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Arizona Lawmakers Vote to Shield Taxpayers From Massive State Tax Hike

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Posted by ATR on Friday, February 1st, 2019, 3:04 PM PERMALINK

Yesterday, 47 Arizona Republican Representatives and Senators voted to protect Arizonans from a large tax increase and all 42 Democrats and one Republican, Kate Brophy McGee, voted to keep the door open to a massive tax increase on Arizona taxpayers.

Because a tax cut is a pay increase, the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), passed in December 2017, has already provided 90 percent of Americans with higher take-home pay, and resulted in more than 750 companies giving pay raises, larger 401k contributions, and increasing investment, among other things.

One unintended consequence of this new law, however, is that due to the way some state tax codes conform to federal tax code, some taxpayers could face a tax increase at the state level if no actions are taken to protect them. If Arizona simply conforms to the federal tax code and does nothing else, taxpayers will be burdened with a roughly $155 million state tax increase.

Fortunately, this will not be the case for Arizonans when Governor Ducey signs the tax reform package passed by the House and Senate Republicans. Rather than simply conforming to the federal code, Senator JD Mesnard (R), House Majority Leader Warren Petersen (R), Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers (R), the freshmen Republicans and all Republicans in the House and Senate except one supported conformity legislation that would offset the boost in state revenue collections by reducing income tax rates across the board.

As a technical note, both changes – conformity and the rate reductions – would only be effective for tax year 2018. This bill will allow individual taxpayers, families, and small businesses across the Grand Canyon State to benefit from the simplicity of conformity without having to foot a higher state tax bill, while lawmakers determine the best way to permanently conform to the federal code without taking any more of their constituents’ hard-earned money.

This legislation becomes law with the signature of Governor Ducey.

Photo Credit: jpellgen


Francis Rooney Endorses Large Tax Increase

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Posted by ATR on Thursday, January 31st, 2019, 9:00 AM PERMALINK

Call Congressman Francis Rooney at 202-225-2536 and ask him to remove his name from the carbon tax bill.

Congressman Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) has endorsed a bill that would impose a significant tax increase on the American people.

The bill is a carbon tax designed to raise the cost of everyday life. Rooney is the only Republican sponsoring the bill. Voters across the country continue to reject carbon taxes -- even in blue states -- but Rooney is pushing the bill anyway.

 

Rooney claims the bill is "revenue neutral" but this is not a truthful assertion. The bill is a tax increase, a very large tax increase.

Details:

The bill imposes a massive and continually ratcheting national energy tax, allowing politicians to raise taxes without ever having to vote.

How big is the tax increase? Likely north of $1 trillion over a decade. There isn't an official score on the bill yet, but a recent CBO report estimated the revenue a generic $25 per ton (increasing 2% per year) carbon tax bill would raise: $1.1 trillion over ten years. The Rooney bill starts at $15 per ton and increases by a much steeper $10 per ton per year (and in some cases by $15 per ton per year). By any reasonable estimate, the Rooney carbon tax will impose an extremely large tax increase on the American people.

The bill gives czar-like powers to EPA and IRS chiefs. The bill directs the IRS and EPA to work closely together on enforcement. The EPA chief is given 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."

The bill shovels taxpayer money into a slush fund for IRS, EPA, and State Department bureaucrats. The IRS and EPA will have direct access to taxpayer money for what the bill calls "Administrative Expenses" and "Other Administrative Expenses." For reasons unclear, State Department bureaucrats will also have access to the taxpayer funds. What could go wrong?

The bill 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 various agencies. Then a leftover "dividend" is supposedly sent out, which is then subject to income tax. Got it? The "dividend" will need to be reconciled on your federal and state tax return. You'll have the joy of chasing down another tax form before April 15 each year. Here is the bill language:

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

The bill attempts backdoor family planning by considering a child -- and anyone under the age of 19 -- to be one-half of a person. Because the carbon tax will raise the cost of everything, household budgets will get squeezed. Since energy is built into the price of everything, the government will end up with increased control over your livelihood. And the carbon tax bill considers children and all Americans under the age of 19 to be one-half of one person. Why? Backdoor family planning? 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 of amounts available for the month in the Carbon Dividend Trust Fund."

The bill greases the skids for a Value-Added Tax, a cash cow for even bigger government.

The bill authorizes carbon tax enforcement agents. The bill authorizes 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 2020 and thereafter -

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

The bill authorizes certain government sharing of Social Security "individual identity information." More bureaucrats will have access to your information. The bill states:

“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."

Call Congressman Francis Rooney at 202-225-2536 and ask him to remove his name from the carbon tax bill.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


Terrible Details of the Coons-Flake Carbon Dioxide Tax

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Posted by ATR on Wednesday, December 19th, 2018, 6:00 PM PERMALINK

On Wednesday Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Jeff Flake (?-Ariz.) released a carbon tax bill to impose a new national energy tax on the American people. The bill is a tax increase which will increase utility bills and the price of all products and services. In classic politician-speak, Coons and Flake dubbed it "The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2018."

It's no wonder Flake threw his name on the Coons bill on his way out of town -- voters across the USA have consistently rejected carbon taxes when faced with the issue at the ballot box.

Regarding the Coons-Flake bill:

The bill is a very large tax increase. Coons and Flake claim the bill is revenue neutral. This is  false. The bill is a tax increase.

How big is the tax increase? Likely north of $1 trillion over a decade. There isn't an official score, but a recent CBO report estimated the revenue a generic $25 per ton (increasing 2% per year) carbon tax bill would raise: $1.1 trillion over ten years. The Coons-Flake bill starts at $15 per ton and increases by a much steeper $10 per ton per year (and in some cases by $15 per ton per year). By any reasonable estimate, the Coons-Flake carbon tax will impose an extremely large tax increase on the American people.

The bill gives czar-like powers to EPA and IRS chiefs. The bill directs the IRS and EPA to work closely together on enforcement. The EPA chief is given 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." Surely these powers will not be abused.

The bill shovels taxpayer money into a slush fund for IRS, EPA, and State Department bureaucrats. The IRS and EPA will have direct access to taxpayer money for what the bill calls "Administrative Expenses" and "Other Administrative Expenses." For reasons unclear, State Department bureaucrats will also have access to the taxpayer funds. What could go wrong?

The bill 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 various agencies. Then a leftover "dividend" is supposedly sent out, which is then subject to income tax. Got it? The "dividend" will need to be reconciled on your federal and state tax return. You'll have the joy of chasing down another tax form before April 15 each year. Here is the bill language:

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

The bill attempts backdoor family planning by considering a child -- and anyone under the age of 19 -- to be one-half of a person. Because the carbon tax will raise the cost of everything, household budgets will get squeezed. Since energy is built into the price of everything, the government will end up with increased control over your livelihood. And the carbon tax bill considers children and all Americans under the age of 19 to be one-half of one person. Why? Backdoor family planning? 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 of amounts available for the month in the Carbon Dividend Trust Fund."

The bill greases the skids for a Value-Added Tax, a cash cow for even bigger government.

The bill authorizes carbon tax enforcement agents. The bill authorizes 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.”

The bill authorizes certain government sharing of Social Security "individual identity information." More bureaucrats will have access to your information. The bill states:

“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 Coons-Flake carbon tax bill. "The tax will be hidden in the price of all goods and services. Worse, it increases automatically year after year so the politicians can raise your taxes without ever having to vote," said Grover Norquist, president of ATR.

 

Photo Credit: Jim Heath


Carbon Tax Bill Will Chop Down at Least 5,000 Trees Each Year

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Posted by ATR on Thursday, November 29th, 2018, 3:30 PM PERMALINK


The carbon tax bill introduced by a House Democrat this week will kill at least 5,000 trees each and every year, according to a back-of-the-envelope calculation. Here's how:

-The bill -- a national energy tax that will raise the price of food, transportation, utilities, and all household goods -- is an extremely large tax increase which will send billions of taxpayer dollars to Washington DC. The bill specifically authorizes the IRS, EPA, and State Department to siphon off taxpayer funds for what the bill calls "Administrative Expenses" and "Other Administrative Expenses."

-Because the carbon tax will make everything in your life more expensive, someone in the government will be sending out monthly payments to every household in America. (The payments, by the way, are subject to the income tax. Wouldn't it be easier if they didn't take your money in the first place?)

That brings us to the 5,000 trees.

-According to the FDIC, there are 8.4 million American households that are unbanked. Becuase these households do not have a bank account, it means the government will have to send paper checks through the mail.

-8.4 million households mutiplied by 12 (one check per month per recipient) equals 100,800,000 paper checks, not to mention the accompanying envelopes, check stubs, any accompanying informational forms, and mandatory end-of-year tax forms showing the amount received, since the payments are subject to income tax. Due to rigid security and quality specifications of U.S. Treasury checks, there are practical limits on the amount of recycled fiber content.

-According to the Sierra Club, a 45-foot, 8-inch diameter tree produces 10,000 to 20,000 pieces of paper.

-100,800,000 paper checks divided by 20,000 equals 5,040 innocent, pristine trees killed each and every year.

Of course, once the carbon-tax-trees are chopped down, they'll be loaded on fuel-burning trucks and taken to a processing plant. Then the trees -- now in paper form -- will be loaded on another fuel-burning truck for delivery to the government. The government will put the paper checks on fuel-burning mail trucks. If the unbanked households actually receive the checks, they'll have to find a place to cash the check. To get there, perhaps the recipient will ride in a fuel-burning vehicle, and then pay a check cashing fee upon arrival.

Adding to the joy, during tax filing season the recipient will need to track down a newly created tax form from the government showing the amount they received, adding to the complexities and frustrations of meeting the April 15 deadline. The amount must be reconciled on federal and state tax returns. Excited yet?

Further details of the bill 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."

Stay tuned to www.ATR.org for more horrible carbon tax updates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Marco Verch


Democrats Plot Tax Hikes

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Posted by ATR on Saturday, November 17th, 2018, 4:00 PM PERMALINK


As Nancy Pelosi measures the drapes in Washington, Democrats are plotting to rig U.S. House rules to raise taxes. The following Democrat tax hikes are being considered:

30% Corporate Income Tax Hike. Democrats want to raise the U.S. corporate income tax rate to 27%, a key Democrat told Politico recently. This would give the U.S. a higher rate than China and most countries in the developed world. Congressional Republicans and President Trump lowered the rate to 21% as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which turbo-charged economic growth, job creation, and the highest wage increases in years.

If Democrats hike the corporate tax rate to 27% it represents a 30% increase in the rate, putting Americans at a significant worldwide disadvantage, killing jobs in the process.

As a direct result of the Republican/Trump corporate rate cut, utility bills -- gas, water, electric -- have been reduced in all 50 states. ATR has a list of such examples here. In each of these cases, utilities have cited the corporate rate cut as the reason for your utility bills going down.

So when the Democrats threaten to hike the corporate rate, they are looking at every American and saying, "We are going to raise your utility bills, month after month."

Personal Income and Small Business Tax Hike. Democrats want to raise the top personal income tax rate to 39.6%, a major blow to households as well as small businesses who pay through the personal side of the tax code.

Death Tax Hike. Democrats have proposed a massive increase in the Death Tax. After working, saving, and paying taxes over a lifetime, families and businesses will get walloped with a much higher Death Tax bill under the Democrat plan.

Gun Tax Hike. Congressional Democrats have already introduced a bill to radically increase the federal excise tax on guns and ammunition. The bill’s sponsor has acknowledged he would like to make guns cost prohibitive and “outlaw them altogether.”

The Democrat gun tax hike bill does the following:

-Doubles the federal excise tax on pistols and revolvers, from 10 percent to 20 percent.

-Nearly doubles the federal excise tax on shotguns and rifles, raising it from 11 percent up to 20 percent.

-Nearly quintuples the federal excise tax on ammunition, raising it from 11 percent up to 50 percent.

The chief gun tax bill sponsor wants to outlaw guns and said he doesn’t mind if low-income Americans are unable to have guns due to his gun tax increase.

National Carbon Tax. The official policy platform of the Democrat party calls for a national carbon tax on the American people.

Democrats are eyeing your wallet,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "Get ready."

 

Photo Credit: Mobilus in Mobili


Norquist Endorses Schweikert for Republican Policy Committee Chair

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Posted by ATR on Tuesday, November 13th, 2018, 4:44 PM PERMALINK


Today, conservative activist Grover Norquist issued the following statement in support of Congressman David Schweikert’s candidacy for chairmanship of the Republican Policy Committee:

“Congressman David Schweikert is the strongest possible candidate to chair the Republican Policy Committee. There is nobody better at articulating pro-growth, free market policies. Congressman Schweikert is the exactly the thought leader Republicans need to regain the majority.”

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


Blue State Washington Rejects Carbon Tax, Again

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Posted by ATR on Wednesday, November 7th, 2018, 12:30 AM PERMALINK

Washington state voters have soundly rejected a carbon tax, Initiative 1631.

This is the second time in a row Washington voters have said NO to the aggressive carbon tax pushers. Carbon taxes continue to be politcally toxic.

"The carbon tax is gasoline tax plus a tax on home heating and air conditioning. A carbon tax raises the cost of living for all citizens. The carbon tax is so devastating to job creation and economic growth that it should never be imposed," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "Some carbon tax advocates suggest that we try it out on one state to see how much damage it does. Washington State has just told the world it doesn't want to be that guinea pig. Again."

Photo Credit: Sean Davis


Gillum’s Loss Spares Floridians 40% Tax Hike

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Posted by ATR on Tuesday, November 6th, 2018, 9:57 PM PERMALINK

Democrat Andrew Gillum's loss in the Florida gubernatorial election will spare Floridians his massive 40% corporate income tax hike. Republican Ron DeSantis defeated Gillum in a contest with significant national ramifications.

The Gillum tax hike would have given Florida the highest corporate tax in the region.

The Bernie Sanders-backed Gillum wanted to impose a massive tax increase on Floridians, starting with a corporate tax hike of over 40 percent, a tax hike of over a billion dollars.

The Gillum tax would have given the state a higher corporate tax rate than Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi.

The neighboring state corporate rates are as follows:

North Carolina            3.0% (Note: NC's rate is dropping down to 2.5% in Jan. 2019)

South Carolina            5.0%

Mississippi                  5.0%

Georgia                        6.0%   

Tennessee                   6.5%

Alabama                      6.5%

GILLUM TAX HIKE      7.75%             

Thankfully Florida voters rejected the tax-hiking Gillum.

"DeSantis took the Pledge never to raise taxes," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. " Gillum didn't take the Pledge and instead threatened a 40 percent tax hike on Floridians. Voters made their choice."

See also: Florida Examples of Tax Reform Good News

Photo Credit: 401(K) 2012


Utah Voters Defeat Gas Tax Hike

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Posted by ATR on Tuesday, November 6th, 2018, 6:06 PM PERMALINK

It was a bad night for gas tax hikes on the ballot this Tuesday in the 2018 midterm elections. 

While Missouri voters overwhelmingly rejected Proposition D, a ballot measure that would resulted in a 58% state gas tax hike, Utah voters sent a clear message to state lawmakers they don't want them to even think about raising the state gas tax. 

Non-binding Question 1 asked Utah voters if they wanted to advise the legislature to raise the state gas tax. Utah voters rejected the question with more than 65% voting NO

Photo Credit: Mike Mozart


Are New Hampshire Lawmakers Going to Burden Ratepayers With Higher Energy Costs?

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Posted by ATR on Wednesday, September 12th, 2018, 4:58 PM PERMALINK

Tomorrow morning, New Hampshire lawmakers will be heading to Concord for veto day, where they will determine the fate of the 6 bills that were rejected by Governor Sununu.

Of those 6, New Hampshire residents concerned about their utility bills are probably most anxious to see the outcome of Senate Bill 365 and Senate Bill 446. Should these misguided pieces of legislation receive a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers – enough to override the Governor’s veto – ratepayers in New Hampshire should prepare to have their electricity bills increase by roughly $100 million over the next three years.

The state of New Hampshire has 6 biomass – wood burning – power plants that have been heavily subsidized for years. These subsidies have been a terrible deal for New Hampshire taxpayers, who have been footing the bill in the form of higher electricity costs. SB 365 would exacerbate this problem.

SB 365 would force distribution utilities to pay biomass power plants above market rates, further shielding them from the competition of lower-priced alternatives. These costs, too, would be passed onto New Hampshire ratepayers, costing them around $25 million a year.

Similarly, SB 446, which pertains to net metering, would also raise costs on ratepayers in New Hampshire. Net metering is intended to push consumers towards the use of renewables like rooftop solar by allowing them to sell their excess power back to the grid, thus reducing their own energy bills. Ultimately, this cost shifting scheme results in rooftop solar consumers being subsidized by consumers who do not have or cannot afford solar.

SB 446 would worsen the consequences of such cost shifting by raising the cap on New Hampshire’s net metering program from 1mw to 5mw and forcing utilities to compensate solar energy generators above wholesale rates. Much like SB 365, SB 446 would benefit a select few at the expense of the rest and is projected to cost ratepayers up to $10 million a year.

New Hampshire ratepayers already face some of the highest energy prices in the country. Piling legislation such as SB 365 and SB 446 onto this financial burden would only make matters worse, particularly for those who can least afford it.

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