Doug Kellogg

Ohio Senate Should Clean Up Costly Policies in House Budget

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Posted by Doug Kellogg on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019, 5:13 PM PERMALINK

The Ohio House recently passed a two-year budget (HB 166). It has rightfully earned praise for its solid income tax cut.

However, a deeper look reveals some bad policies that would make it more expensive for small business owners, visitors to the state, and people hailing a rideshare. And it also includes a measure that would punish innovation in medicine by bringing socialist price controls to the Buckeye State.

For starters, small businesses face some big changes under the House budget.  

The plan reduces the amount of income small businesses can deduct from $250,000 to $100,000. It also removes a 3 percent cap on the tax rate for income over $250,000 – meaning businesses earning more than that could face a tax rate over 4.67 percent, a significant increase. It is also retroactive, which can be very difficult for small business owners who now will face unexpected costs.

The Ohio chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) has raised concerns over the changes.

The House budget also includes a tax hike on booking travel. It imposes occupancy tax on service fees for online travel agent services.

These services, like Expedia, Travelocity, and others – make it easier for people to book hotels or other accommodations online. They attract travelers, which are a boon for restaurants, shops, and other local businesses.  

The thing is, the cost of your hotel room is already taxed. The House proposal adds taxes to service fees, driving up costs for Ohioans and out-of-state visitors when they use travel booking services.

That’s not the end of the taxes in the House plan. Ridesharing would also get more expensive.

Legislation that would require online marketplaces to collect and remit sales taxes will, perhaps unintentionally, ensnare for hire vehicles. The straightforward impact is the state sales tax will hit ridesharing.  

It’s not only bad if unintentional, but this is also a form of double taxation. Ridesharing drivers are already paying income tax on their earnings, and now will have to deal with sales tax. This burden will only make life tougher for drivers, and more expensive for Ohioans.

Another part of the budget would bring foreign price controls to Ohio by allowing countries with socialist health care systems to influence prescription drug reimbursement rates for Medicare Part B.

As Americans for Tax Reform wrote in submitted testimony:

“The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently proposed the “International Pricing Index” (IPI) payment model for drugs administered under Medicare Part B. Essentially, this payment model imports foreign price controls into the United States by calculating the Part B reimbursement rate based on the prices set by 14 other countries.”

The bottom line: the progress the House is making with their income tax cut is weighed down by the harmful proposals in the very same budget.  Senate leaders can help the House’s income tax cut become even better by detaching it from tax hikes and socialist drug pricing controls.

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End of Session Apocalypse in Albany

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Posted by Doug Kellogg on Monday, May 13th, 2019, 3:36 PM PERMALINK

The Empire State is in decline. It hasn’t been sacked by barbarians, but plundered from within by special interests looting taxpayer dollars.

Now, after passing a budget loaded with taxes and fees, legislators are pushing a dangerous, and unaffordable list of progressive priorities with a couple months left in New York’s legislative session.

That means single-payer socialized medicine is on the table in Albany. That, despite the fact it would cost $159 billion, which would nearly double the state’s already bloated budget.

The New York Health Act would eradicate private health insurance - far from giving people a choice in their health care, perhaps the most personal choice people have. And it would do so to help around 5 percent of New Yorkers who don’t have any insurance. When you consider some of them may not have insurance by choice, it makes it even more clear single payer is not about helping people who need insurance, but finding an excuse to put government in charge of a huge aspect of peoples’ lives.

A hearing is reportedly going to be held soon, though there is still resistance to the bill in the Senate, even though Democrats took over the chamber last election cycle.

Energy is already incredibly expensive in New York, at nearly 30 percent higher than the national average in February 2019. And that is with costs dipping since last year.

The state continues to make matters worse on energy. Governor Cuomo continues to block pipelines like Dikembe Mutombo blocked shots, halting the Williams pipeline recently. This is a blow to downstate, Long Island and New York City.

If that's not bad enough, legislation to impose a carbon tax is a threat in Albany.

A bill from Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (D) would impose a $35 per ton tax on carbon which would rise to $185. In an acknowledgment of how regressive a carbon tax is, the legislation aims to pay most of the money to low-income residents to compensate for the cost of the tax - the rest of course would go to politically-connected renewables.

Americans for Tax Reform continues to track carbon tax proposals, and analyses. The tax would take a significant bite out of the economy, causing a loss in GDP unless all the revenue is used to reduce tax burdens.

Carbon taxes also continue to be political losers, with voters in the U.S. and Canada consistently rejecting carbon taxes when given the choice.

New York lawmakers are also considering a bill that would destroy family farms. Farm workers are not able to unionize and strike, and are exempted from certain labor rules like overtime because the nature of farming requires peak work periods.

Now, some lawmakers want to undo that, with a bill that would allow collective bargaining, and mandate overtime pay, called the Farm Labor Fair Practices Act.  This would impose crushing burdens on farms that already operate on thin margins, forcing them to engage in convoluted hiring practices to try to avoid new costs. Overtime pay alone is estimated to cost farms nearly $300 million (Farm Credit East).

Further, the “New York Farm Bureau, which opposes the legislation, say their farm workers do not want the 8-hour workday instituted because there are only limited times of the year when they can work.”

This, like the Department of Labor’s never-ending consideration of eliminating the tipped-wage credit, represents government doing workers a favor that they don’t want. Workers are smart enough to figure out that if government gets too involved in their industry, their jobs are at risk and they won’t make any money. Given that New York lost 9 percent of the state’s farms in five years, this proposal could be the final nail in the industry’s coffin.

Adding insult to injury, the bill is being pushed by a city politician, Queens Senator Jessica Ramos.

Also on the labor front, an absurd bill would let striking union workers immediately claim unemployment benefits, instead of after seven weeks. This would make taxpayers subsidize union strikes, instead of the unions themselves which would otherwise dish out strike pay.

According to Empire Center, “Other labor-friendly state governments—including California, Illinois, Washington, Ohio, Hawaii and Pennsylvania—all prohibit strikers from collecting any UI benefits.”

With government like this, it’s no wonder New York has lost not just taxpayers, but overall population in two of the past four years.

This session, the state legislature has already passed new tax and fee hikes, including a devastating new tax on pain medicine, and a tax on driving to work in the city. They’ve also senselessly banned shopping bags. Now, before the clock runs out, they’ll push for more damaging policies.

New York is in already in decline, and these damaging policies would make sure the Empire State falls for good.

Photo Credit: FEE.org

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New Leadership, New Wins for Taxpayers in Florida's 2019 Legislative Session

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Posted by Doug Kellogg on Thursday, May 9th, 2019, 11:43 AM PERMALINK

Under the leadership of new Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida’s 2019 legislative session resulted in some key wins, as the Sunshine State continued to keep pace as one of the most taxpayer-friendly states in the nation.

The headline-grabbing victory is passage of a criminal justice reform package, the first major reforms passed in Florida in decades.

The Florida First Step Act introduced by Senator Jeffrey Brandes in January capitalized on the momentum of the federal FIRST STEP Act, signed late last year by President Trump. The bill was built around incentivizing people in the prison system to train and prepare to reenter society as productive citizens. The vast majority of people in prison will be released one day, ensuring they can contribute and thrive afterwards improves public safety.

The initial package included sentencing reforms, allowing judges to deviate from mandatory minimum sentences that often put away people for inordinate periods of time for nonviolent, drug-related crimes.

In the end, these reforms were lost in the House. Still, the legislation was the broadest reform package passed in 20 years. In addition to reentry programs, it reduces barriers to occupational licenses, and limits driver’s license suspensions.

This is a very promising sign the dam has finally broken on criminal justice reform in Florida, and more progress can be made next session.

There is plenty more for taxpayers to be happy about.

A measure requiring a two-thirds majority popular vote for local governments to increase sales taxes via ballot referenda passed. The legislation, HB 5, also requires the vote to be held on a general election day, not a primary day. This is a big win for local taxpayers, ensuring their voice is heard when their tax dollars on the line, and potentially avoiding many tax increases across Florida communities in the future.

Also with an eye on local governments: the legislature passed a bill to protect consumers against localities attacking plastic straws, HB 771. Plastic straw bans have become popular, despite little evidence they help the environment, and plenty of evidence they hurt area jobs and businesses.

Get ready to freely ride your electric scooters following passage of HB 453. Florida will now put into place sensible statewide rules to define and regulate scooters, which should avoid a patchwork of damaging local government regulation.

On the health care front, Floridians will get more options and innovation. Thanks to HB 21, which repealed the state’s certificate of need requirement, hospitals will no longer need a government permission slip to build or expand.

House Speaker Jose Oliva, who championed the bill, said, “we must get rid of policies like certificate of need, which have only served to create local and regional monopolies."  

Federal tax reform has been a big win across the country, putting money back in Americans’ pockets, driving new job creation, and sparking rising wages. Still, some provisions of federal reform don’t translate to states, and can create new unintended burdens if states conform their codes to the federal tax code. The Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income piece of federal reform is one such measure. Florida legislators smartly acted to avoid charging businesses this federally-focused tax at the state level with HB 7127.

Often defeating bad ideas is the most important thing lawmakers can do to protect taxpayers. Renewable energy mandates cost everyone more money through higher energy costs and subsidies for favored energy sources. Still, these misguided measures have been spreading across the nation. Florida lawmakers however smacked down bills to impose these mandates in Florida, defeating HB 1291/SB 1762.

Governor DeSantis deserves credit for spearheading a major occupational licensing reform effort as part of his “Deregathon.” This plan would have addressed on the few areas of free market policy where Florida has not been a leader. Unfortunately, the legislation (SB 1640) did not pass before the clock ran out, but the Governor’s efforts should earn more support next time. 

The session certainly was not perfect, with the notably disappointing passage of legislation that would open the door to imported Canadian medicine – and price controls with it. Still there are many more positives to point to.

DeSantis also signed House Bill 7123 on Wednesday, which will reduce the tax on commercial leases in the Sunshine State. The bill calls for a .2% reduction in the commercial lease tax for renters, dropping the rate from 5.7% to 5.5%.

DeSantis said in a press release Wednesday,  “I’m pleased to be signing HB 7123 today, which includes temporary tax relief to help the people of Northwest Florida. Statewide, we remain committed to ensuring that communities impacted by recent hurricanes are able to make a full recovery.” H.B. 7123 is projected to save taxpayers nearly $65 million annually, according to the Gov.

Governor DeSantis and Florida Senators and Representatives deserve credit for their successes this session – and an openness to pursue new reforms. The Sunshine State has new leadership that is keeping it around the head of the class among the states.

Photo Credit: StevenM_61

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NE: Trading Guaranteed Tax Hikes for Promised Local Property Tax Relief is High Risk

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Posted by Doug Kellogg on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019, 4:58 PM PERMALINK

Property tax reform has been a big focus in Nebraska this session. This makes sense given the state’s high property tax burden.

The Tax Foundation ranks Nebraska 12th-highest for property tax collections per capita, and 8th-highest as a percentage of home value. Their taxes are way too high, especially for a lower cost of living state.

The state also faces an issue as the cost of agricultural land, and thus the tax burden for that land, has been driven up as people purchase the land for purposes other than farming. This is putting pressure on farmers as their baked-in costs rise.

So you could say the pressure for action in Lincoln is significant.

Governor Ricketts has championed a couple great reforms: a constitutional property tax cap, and a measure (LB 103) that requires that any additional revenue taken in as local property values rise is returned to taxpayers or there is a vote held before local government can keep it.

These are solid policies to protect taxpayers. Massachusetts, New York, and most recently, Iowa, have passed effective property tax caps.

Yet, in the Cornhusker State, while the control on rising revenue from values has been enacted, the cap legislation has stalled.

Both bills were introduced by Senator Lou Ann Linehan. The cap’s difficulties would be bad enough, but a third bill from Senator Linehan (LB 289) is really complicating the situation.

The idea of the bill is to provide immediate property tax relief. However, it attempts to do so by imposing a $200 million-plus tax hike, then sends the money largely to school districts in exchange for them lowering property taxes.

The tax hikes include increasing the sales tax overall, eliminating various sales tax exemptions (including for bottled water, soda, various moving-related services), and a hike in the cigarette tax rate over 30%. Monday, the legislature worked on expanding the expansion, but trimmed the rate of the sales tax hike. The bill will head to a full vote in the Senate, which will need 33 votes to override a Governor Ricketts veto.

There are good measures to limit property taxes in the legislation – chaining future growth to inflation and reducing the percentage of a property’s value that can be assessed for tax purposes.

The problem is that even with those limitations, the complex bill is likely to amount to trading a massive guaranteed tax hike for fleeting property tax relief.

Tax Foundation’s Joe Henchman testified to the committees that at best their reform would move Nebraska up two places in the state property tax burden rankings. Meanwhile the proposed 1% increase in the state sales tax would give Nebraska the 17th-highest sales tax rate in the country. Worse, it would become higher than neighboring Iowa’s, incentivizing people to shop across the border.

The sales tax hike and expansion is regressive, driving up the cost of living for everyone in the state. The cigarette tax hike is regressive as well, and compounding the damage is the strong likelihood that revenue falls short.

Less than 10 percent of state cigarette tax hikes from 2009 to 2016 met revenue projections. So relying on a cigarette tax hike in creating a new state aid program is likely to drive demand for other tax hikes in the future.

Those pushing this approach may well realize this, but they say they are getting desperately needed property tax relief in exchange.

However, Nebraska itself has imposed tax hikes to increase state aid and limit property taxes in the past and it has not worked out, as Governor Ricketts explains:

“In 1990, the Legislature passed LB 1059 which created the school aid formula known as the Tax Equity and Educational Opportunities Support Act (TEEOSA).  With this bill, the Legislature raised the sales and income tax over the veto of Governor Kay Orr. This did not reduce property taxes, which continued to increase in the following years.

“Subsequent attempts to achieve property tax relief have continued to involve the TEEOSA formula.  For example in 1998, the Legislature increased state aid through TEEOSA by about $125 million, or a 27 percent increase. In 1999, property taxes still went up about $48 million. In 2005, the Legislature boosted state aid another $70 million, or 10 percent in one year. In 2006, property taxes went up $161 million statewide.”

It is not only Nebraska that has seen this spend-to-save approach fail.

New York attempted to deal with its sky-high property taxes under Governor Pataki by implementing a property tax relief program, STAR. STAR created tax exemptions up to a certain amount of home value – with the state paying out to compensate school districts for lost revenue.

The result?

“From 2001 to 2005, however, property taxes per pupil shot up by 28 percent even after deducting STAR savings,” (Empire Center, NY Torch blog).

This session, New York State enacted a permanent 2% cap on property tax increases, at the behest of Governor Cuomo. This straight up property tax cap has proven to be an effective protection for taxpayers, having helped New Yorkers avoid over $20 billion in new taxes since its original implementation.

Nebraska can do better than Democrat-dominated New York, and must keep pace with Iowa. Governor Ricketts has put the right reforms on the table. It’s up to the legislature to pass them and avoid the high-risk attempt to trade tax hikes for relief.


House of Pain? Delaware House Must Stop Tax on Pain Medication

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Posted by Doug Kellogg on Friday, April 19th, 2019, 2:36 PM PERMALINK

The Delaware State Senate recently passed a direct tax on opioid-derived pain medication in the name of solving the opioid crisis. It's now up to the House to stop this dangerous policy.

The problem is, this policy won’t solve the opioid crisis. But it will tax patients who are legitimately using medicine they need.

The costs of a tax get passed on to consumers.

A report by economist Alex Brill, and Women In Government, shows the damage a tax would cause: “the tax would do little to discourage inappropriate use, could have the unintended consequence of promoting illicit opioids for some, and would raise the cost of health care generally.”

Insurance costs will be driven up for everyone, as the Women In Government study shows, as does an analysis by two Union College economists that focused on New York’s first opioid tax proposal.

People without health insurance feel these costs as well, since they have no way to deflect higher costs if they need to buy medication.

You pay more, but the crisis doesn’t get better, and may even get worse.

A tax on legitimate opioid medicine ironically makes illegal synthetic drugs more attractive to people suffering from addiction.

New CDC data show that illicit fentanyl is what is killing people today.

Government cannot tax away this crisis. However, community-based solutions have been shown to help those suffering from addiction.

One example is Little Falls, Minnesota, which focused on addiction treatment for users, instead of just jail time. According to PBS, the Minnesota Health Commissioner reported the local hospital “has seen patient pill use decrease by 724,000 pills per year and have tapered about 670 patients off of controlled substance prescriptions.”

Delaware Representatives should stop the Senate’s misguided, dangerous tax before it punishes patients, and makes health care more expensive. There are proven ways to address the opioid crisis.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia


Read Between the Lines: Low Taxes Pay Off for Sports Betting

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Posted by Doug Kellogg on Friday, April 5th, 2019, 1:45 PM PERMALINK

Another Associated Press article on sports betting in the states, another headline that does not do justice to the reality on the ground.

The latest, “Most states’ sports betting revenue misses estimates”, is correct on the surface, but fails to explain how the states that are coming up short have failed to widely authorize sports betting, and also suffer from high tax rates.

Rhode Island and Pennsylvania are two of four states cited for having lower than expected revenues. But these states suffer from absurdly high tax rates on betting, which the article mentions but somehow fails to connect the dots.

Rhode Island’s tax rate is an unbelievable 51 percent.

Pennsylvania has a massive 36 percent effective tax rate, on top of a $10 million initial licensing fee. The state experienced a significant delay in sports betting getting started because it took months for an operator to even apply for a license and pay the massive fee. The state is also right next door to New Jersey, which enacted sports betting in a more efficient, and taxpayer friendly manner. Consumers can head across the border to place bets in New Jersey (in-person or via an app) instead of paying massive tax rates in Pennsylvania.

These huge tax rates completely ignore the success that Nevada has had for decades with a lower 6.75 percent tax rate. Cuts in the federal excise tax rate on bets decades ago were also necessary to open up Nevada’s sports books for significant growth.

It’s no wonder New Jersey has done just fine on revenues, with an 8.5 percent rate on in-person bets and 13 -14.25 percent online. The Garden State has also allowed mobile bets from the start.

Pennsylvania is awaiting legal mobile betting, as is Rhode Island, both states have passed measures legalizing it.

The AP article quotes a West Virginia lawmaker who complains taxes on betting aren’t high enough to bring in revenue. This misses the point, and would only hurt West Virginia. The state has a competitive 10 percent tax rate on bets, but implementation of sports betting has suffered from delays not necessarily related to public policy, and few operators which has limited availability.

Mississippi is also cited by the AP for missing revenue projections. It is another state without mobile wagering, and unlike Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, Mississippi bills to open up mobile betting have failed this session. Mobile betting only works if you’re at an authorized location.

It is 2019, you can’t expect to reach the broadest market possible if you’re limiting betting to in-person, physical locations.

Despite the headline, the evidence shows low taxes, and free markets work in sports betting just like they work everywhere else.  


A Chance to End the Income Tax in North Dakota

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Posted by Doug Kellogg on Tuesday, March 12th, 2019, 3:37 PM PERMALINK

There could soon be a tenth state with no income tax.

The North Dakota Senate has the opportunity to pass a bill this session that would eliminate the income tax. The legislation, HB 1530, which sailed through the House, is sponsored by Rep. Craig Headland, finance committee chair and Taxpayer Protection Pledge signer.

North Dakota’s “Legacy Fund” consists of oil tax revenue that has been saved over time, and now amounts to north of $6 billion. Headland’s bill would use this fund to cover the estimated $900 million in income tax the state takes in during a two-year cycle, and end the state income tax.   

The state is also seeing revenues come in higher than expected, so dropping the income tax is more than affordable: “A revised revenue forecast released today by the North Dakota Office of Management and Budget (OMB) estimates general fund revenues of $4.3 billion for the 2019-2021 biennium, an increase of $51 million from the November forecast.”

Ending the income tax would be a great move for North Dakota taxpayers and the economy. Recent tax cuts in North Carolina have led to the state outpacing the region in GDP and population growth. No income tax Florida saw record job creation from late 2017 to late 2018, and Texas led the nation in the rate of GDP growth in 2018.

This move is also necessary, as the Legacy Fund is a ripe target for special interests, and politicians looking to spend on various projects. If the fund is not used to eliminate the income tax, it will end up being used for something that either does less for taxpayers, or is downright wasteful.

North Dakotans should be able to keep their hard-earned money. The Senate and Governor Burgum should seize this opportunity to deliver what would be an earth-shaking win for voters, taxpayers, and the state - building on the great success they have already had.

Photo Credit: Flickr - Drew Tarvin


Nevada Should Avoid Bill That Would Drive Up Costs for Car Repairs & Hit the Brakes on Small Businesses

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Posted by Doug Kellogg on Thursday, March 7th, 2019, 11:59 AM PERMALINK

Choice and competition are what drive better options at lower prices for consumers. But a bill in the Nevada legislature would add regulations that would limit competition in the auto parts market, driving up costs for consumers, and crushing small businesses.

The legislation in question, Assembly Bill 173, is up for a vote in committee Thursday. It would stop Nevada residents from benefiting from the savings they can achieve when using non-Original Equipment Manufacturer automotive parts.

The government would get in the way of perfectly happy consumers and businesses who are doing just fine right now by adding hurdles, like permission slips, endless forms, and even outright banning the use of non-OEM parts in various cases.  Lower costs for consumers, healthy market competition, and lower insurance premiums would be placed at risk under AB 173.

Small businesses in the industry already face heavy regulation, and pay a hefty tax burden. Attacking them with even more restrictive regulation threatens their existence, and hurts the Nevada economy.

Nevadans who need to replace a car part should have the same choices and competitive market they enjoy today. Misguided, heavy-handed government regulation would only make their lives more expensive.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Fight for $15 Knocks Out Jobs, Hours, Hurting Workers

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Posted by Doug Kellogg, Griffin Namin on Tuesday, March 5th, 2019, 10:53 AM PERMALINK

As many states hike their minimum wages in response to the far-left "Fight for 15" campaign, the evidence is rolling in that this policy hurts the very workers it's supposed to help.

 

New York City is one of the most high profile areas on the road to $15, and a high cost of living area. One might think it could absorb a radical wage mandate, but even in New York, that is not proving to be the case.

 

Investors Business Daily reports: “Over the past four years, the minimum wage for New York City restaurants that employ more than 10 workers went from $10.50 an hour to $15. That's a whopping 43% increase. Next year, every restaurant, big and small, will have to pay their workers at least $15 an hour."

 

These massive increases to wages are backfiring on all levels across the city, "4,000 workers lost jobs at full-service restaurants, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show. By the end of last year, there were fewer restaurant workers in the city than in November 2016. Even though overall employment climbed by more than 163,000."

 

According to a survey conducted by the New York City Hospitality Alliance, when asking full service restaurants, “74.50% respondents report that they will reduce employee hours; and 47.10% will eliminate jobs in 2019 as a result of mandated wage increases that took effect on December 31, 2018."

 

In addition, the survey also found that “76.50% of respondents report reducing employee hours, and 36.30% eliminated jobs in 2018 in response to mandated wage.”

 

The $15 wage is an attack on workers most of all. But it is also hurting restaurants - especially moderately priced restaurants in the city. Rosa Mexicana operates four restaurants in Manhattan and estimates the $15 mandated wage will increase their labor costs by $600,000 this year.

 

Liberal leaders in states across the nation seem to be rushing to get wage hikes, as if they want to outpace the disastrous reality that these policies will bring. That way they can get headlines and pretend they did something to help workers, before it is obvious that they aren't helping at all.

 

Well, time is up, and any politicians pushing a radical wage hike are doing so knowing the consequences.

 

Photo Credit: Flickr - Ronald Ehrl


Everything CT Governor Ned Lamont Wants to Increase Taxes On in Budget

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Posted by Doug Kellogg, Griffin Namin on Thursday, February 28th, 2019, 1:18 PM PERMALINK

New Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has floated various tax hikes leading up to his formal biennial budget proposal, but now we have the full plan, and it’s not a cheap one for the state’s already-overburdened taxpayers.

His “A Path Forward” plan is filled with tax increases, broken promises, and high fees. The unambitious name is fitting, it’s a path alright, one terrible path to choose among other options – like finally containing Connecticut’s rising spending, and pension liabilities.

The total bill for Lamont’s revenue proposals exceeds $1.06 billion in 2020 and $1.486 billion in 2021.

The massive amount of tax hikes the Governor has proposed is led by sweeping new applications of the state’s 6.35 percent sales tax, and taking away sales tax exemptions that sensibly have been used to ease costs on necessities, like doing your taxes, or buying textbooks. The Governor’s assault on exemptions will also hurt Connecticut residents who belong to non-profit credit unions. Credit unions by their nature return benefits to members who live in the community, and often offer free educational services. And interestingly newspapers will be hit as well, maybe Lamont isn't happy with his media coverage. 

It is incredible how damaging and tone deaf these new sales tax are… Need to take your dog to the vet? That will cost more. Does your child need a bike helmet? That will cost more. Ready to drive your new baby to Mom and Dad’s house? Safety seats will cost more.

If Lamont wants more uniformity in the state sales tax, he should lower the rates for everyone, not discourage people from purchasing necessary products and services, and make it even more unaffordable to live in Connecticut.

Here’s the rundown of notable Lamont’s tax hikes (full list here):

  • 10-cent plastic shopping bag fee
  • Soda tax
  • Text book tax
  • Newspaper & magazine tax
  • Renew corporate tax surcharge
  • Boat sales tax hike
  • Bike helmet tax
  • Child car seat tax
  • Veterinary services tax
  • Credit union tax
  • Hair cut tax
  • Parking tax
  • Garbage tax
  • Camping tax
  • Nonprescription medicine tax
  • Vaping wholesale tax
  • Movie tax

This could get worse if the Democrats’ Senate Bill 475, which would increase the statewide sales tax to 6.85 percent also gains traction.

Senate Republican leaders have put forward a plan that offers no tax increases, no tolls, and lowers costs statewide.

Photo Credit: Flickr


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