Margaret Mire

Iowa Republicans Deliver Much-Needed Tax Relief

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Margaret Mire on Friday, May 21st, 2021, 5:11 PM PERMALINK

Gov. Kim Reynolds and Republican legislators are delivering $1 billion in tax relief to Iowans over the next eight years.

Senate File 619, managed by Senator Dan Dawson and Representative Dustin D. Hite, will make a number of pro-growth reforms to Iowa’s tax code that will allow individual taxpayers, families, and small businesses across the Hawkeye State to keep more of their heard-earned money.

One of the biggest victories in SF 619 is that it will fully phase out the state inheritance tax by 2025. Right now, Iowa has the unwelcome distinction of being one of just six states that still impose an inheritance or death tax. Because of this, non-lineal descendants – including siblings, nieces, nephews, domestic partners, and business partners – have faced a tax of up to 15 percent when they inherit assets that are valued at more than $25,000. 

“In Iowa, this often means a niece or nephew who inherits a share of the family farm from an uncle who never married will be faced with finding hundreds of thousands of dollars to hold onto land that’s been in their family for generations,” explained Iowans for Tax Relief. “Iowa’s inheritance tax hits entrepreneurs, too. If unrelated partners build a business together and one of them dies, the deceased partner’s half of the business would be subject to the inheritance tax if they choose to leave their portion to their business partner.”

Thanks to SF 619, Iowa’s death tax will not be around much longer. “Death taxes are always a second or third tax on the same income and savings,” explained Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “The argument for death taxes is the politics of envy. The good news is that 70% of Americans have year after year consistently supported abolishing the death tax. Killing the death tax is good economics, good politics and helps end class warfare nonsense.” 

Another benefit of SF 619 is that it guarantees much-needed income tax relief will be delivered in 2023. Back in 2018, Iowa passed a tax reform bill that, once fully implemented, will deliver the largest tax cut in Iowa history. The catch with the 2018 tax reform package is that it made a lot of those important reforms contingent upon stringent triggers being met.

“The 2018 tax reform law designed two stringent revenue triggers for income tax rates to be reduced in 2023,” explained John Hendrickson, Policy Director for TEF Iowa. “The first, state revenues were to surpass $8.3 billion, and the second required revenue growth of at least four percent during that fiscal year. Eliminating both triggers removes an unnecessary impediment to rate reduction.”

SF 619 removes the unnecessary triggers from the 2018 tax reform law, guaranteeing tax relief will be delivered on time. Among other changes, in 2023, Iowa’s top income tax rate of 8.53 percent – the part of the income tax that is most often used to make decisions about investment – will be reduced to 6.5 percent. This will be a huge win for all Iowans.

Under the status quo, Iowa’s income tax is not competitive. Nine states – including Iowa’s neighbor South Dakota – do not tax wage income and thirty-three more states – including neighbors Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin – have top marginal individual income tax rates that are lower than Iowa’s. The lower rate will make Iowa more attractive to investment, and will allow individual taxpayers, families, and small businesses, which overwhelming pay income taxes on the personal side of the code, to invest more in jobs and wages. 

While this is a great first step, Iowa should not get complacent. As people and jobs continue to move out of high tax states and into states that do not impose income taxes, more states are looking to put their income taxes on the path to zero. Iowa has a long way to go if it really wants to attract investment, jobs, and opportunities.

 

Photo Credit: Danksergeant15

More from Americans for Tax Reform


AZ Republicans Want to Return Surplus Revenue to Taxpayers In the Form of Pro-Growth Income Tax Relief

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Margaret Mire on Friday, April 16th, 2021, 2:11 PM PERMALINK

Arizona Republicans are working on a tax plan that would reduce and maybe even phase out the state income tax. This would be a huge win for all Arizonans.

Arizona is experiencing a $3.9 billion surplus for FY 2022, $1.2 billion of which is projected to be ongoing. Rather than using that money to grow government, Gov. Doug Ducey, Sen. J.D. Mesnard, President Pro Tem. Vince Leach, Majority Leader Ben Toma, and many others want to give it back to taxpayers in the form of pro-growth income tax relief. 

“Arizona’s leaders understand that surplus revenue belongs to Arizona taxpayers. It is not a slush fund for politicians,” explained Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Surplus dollars belong to the hardworking taxpayers. Gov. Ducey, Sen. Mesnard, Sen. Leach, Rep. Toma, and many others are doing the smartest thing that can be done in this situation – returning the money back to Arizonans in a manner that also makes the state tax climate more competitive and conducive to growth. Letting taxpayers keep more of their own money and setting up the state for economic success is a huge victory for everyone.”  

Arizona’s current income tax is not competitive. Its top rate of 8% is one of the highest in its region and the entire country. Making matters worse for Arizona, as people and jobs continue to move out of high tax states and into states that do not impose income taxes, more and more states are looking to put their income taxes on the path to zero. This growing movement will make Arizona even less competitive in the coming years.

Fortunately, the Republican tax plan – particularly if it includes a full phase out of the income tax – would turn things around for Arizona, making it a national model for other states to copy. As currently written, the plan would:

·         Streamline Arizona’s current 4-bracket income tax (5 brackets when considering the Prop 208 “surcharge” of 3.5% that will be imposed on certain income, giving Arizona a top rate of 8%) into a flat tax of 2.5%, lower than Arizona’s current bottom rate of 2.59% (technically it would have 2 brackets with the Prop 208 “surcharge,” but the plan includes an aggregate cap to ensure the top rate is not higher than 4.5%).

·         Couple the standard deduction to inflation.

·         Quadruple the child tax credit.

*There is also a serious effort to include a full phase out of the income tax. This would be accomplished through the use of revenue triggers, a responsible way for states to provide tax relief without the need to cut spending or raise other taxes, and without the risk getting ahead of their ski tips. The rate would only be reduced when excess revenue is available to “pay for” it.

The Republican tax plan would be a huge win for all Arizonans. Reducing and eliminating the income tax would attract businesses and investment to the state, bringing new jobs and opportunities for current Arizona residents. It would allow small businesses, which overwhelming pay income taxes on the personal side of the code, to invest more in higher wages. And it would allow individual taxpayers and families to keep more of their hard-earned money.

Stay tuned for more details.

 

Photo Credit: Madden

More from Americans for Tax Reform


Norquist in the Union Leader: Eliminate New Hampshire’s I&D Tax

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Margaret Mire on Friday, February 12th, 2021, 2:57 PM PERMALINK

In an OpEd in the Union Leader, Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, applauded Gov. Chris Sununu and Republicans in the House and Senate for their commitment to making New Hampshire a true no income tax state.

New Hampshire often appears on the list of nine states that do not impose income taxes, but with an asterisk by its name due to the 5% tax it imposes on income earned from interest and dividends. In order to be considered a true no income tax state, New Hampshire must eliminate that I&D tax.

“While New Hampshire has remained a competitive state thanks to its overall low tax burden — it is one of nine states that do not tax wage income, one of five states without a statewide sales tax, and one of four states that also ban the collection of local sales taxes — it should not get complacent,” cautioned Norquist.

As people and jobs continue to move into no income tax states, more and more states are exploring ways to eliminate their income taxes. “This movement will only grow, and as more states begin eliminating their income taxes and joining the list of true no income tax states, the more the asterisk by New Hampshire’s name will become a problem,” explained Norquist.

Eliminating the I&D tax would be a huge win for New Hampshire. In addition to allowing New Hampshire to finally be considered a true no income tax state, eliminating the I&D tax would end a form of double taxation and provide much-needed tax relief to retirees living off of investments.

“Now is the time for New Hampshire to become a true no income tax state,” wrote Norquist. “Doing so would send a strong reminder to all about the Granite State’s longstanding commitment to low taxes, and ensure that New Hampshire remains competitive over the long term. Even as more states eliminate their income taxes.”

To read the full OpEd, click here.

Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture


AR Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin Wants to Phase Out the State Income Tax

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Margaret Mire on Thursday, January 28th, 2021, 2:53 PM PERMALINK

Arkansas’ top individual income tax rate recently fell from 6.6 percent to 5.9 percent.  While that is great progress, Arkansas still has a long way to go if it wants to be competitive.

Eight states – including Arkansas’ neighbors Tennessee and Texas – do not tax individual income of any kind. New Hampshire does not tax wage income, and is likely to become a true no income tax state very soon. Twenty-one more states – including neighbors Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Oklahoma – have top rates that are lower than Arkansas’.

As more and more people and jobs move to no income tax states, more and more states are looking to phase out their income taxes.

“Now more than ever, states are competing--for jobs, new movers, skilled workers, and quality of life,” explained Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. “Arkansas needs bold ideas if we are to make our state the best possible place to live, work, and raise a family. That's why I'm calling for a complete phase-out of Arkansas' income tax, not immediately, but in the coming years. And we need to do it without raising other taxes in exchange.”

Lt. Gov. Griffin would like to eliminate the state income tax without raising other taxes in order to provide actual tax relief.

“Why would I give a taxpayer $1,000 in income tax savings and pay for it by charging them $1,000,” wrote Lt. Gov. Griffin. “That would be pointless. The goal is not simply to lower the income tax but lower the overall tax burden--the total amount of money the government takes. And raising a tax to cut a tax assumes that all the money state government spends is spent wisely with no room for improvement. We all know that's not true.”

To accomplish this goal of phasing out the income tax and providing tax relief, Lt. Gov. Griffin is calling for efficient spending and the use of revenue triggers – a responsible way for states to provide tax relief without getting ahead of their skis.

“Tax triggers are an important tool that other states, such as North Carolina, have used to reduce taxes, and they can be helpful here,” explained Lt. Gov. Griffin. “A tax reduction trigger is a provision of law that automatically reduces a tax rate when government revenue exceeds a set amount. This ensures that as our economy grows, the benefits of that growth are returned to the taxpayers.” 

Phasing out the state income tax would be a huge win for all Arkansans. It would allow individuals and families to keep more of their hard-earned money. It would allow small businesses, which file their taxes under the individual code, to invest more money in jobs and higher wages. And it would attract businesses looking to expand and investors looking for growing economies, bringing new jobs and opportunities to Arkansas.

To read Lt. Gov. Griffin's full OpEd, click here. "Phase out state income tax" by Lt. Governor Tim Griffin

 

Photo Credit: Nicolas Henderson

More from Americans for Tax Reform


Tax Relief A Top Priority for Governor Ducey

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Margaret Mire on Tuesday, January 12th, 2021, 4:06 PM PERMALINK

Governor Doug Ducey is committed to delivering tax relief to the hardworking people of Arizona this year.

In his State of the State address, Gov. Ducey told Arizonans that he wants to use the 2021 legislative session to build on the pro-taxpayer record that he and the republican-controlled legislature have accomplished over the past few years. Gov. Ducey explained

“Every year I’ve been governor, we’ve improved income taxes in the taxpayer’s favor. We’ve simplified the code, lowered all rates, protected them against inflation, and eliminated an entire tax bracket. In all of this, we’ve proven that our government can fulfill every obligation, and answer the unexpected needs of a growing state, without raising taxes.

My goal has been to make Arizona the best place in America to live, work, and do business – by letting Arizonans keep more of their hard-earned money. And having come this far, as other states chase away opportunity with their new taxes, why on earth would we ever want to follow their failed and depressing example?

So I propose, in this session, we work together to reform and lower taxes and preserve Arizona’s good name as a responsible, competitive state. On tax reform, let’s think big.” 

This is great news for taxpayers across the Grand Canyon State. In addition to allowing Arizonans to keep more of their hard-earned money, pro-growth tax reform that results in a tax cut would signal to all that Arizona is still committed low taxes and limited government, and welcome to investment.

“Governor Ducey has enacted a series of laws in Arizona that have been emulated in other states: Right to Try, universal license recognition, and securing Arizonans the freedom to rent out their homes on Airbnb and HomeAway,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “It is exciting to hear that Arizona will now begin to reduce its state income tax to become the most competitive state in the country. The 40 other states with personal income taxes will be watching.”

Income taxes are consistently cited by CEOs and business owners as a key determinant of business location: the lower the rate, the more attractive the state. As more and more people and jobs continue to move into the 9 states that do not tax wage income, more and more states are looking to reduce and phase out their income taxes.

Tax reform that results in a net tax cut would be a great way for Arizona to remain a competitive state.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

More from Americans for Tax Reform


Taxpayer Win in Utah: Voters Chip Away at Income Tax Earmark – Amendment G

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Margaret Mire on Thursday, November 12th, 2020, 2:08 PM PERMALINK

Utah voters approved Amendment G, which appeared on the general election ballot. This taxpayer win is a great first step towards ending an antiquated approach to managing the state budget.

Since Utah has had an income tax in place, 100% of income tax revenue has been earmarked for ‘education.’ This bizarre arrangement, which is almost exclusive to Utah (Alabama has a similar earmark), has resulted in Utah state government costing more than it should and would otherwise be the case.

Despite the fact that Utah has experienced significant surpluses in income tax revenue – roughly $1 billion in 2019 alone – not a single dollar could be used to cover other parts of the budget. As a result, other taxes have remained higher than “necessary” since income tax revenue could not go towards any other government programs.

This arrangement has also made it incredibly difficult to deliver pro-growth tax reform that reduces, or ideally phases out, the state income tax. “This [earmarking all income tax revenue for education] means the most powerful lobby in Utah – the teacher’s union – is an opponent of all pro-growth reductions in the state income tax burden,” explained Grover Norquist in an OpEd in UtahPolicy.com.

Amendment G, which won about 54% of the vote, starts to chip away at this earmark on income tax revenue. Thanks to Amendment G, income tax revenue can also be used to fund programs for children and the disabled. Not just education.

This reform, which will offer greater flexibility in the budgeting process, will allow hard earned taxpayer dollars to be used more efficiently and reduce the threat of future tax increases. It may even facilitate lower tax rates.

Photo Credit: Curtis Fry


Arizona Slated for Massive Income Tax Hike -- Prop 208

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Margaret Mire on Friday, November 6th, 2020, 2:46 PM PERMALINK

Arizona voters have unfortunately approved Proposition 208, a measure that was heavily funded by out of state interests and will result in the hardworking taxpayers across the Grand Canyon State facing a permanent $1 billion income tax hike. Legal challenges against Prop. 208 are likely to ensue. 

Prop. 208 will impose a new 3.5% “surcharge” on single filers who earn more than $250,000 a year and married couples who earn more than $500,000. This amounts to a whopping 77.7% tax increase, giving Arizona the unwelcome distinction of being home to one of the highest income rates in the country. 

“Backers of Prop. 208 have been claiming this massive increase in Arizona’s top marginal individual income tax rate would only impact ‘the rich.’ But that is not true,” wrote Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, in an OpEd that warned of the serious negative consequences of this measure. “Prop. 208 proponents ‘forget’ to mention that small business owners also pay individual income taxes. In reality, around 50% of those whose tax rates would be targeted are small businesses, many of whom have already been struggling from weeks of forced shutdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus.”

Adding insult to injury, Prop. 208 is also going to jeopardize future jobs and opportunities for Arizonans. “[I]t has been well documented that income tax rates are a key determinant of business location and investment,” wrote Norquist. Prior to Prop. 208, Arizona’s top marginal individual income tax rate of 4.5% was fairly competitive. Once Prop. 208 takes effect, Arizona’s new rate of 8% will rank 10th highest in the country and 2nd highest in the region. “Why would anyone want to invest in Arizona when there are so many other states that would allow them to keep more of their hard-earned money,” said Norquist.

Prop. 208, the so-called “InvestInEd” measure, will devastate Arizona’s economy, while doing nothing to actually improve education. “It would not expand parental choice. It would not call for higher standards. It is basically a slush fund for bureaucrats,” explained Norquist. “Giving all parents and students – regardless of income or address – the ability to choose the school that works best for them is the best way to improve education and education outcomes.”

A glimmer of hope for Arizona taxpayers is that legal challenges are likely to be filed against Prop. 208. There is still a chance that this massive tax increase – the largest in Arizona history – may not take effect.

Photo Credit: Neepster


Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signer Governor Chris Sununu Wins Reelection in New Hampshire

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Margaret Mire on Wednesday, November 4th, 2020, 4:21 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform congratulates New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu on winning reelection.

Gov. Sununu signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge back in 2016, when he first ran for governor, making a written promise to the people of New Hampshire that he will oppose and veto any and all tax increases. While in office, Gov. Sununu has stood strong against the many Democrat-led efforts to raise taxes.

Underscoring his commitment to taxpayers, Gov. Sununu and New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald recently filed a lawsuit in the United States Supreme Court against Massachusetts, whose Department of Revenue is actively trying to export taxes onto Granite Staters. For more information on this dangerous tax grab by Massachusetts, read Grover Norquist’s, president of Americans for Tax Reform, OpEd in the Union Leader here.

“Gov. Sununu is a true ally to New Hampshire taxpayers,” said Norquist. “From Democrats in the state legislature to the tax collectors in Massachusetts, Gov. Sununu always puts up a strong fight against anyone who tries to take more hard-earned tax dollars from New Hampshire taxpayers.”

Now, when lawmakers convene next legislative session to tackle a number of issues brought on by the Coronavirus, New Hampshire taxpayers can rest easy knowing that they still have an ally in the Governor’s mansion. In addition, the New Hampshire General Court flipped back to Republican control, with a number of pledge signers in both the state house and state senate. 

Americans for Tax Reform offers the Pledge to all candidates for state and federal office. In addition to Gov. Chris Sununu, 12 other sitting governors are signers of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

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

 

Photo Credit: James Walsh


Arkansas "Temporary" Sales Tax Made Permanent

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Margaret Mire on Wednesday, November 4th, 2020, 12:30 PM PERMALINK

Arkansas voters have unfortunately approved Issue 1, a sales tax increase.

Americans for Tax Reform opposed this measure. Issue 1 will permanently increase Arkansas’s sales tax rate by 0.5 percentage points or 8.33%, resulting in Arkansas having one of the highest combined state and local sales tax rates in the country.

In 2012, Arkansas voters approved a “temporary” sales tax increase of 0.5 percentage points that was supposed to expire in 2023. Issue 1 will now make that tax hike permanent, which, contrary to many claims, is, in fact, a tax increase.

“Sadly, Arkansas saddled itself with a sales tax increase that was originally peddled by the state legislature and governor as temporary,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Now, the Governor decided that promises to his voters are old fashioned. He broke his word and put a referred question that would make the “temporary” tax hike permanent. For ever and ever and ever.”

For further details, see ATR president Grover Norquist's op-ed here.

Photo Credit: Jimmy Emerson


Michigan Voters Approve Requiring Warrants for Electronic Data--Proposal 2

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Margaret Mire on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020, 10:30 PM PERMALINK

In a state ballot measure, Michigan voters have approved Proposal 2.

Americans for Tax Reform supports the measure. It amends the state constitution to require authorities get a search warrant to access a person’s electronic data and communications.

Photo Credit: David Marvin


Pages

×