Ben Rajadurai

New Michigan Taxpayer Protection Caucus Announced, Led by Representative Andrew Beeler

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Posted by Ben Rajadurai on Thursday, March 11th, 2021, 11:52 AM PERMALINK

Michigan State Representative Andrew Beeler announced the formation of a new Taxpayer Protection Caucus. Representative  Beeler and other pro-taxpayer legislators joining will work together to protect Michigan from persistent pressure to add new taxes or continue reckless spending practices. 

Beeler, who represents Michigan’s 83rd district, is one of sixteen signers of ATR’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Members who have signed the pledge are welcomed and encouraged to join the Taxpayer Protection Caucus. 

“I am honored to be asked to chair this caucus,” Beeler said, “The members of our group all share a common belief that the taxpayers of Michigan need a strong voice in the Legislature, perhaps now more than ever.”

The Taxpayer Protection Caucus will provide a single voice on tax issues among pro-taxpayer legislators and form a body of legislators that believe in the same principle: no new taxes. The caucus will build consensus among like-minded representatives to protect taxpayers from excessive state spending and deficit budgets. 

To join the caucus, legislators must be signers of Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a written commitment to constituents and state residents to “oppose and vote against any efforts to increase taxes.” Every state (with the exception of unicameral Nebraska) will soon have both a Senate and House caucus consisting of all pledge signers in the legislature.


More from Americans for Tax Reform

Massachusetts Small Businesses Face Surprise Tax Bill

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Posted by Ben Rajadurai on Friday, March 5th, 2021, 9:52 AM PERMALINK

Massachusetts small businesses have struggled under the weight of the pandemic-driven downturn. Data from the Opportunity Insights Recovery Tracker shows that the number of small businesses open is down 37% in Massachusetts since the start of 2020. These statistics likely would have been much worse if federal lawmakers didn’t enact the Paycheck Protection Program as part of the 2020 CARES Act to provide aid to struggling small businesses. 

Approximately 120,000 Massachusetts businesses utilized Paycheck Protection Program federal loans to survive a sudden, once-in-a-century pandemic that shut their businesses down through no fault of their own.  Once they established the PPP, federal lawmakers made clear that if a company took the loan and maintained normal operations, they would forgive the loan, and the IRS would treat the loan as a tax-free grant. Beacon Hill legislators have so far failed to do the same, and Bay State employers are facing the prospect of surprise state income tax bills this spring as a result 

Due to the way the Massachusetts tax code conforms to the federal tax code, the legislature must take action to ensure PPP loans – which were a lifeline to many employers and advertised as tax-free – are not treated as taxable income for small businesses at the state level. Failure to do so would result in many struggling companies facing a surprise income tax bill at a time when they can least afford it. 

Massachusetts businesses now face a March 15 deadline before their tax bills are due. A series of legislation with bipartisan support have attracted over 100 co-sponsors to finally fix this egregious error before it’s too late. However, Beacon Hill leadership has remained far more interested in expensive new climate regulations than protecting small businesses. Questions remain over whether leadership will bring this to a vote. Speaker Ron Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka must act now to move a clean bill forward and protect small businesses from an expense they could never have expected to pay.  

By clicking here, Massachusetts residents can reach out to their representatives and state senators and urge them to avoid state taxation of pandemic relief by supporting SD172, HD484, HD1338, and HD1965. 

Costly Real-Times Sales Tax Collection Proposals would Hurt Small Businesses

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Posted by Ben Rajadurai on Friday, February 26th, 2021, 2:05 PM PERMALINK

Massachusetts is home to the 16th worst Business Tax Climate in the United States, according to the Tax Foundation. Aside from high taxes and a poorly structured code, small businesses in Massachusetts contend with soaring rent and costly regulatory regimes. Despite all of this and after suffering from a year of economic downturn, pandemic-induced lockdowns, and new expenses, small businesses in Massachusetts face even more new fees and regulations from their state government. 

Members of the Massachusetts legislature are again considering a real-time sales tax remittance requirement for retailers, which does not increase revenue for state coffers like other tax grabs, but does impose significant new costs on employers at a time when many businesses are struggling just to stay open. While this misguided proposal wouldn’t raise any new revenue, a real-time sales tax collection and remittance requirement would force businesses to create an entirely new payment system that would saddle employers with new compliance costs, further reducing the job-creating and sustaining capacity of Bay State small businesses while raising new privacy concerns for consumers.

The retail infrastructure required to fully comply with a real-time sales tax remittance mandate does not exist. Current payment processors only collect a final purchase amount and aren’t built to collect the data required to remit a sales tax instantaneously. As a result, the real-times sales tax requirement some on Beacon Hill are calling for would force businesses and financial institutions to build new systems from scratch in order to comply, all to generate no new revenue, just earlier collection. The State Tax Research Institute estimatesthat this process would cost businesses almost 1.2 billion dollars in costs.

Aside from the added costs, the real-time sales tax proposal raises significant consumer privacy and information security questions. The current sales tax collection and remittance system is already a complex web that requires coordination from multiple government agencies and stakeholders. Any new information needed to make a transaction compliant presents another point of attack for bad actors to access even more consumer information. 

Forcing the nation’s first real-time sales tax requirement on employers would only serve to make Massachusetts a more costly and less hospitable place to do business and invest. The real-time sale tax proposal being advocated for in Massachusetts would inflict pain on in-state employers, with no gain for state coffers. This misguided policy would create no additional revenue for the state. It would only levy new rules and associated costs for businesses that are just beginning to recover from the adverse effects of the pandemic-driven downturn. Several state legislatures have proposed and eventually rejected instant sales tax remittance because they ultimately understood that it was an onerously expensive and unnecessary policy that brought no new revenue to the state. Massachusetts lawmakers should heed the lessons from those failed attempts. 

Pete Snyder Stands with Virginia Taxpayers

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Posted by Ben Rajadurai on Thursday, February 18th, 2021, 9:33 AM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform commends Pete Snyder, who is running to be the next Governor of Virginia, for signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a written commitment to Virginia taxpayers that, if elected, he will oppose and veto any and all efforts to raise taxes.

Pete Snyder has already made it clear that getting kids back in school and empowering parents with expanded school choice will be a top priority if he’s elected governor. With Snyder’s signing of the taxpayer protection pledge, Virginia households can rest assured that state taxes would not go up during a Snyder administration.

“The Pledge is a way of letting all voters know that you’re not thinking about raising taxes but thinking about reforming Government and that makes all the difference in how a state goes,” said Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform. “I thank Pete Snyder for making this important public commitment to all Virginia taxpayers.”

By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, candidates and incumbents make a written commitment to oppose any and all tax increases. While ATR has the role of promoting and monitoring the Pledge, the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is made to a candidate’s constituents, who deserve to know where candidates stand on the tax issue. Since the Pledge is a prerequisite for many voters, it is considered binding as long as an individual holds the office for which they signed the Pledge.

So far, three candidates running to replace outgoing Governor Ralph Northam have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge: Pete Snyder, Sergio de la Peña, and Glenn Youngkin.

Today, the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is offered to every candidate for state and federal office and to all incumbents. Nearly 1,400 elected officials, from state representative to governor to US Senator, have signed the Pledge. 

New candidates sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge regularly. For the most up-to-date information on this race or any other, please visit the ATR Pledge Database.

Candidates for governor can still make this important commitment to voters ahead of the June 8 primary by visiting:

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