CBO with better input and a clear mandate to make the changes needed (such as greater use of dynamic scoring) so CBO can provide more accurate information to legislators and the American people. 

In addition we suggest the following:

  • The candidate must be willing to examine and challenge the current method of economic analysis, as well as the logic and math that drive the models, and look objectively at past accuracy in terms of the predicted outcomes of different fiscal policies.  This analysis ought to inform the methods and practices of CBO moving forward. 

  • The candidate must also strengthen compliance with CBO’s obligation to disclose the judgments and assumptions embedded in their models, whether through greater oversight or disclosure within their reports, particularly with regard to their macros, multipliers, and assumptions, and the causal interactions between assumptions.  This is critical so that other analysts, legislators, the media and public can better put CBO's conclusions in context. 

  • An honest analysis such as described would inevitably lead to the elimination of the use of positive multipliers for Keynesian spending programs.  It would also increasingly rely on an improved dynamic scoring system to take into account the effects on behavior from increased government spending, taxes and marginal taxes, deficits, and the disincentives that can result from transfer payments and entitlements to individuals to work, save, and invest.

  • The new CBO director should also seek to provide greater insight into how public policies impact individual Americans, by creating and publishing distributional tables that show the effects of spending programs, to balance out the partial picture provided by the Joint Committee’s existing distributional tables of tax programs.

Ultimately, Congress must reform the budget process, and specifically the 1974 Budget Act and current statutory requirement to use the current services baseline, thereby distorting what actually constitutes an increase or a cut over previous year spending. 

  • Until such reforms occur, the new CBO director can help move Congress toward more transparent, effective, real world budgeting both by providing alternate budgets that approximate real world Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, as well as by expanding the realistic spending scenarios beyond the current “alternative baseline,” making visible and transparent in budget reports the spending requirements embedded in, or hidden in, authorizing legislation, above and beyond the appropriations language, that will affect actual spending requirements and consequent costs.

Congress can—indeed it must—do all that it can to ensure that Americans have all the facts about how policies emanating from Washington will impact the economy and people like them. We urge you to appoint a CBO director dedicated to this mission.

Sincerely,   

Heather Higgins
Independent Women’s Voice

Sabrina Schaeffer
Independent Women’s Forum

Grover Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform

Ken Hoagland
Restore America's Voice

Phil Kerpen
American Commitment

Gregory T. Angelo
Log Cabin Republicans

Andrew Langer
Institute for Liberty

Grace-Marie Turner
Galen Institute

Brian Baker
Ending Spending

David Wallace
Restore America's Mission

Donna Hamilton
Virginians for Quality Healthcare

Sally Pipes
Pacific Research Institute

Amy Ridenour
National Center for Public Policy Research

Thomas Schatz
Citizens Against Government Waste

James L. Martin
60 Plus Association

Naomi Lopez Bauman
Illinois Policy Action

Eric Novack
US Health Freedom Coalition

Jenny Beth Martin
Tea Party Patriots

Ginni Thomas
Liberty Consulting

Christopher J. Conover, PhD
Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research
Duke University

Jeffrey A. Singer, MD
Valley Surgical Clinics, Ltd.

Greg Scandlen
Consumers for Health Care Choices

Kathryn A. Serkes
Doctor Patient Medical Association

Pete Sepp
National Taxpayers Union

Kelly Monroe Kullberg
Christians for a Sustainable Economy
The American Conservancy

Larry Kudlow

David Williams
Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Mario H. Lopez
Hispanic Leadership Fund

Andrew Moylan
R Street Institute

Dick Patten
Family Business Defense Council

Penny Nance
Concerned Women for America

Hal Scherz, M.D.
Doc 4 Patient Care

Alan B. West
National Center for Policy Analysis

Bob Williams
State Budget Solutions

Seton Motley
Less Government

Ron Robinson
Young America’s Foundation

Judson Phillips
Tea Party Nation

Ron Pearson
Council for America

Lew Uhler
National Tax Limitation Committee

Niger Innis
The TeaParty.net

Colin Hanna
Let Freedom Ring

Michael A. Needham
Heritage Action for America

Alex St. James
Blacks for Economic Security Trust

Beverly Gossage
HSA/HRA Specialist

Lawson Bader
Competitive Enterprise Institute

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Why Taxpayers Should Support the Cromnibus


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Thursday, December 11th, 2014, 12:14 PM PERMALINK

Today, the U.S. House will vote on a bill to fund most of the government for the remainder of the fiscal year. This spending bill is a solid win for conservatives, as it lives within the Budget Control Act's post-sequester caps, cuts an out-of-control IRS, and guts Obamacare's bailout of Big Insurance.

The most important aspect of the bill is that overall spending lives within the Budget Control Act’s post-sequester caps. Thanks to the sequester, as a percentage of GDP, domestic discretionary spending will soon be at the lowest levels seen in living memory. The sequester is the signature success for conservatives in the past decade.

Additional items of note for taxpayers:

The bill contains a real year-over-year $345 million spending cut to the out-of-control IRS — the lowest level of funding since 2008:

2008: $10.9 (billion)

2009: $11.5

2010: $12.1

2011: $12.1

2012: $11.8

2013: $11.2

2014: $11.2

2015: $10.9

The bill also contains a host of new protections for taxpayers to be enshrined in law: ethics training, impartial application of tax law, and strict confidentiality of taxpayer information. The bill also clamps down on stupid taxpayer-funded videos and wasteful bureaucrat conferences.

No Obamacare bailouts for big insurance. Under existing Obamacare law, health insurance companies that lose money over the next three years are eligible for a taxpayer-financed bailout of their losses. This bill prevents any taxpayer funds from being used to bail out health insurance companies that participate in Obamacare

Finally, the bill contains a one year extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act, a moratorium on Internet taxation.

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The Case Against Doug Elmendorf at CBO

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Friday, November 21st, 2014, 12:22 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist sent an open letter today to House and Senate GOP Leadership laying out seven reasons not to reappoint Doug Elmendorf as Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

Elmendorf’s CBO Got Grubered.  It was Doug Elmendorf who adopted the scoring models for Obamacare given to him by Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber.  These inaccurate models were key to CBO’s assertion that Obamacare would be good for health insurance markets and reduce the deficit.  That would be the same Jonathan Gruber who said that lying to the American people was necessary to pass Obamacare because Americans are stupid.

Elmendorf’s CBO Pushes Failed Keynesian Economic Analysis.  As Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute has pointed out, “the CBO – over and over again – produced reports based on Keynesian methodology to claim that Obama’s so-called stimulus was creating millions of jobs even as the unemployment rate was climbing….CBO also radically underestimated the job losses that would be caused by Obamacare…CBO has produced analysis asserting that higher taxes are good for the economy, even to the point of implying that growth is maximized when tax rates are 100 percent…When purporting to measure loopholes in the tax code, the CBO chose to use a left-wing benchmark that assumes there should be double taxation of income that is saved and invested…[and] on rare occasions when CBO has supportive analysis of tax cuts, the bureaucrats rely on bad methodology.”

Elmendorf’s CBO “Can’t” Score Obamacare.  On June 17, 2014, CBO Director Doug Elmendorf issued a blog post on CBO’s website where he explains that CBO cannot any longer estimate the budgetary impact of Obamacare: “Attempting to construct a counterfactual benchmark for the budget that excluded [Obamacare] would raise significant challenges and would go beyond CBO’s traditional role in the budget process.”  This was another way of saying that CBO had given up the Gruber-led façade that Obamacare would reduce the deficit, but was not willing to show their math in getting there.

Elmendorf chooses to not make CBO's analysis fully transparent.  CBO does not disclose—in detail, and for peer review—their scoring methodologies.  If they did, there would be a lot more pressure on them to incorporate macroeconomic analysis into their scores.  This was a conscious choice of Doug Elmendorf’s.

Elmendorf’s CBO Used Dynamic Scoring Only Once—to Help the Obama Administration. The whole history of the CBO is one of opposition to so-called “dynamic scoring,” which is nothing more than incorporating common sense assumptions about changes to the economy resulting from large fiscal policy shifts.  There is one notable exception—the 2013 Senate immigration bill.  There and only there, Elmendorf’s CBO used both halves of its brain and produced a dynamic score.  It just so happens that this immigration bill was a priority of the Obama administration, and producing a score here (as opposed to killing the death tax, or repealing Obamacare, or cutting the capital gains tax rate) would advance to the administration’s agenda.

Elmendorf is a liberal Democrat appointed by former Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) under a Democrat Senate majority. It’s a longtime rule of the U.S. Congress that the majority party gets to pick their own staff.  That’s what Senate Democrats did when they appointed one of their own, Doug Elmendorf. It’s absurd to say that Democrats have that right, but that Republicans are not free to pick their own CBO Director when they are in the majority.

Elmendorf served on President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors and in the Clinton Treasury Department.  He was a senior fellow at the liberal establishment Brookings Institution.  He even got a Ph.D. from Harvard under the dissertation guidance of former Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.  There is no doubt that he is a career Man of the Left.

The Bottom Line: Reappointing Doug Elmendorf Is an Endorsement of CBO’s Practices. The CBO under Doug Elmendorf adopted all the bad practices of his predecessors, acquired some new ones (for example, a disturbing discontinuity between Obamacare’s baseline score and CBO’s long term fiscal outlook), and has not implemented needed reforms to CBO.  Reappointing Elmendorf would be validating the status quo.

 

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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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