Caroline Anderegg

ATR Releases List of 2015 State Pledge Signers Ahead of Virginia General Election

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Posted by Caroline Anderegg on Monday, November 2nd, 2015, 12:57 PM PERMALINK

With the Virginia general election taking place tomorrow, Americans for Tax Reform has released an updated list of incumbents and challengers for state legislative office who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. These candidates have made a written commitment to their constituents to oppose any and all efforts to increase taxes. ATR strongly encourages taxpayers to consider those who have made this commitment when they vote tomorrow, Tuesday, November 3rd. The list of incumbents and challengers who have signed the Pledge and will be on the ballot Tuesday is as follows:

Incumbents:

  • David Albo (H-42)
  • Robert Bell (H-58)
  • Richard Black (S-13)
  • Kathy Byron (H-22)
  • Ben Cline (H-24)
  • Mark Cole (H-88)
  • Kirk Cox (H-66)
  • Tom Garrett Jr. (S-22)
  • C. Todd Gilbert (H-15)
  • Greg Habeeb (H-8)
  • Jill Holtzman (S-27)
  • Tim Hugo (H-40)
  • Steve Landes (H-25)
  • Dave LaRock (H-33)
  • Scott Lingamfelter (H-31)
  • Robert G. Marshall (H-13)
  • Randy Minchew (H-10)
  • Steve Newman (S-23)
  • Mark Obenshain (S-26)
  • Israel O’Quinn (H-5)
  • Chris Peace (H-97)
  • Frank M. Ruff (S-15)
  • Brian Suojanen (H-87)
  • Bill Stanley (S-20)
  • Jill Vogel (S-27)
  • R. Lee Ware, Jr. (H-65)
  • Michael J. Webert (H-18)
  • Tony Wilt (H-26)
  • Tommy Wright (H-61)

 

Challengers:

  • Mark Anderson (H-33)
  • Amanda Chase (S-11)
  • Nancy Dye (S-21)
  • Glen Sturtevant (S-10)
  • Anna Urman (H-43)

 

Click here to find out where to vote. 

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ATR Releases List of 2015 State Pledge Signers Ahead of New Jersey General Election

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Posted by Caroline Anderegg on Monday, November 2nd, 2015, 12:57 PM PERMALINK

With the New Jersey general election taking place tomorrow, Americans for Tax Reform has released an updated list of incumbents and challengers for state legislative office who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. These candidates have made a written commitment to their constituents to oppose any and all efforts to increase taxes. ATR strongly encourages taxpayers to consider those who have made this commitment when they vote on Tuesday. November 3rd. The list of incumbents and challengers who have signed the Pledge and will be on the ballot Tuesday is as follows:

Incumbents:

  • Mary Pat Angelini (A-11)
  • Jon Bramnick (A-21)
  • Anthony Bucco (A-25)
  • Michael Patrick Carroll (A-25)
  • Caroline Casagrande (A-11)
  • John DiMaio (A-23)
  • Sam Fiocchi (A-1)
  • Louis Greenwald (A-6)
  • Amy Handlin (A-13)
  • Sean Kean (A-30)
  • Declan O’Scanlon (A-13)
  • David Rible (A-30)
  • Holly Schepisi (A-39)
  • Jay Webber (A-26)

 

Challengers:

  • Damien Caillault (A-27)
  • Jeff Hetrick (A-27)
  • Thomas Maras (A-19)
  • Robert Mettler (A-17)
  • James “Jim” Sauro (A-1)
  • Hank Schroeder (A-30)
  • Jesus Varela (A-19)
  • William “Bo” Vastine (A-22)

 

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The Grover Norquist Show: Corporate Welfare in the Ex-Im Bank & the Federal Sugar Program

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Posted by Caroline Anderegg on Wednesday, October 28th, 2015, 4:54 PM PERMALINK

In episode 41 of The Grover Norquist Show, Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, discussed the corruption of the Export-Import Bank and the need for reform in the federal sugar program.

Spending advocates in Congress are attempting to resurrect Ex-Im, the poster child for corporate welfare that loses $2 billion every year. What most people don’t know is that three quarters of the loans and financial assistance put out by Ex-Im goes to just 10 companies, which leads to companies politicking in order to get their hands on billions of dollars in low-cost loans.

In addition to Ex-Im, Grover also explains the need for reform to the federal sugar program—yet another display of crony capitalism. Currently, the federal government keeps the cost of sugar several times higher than the world average by enforcing quotas on how much sugar can come in, keeping the price artificially expensive. This in turn hurts the companies that use sugar in their goods and pushes them to move overseas, evidenced by Kraft Foods giant moving its Life Savers plant to Canada. Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) is leading the drive for major reforms to this program with bipartisan support.

To find out more about the consequences of the corruption in the Ex-Im Bank’s corporate welfare and the federal sugar program, click here or listen to the podcast below.

 

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Jess Fields Signs Taxpayer Protection Pledge

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Posted by Caroline Anderegg on Wednesday, October 28th, 2015, 2:22 PM PERMALINK

Jess Fields, a candidate for the Texas House of Representatives in the 14th District, signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge today. In signing the Pledge, which commits signers to “oppose any and all efforts to increase taxes,” Fields makes it clear that he will stand up for Texas taxpayers and not Austin spending interests.

Today the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is offered to every candidate for state office. Nearly 1,000 state legislators and 13 governors across the country have signed the Pledge. To date, 39 U.S. Senators and 219 sitting members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge.

“I want to congratulate Jess Fields for signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, and in doing so, affirming his commitment to protect Lone Star State taxpayers,” said Grover Norquist, president of ATR. “By signing the Pledge, Jess demonstrates that he understands the problems of hard-working Texas taxpayers and that he will be a great fiscal steward for the state.  I challenge all candidates running for elected office to make this important commitment to taxpayers by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge today.”

Following his term as a College Station City Councilman, Fields worked for two years at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a free market think tank that advocates for lower taxes, less spending, and more liberty across the state of Texas. The primary for the Texas legislature will be March 1, 2016. Jess Fields is currently the only candidate to represent Texas’s 14th House District who has made it clear he will not raise taxes if elected.


The Grover Norquist Show: John Kasich's Tax Plan

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Posted by Caroline Anderegg on Tuesday, October 20th, 2015, 3:07 PM PERMALINK

In episode 40 of the Grover Norquist Show, president of Americans for Tax Reform Grover Norquist discusses presidential candidate and Ohio governor John Kasich’s tax and budget reform plan.

Gov. Kasich lowers the personal income tax rate to Reagan era rates, simplifying eight brackets to three and lowering the top rate to 28 percent. He brings down capital gains and dividend tax rates to 15 percent. He fully eliminates the death tax and allows for full business expensing, both of which has become standard components of the Republican tax plans.  Lastly, Kasich brings down the corporate rates to allow us to become more competitive with foreign countries.

Most notably Gov. Kasich outlines a budget reform plan that gives power back to the states to decide how to run their entitlement programs. To find out more about Kasich’s proposed reforms, click here or listen to the podcast below. 

 


New Leadership Must Remain Diligent, Keep Spending Capped

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Posted by Caroline Anderegg on Tuesday, October 20th, 2015, 11:58 AM PERMALINK

When the Tea Party burst onto the political stage in 2009 the country was on the brink of financial disaster with a trillion dollar deficit growing by the minute.

The movement was a direct response to the Bush bailouts and the exorbitant spending policies that President Obama, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Harry Reid (D-Nev.) were pushing under the thinly veiled guise of economic stimulus. The small-government crusaders drew a line in the sand. As noted in the Daily Signal:

The Tea Party, more than any other political organization, sprang into action, with the single-minded purpose of forcing an end to this spending orgy. Spending has fallen over a three-year period from 2011-2014 for the first time since Joe DiMaggio roamed center field for the New York Yankees.

While they were on the frontlines of the movement, the Tea Party would not have succeeded without the help of House Speaker John Boehner.

Given Speaker Boehner’s abrupt retirement announcement, and the ensuing drama to replace him, the narrative surrounding his legacy has far from done the Ohio Congressman justice.

Criticism of his leadership has come from both the media and members of his own party, but Speaker Boehner played an integral role in the Tea Party effort to keep the nation from nose diving off the fiscal cliff.

He held the line on tight spending caps during the budget deal and refused Obama’s proposed tax hikes, despite resistance from House Democrats and the administration.

Americans for Tax Reform president, Grover Norquist, praised the joint effort to limit spending as a part of Boehner’s legacy as Speaker:

Under Boehner’s leadership, the House passed the Budget Control Act, which successfully restrained spending by $2.5 trillion and instituted numerous budget caps. He also led a push for major entitlement reform, further reducing government spending.

It is vital that the new Speaker, whomever he or she may be, continue the fight to shrink spending by keeping the BCA caps in place. If he or she does not remain diligent, the new party leadership will be saddled with the legacy of undoing the great progress made by Speaker Boehner and the Tea Party who unwaveringly fought for reduced spending.
 


Why Vapers Should Care About the Remote Transactions Parity Act

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Posted by Caroline Anderegg on Friday, October 16th, 2015, 12:25 PM PERMALINK

The Remote Transactions Parity Act (RTPA) poses a major threat to sellers of e-cigarette and vapor products across the country. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah-03), changes the way online products are taxed in a way that is ultimately a form of higher taxation without representation.

Currently, online sales are taxed using origin-based sourcing. This means that the seller collects sales taxes for the state where they are physically based. This “physical presence” standard ensures that businesses or individuals will only be beholden to the tax code where they set up shop.

If passed, RTPA would shift the tax collection framework for online sales to destination-based sourcing, effectively circumventing taxpayer protections upheld by a “physical presence” standard. Further, if sellers had a dispute about the taxes demanded by another state, the seller would then be subjected to the destination state’s court system.

Not only does RTPA take away taxpayers’ and businesses’ rights, it would allow states to export their tax codes in a way that gives them excessive power to control interstate commerce.  

This should be particularly concerning to e-cigarette and vapor products retailers that are already under attack in many states. In states like Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and Minnesota, where there is already legislation that imposes sin taxes on e-cigarettes, anti-vaping advocates will use this federal legislation as yet another weapon in their arsenal to thwart the growth of e-cigarette sales.

The infographic linked here illustrates the proposed legislation. Americans for Tax Reform encourages all members of the vaping community to contact your Senators and Representatives and tell them that you want nothing to do with this tax power grab.

Photo Credit: http://vaping360.com/, https://www.flickr.com/photos/127173209@N05/

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Hypocritical “Save Lives” Coalition Proposes Tax On Life-Saving Tobacco Alternative

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Posted by Caroline Anderegg on Tuesday, October 13th, 2015, 4:44 PM PERMALINK

A coalition made up of various public health groups and the Service Employees International Union California has launched a campaign to put a massive tax hike on the ballot in California during the 2016 election cycle. This band of tax proponents, operating under the alias “Save Lives California,” is making a major push to put a $2 per pack tobacco tax hike on the ballot.

Californians have continuously rejected similar ballot measures in past years. Most recently, in 2012, voters rejected Proposition 29, which would have increased the cigarette tax by $1 per pack.

The coalition claims that their aim is to improve the health and lives of Californians by decreasing tobacco related illnesses and deaths. The message of their campaign focuses entirely on the cigarette tax increase. However, what they don’t mention is that the language of their ballot measure includes a massive tax hike on e-cigarettes, a proven effective and healthy tobacco-free alternative to traditional cigarettes.

Under present law, California does not subject e-cigarettes to tobacco taxation, and for good reason. This ballot measure, entitled "California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016," would treat e-cigarettes, which do not contain tobacco, as tobacco products and subject these products to open-ended and unspecified regulations as well.

By including e-cigarettes in their proposed ballot measure, the “Save Lives” coalition intends to make it more difficult and expensive for smokers who want to quit by switching to effective smoking cessation products. The evidence continues to suggest that e-cigarettes are at least 95 percent less harmful than traditional cigarettes.

If the coalition truly wanted to promote the well-being of Californians, they would not suggest an onerous tax on e-cigarettes. The group states in their mission that one of their goals is to “protect existing tobacco-tax-funded programs.” By taxing tobacco-free cessation products they certainly would keep the tax revenue flowing, as fewer smokers would be willing to make the switch to healthier products.

Hedge fund environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer, well known for bankrolling the Democrats’ climate change campaign, has also jumped into the ring. His support for this farce shows how blatantly corrupt the coalition is.

“We need to protect our kids from the dangers of tobacco, and that means we need to stand up to tobacco companies,” Steyer preached.

But it is not the tobacco companies that this coalition is targeting. It is the low-income Californians who are most affected by tobacco tax increases, and the smokers who are trying to quit by switching to e-cigarettes that would be burdened by the proposed tax hikes.

If these proposals make it on to the ballot next year, voters should reject them again. 

Photo Credit: Vaping360.com


The Grover Norquist Show: The Jeb Bush Tax Reform Plan

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Posted by Caroline Anderegg on Thursday, September 24th, 2015, 5:12 PM PERMALINK

In episode 32 of the Grover Norquist Show, ATR president Grover Norquist discusses presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s tax reform plan. He outlines the key factors in Bush’s “pro-growth, tax-cutting” reform plan. The strengths of the Bush tax plan are immediate business expensing, which would reduce the cost of new investment and simplify the tax code; lowering the corporate tax rate to be more competitive; and lowering the individual income tax rates to Reagan-era levels. The plan would put the country on track to achieve four percent economic growth. Listen in to the Grover Norquist Show below to find out the one shortfall in Bush Tax Reform Plan.

For more details on ATR’s initial response to Jeb’s tax plan click here

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Mayor Emanuel’s Tax Proposal Would Dig a Deeper Hole for Chicago

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Posted by Caroline Anderegg on Thursday, September 24th, 2015, 4:37 PM PERMALINK

Calling for the largest tax increase in the city’s history, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a plan on Tuesday that would phase in a $2.5 billion increase in taxes and fees over the next four years.

The breakdown of the tax hikes in the 2016 budget is as follows:

  • A property-tax hike reaching $543 million over four years
  • $45 million in property taxes to pay for capital projects at Chicago Public Schools, or CPS
  • $62 million from a new garbage-collection fee
  • $60 million from new fees on taxis and ridesharing services, such as Uber and Lyft
  • $13 million from higher building-permit fees
  • $1 million from a tax on e-cigarettes

 

Chicago is facing a $230 million overspending problem in the 2016 budget as well as an ominous $20 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. Not only would his ridiculous tax increases not even begin to fill the hole in the Chicago’s budget, but they will only serve to drive people out of the city to more favorable tax climates.

Prior to announcing the onerous tax hikes during his budget address, Mayor Emanuel said: “For the first time in more than a decade, more people and businesses are moving into Chicago than moving out.”

However, a detailed map of the state charting the taxpayer flight shows that Cook County has far and wide been the source of the greatest population and wealth losses for the state over the last 30 years.

As we reported, Illinois was the nation’s second biggest loser in terms of population and wealth in 2013. Nearly 69,000 people left the state that year, taking with them $3.8 billion in net adjusted gross income (AGI).

Taxpayers are unwilling to continue to shoulder the burden of the city’s mounting debts. The steadily increasing out-migration from the city over the last several years proves that if you raise taxes people will leave. When people leave, your tax base shrinks. Mayor Emanuel continues to ignore the fact that the flight from the Windy City means revenues will fall far short of what is projected or needed to fill the deficit.

What the city really needs are major pension and spending reforms, not higher taxes that will only burden Chicagoans and paper over the bleak financial situation facing the city. 


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