Patrick M. Gleason

North Carolina's Taxpayer Information Act: A Model for the Nation


Posted by Patrick M. Gleason on Thursday, April 19th, 2012, 2:06 PM PERMALINK

North Carolina has been in the media recently for all the wrong reasons, whether it be the state Democratic Party scandal or the John Edwards trial. It is time for the media and the public to talk about the right reasons that attention should be paid to the Tar Heel State, namely that the state is home to one of the most pro-taxpayer pieces of legislation ever crafted.

The aforementioned legislation is The Taxpayer Information Act (HB 315), and it is the brainchild of NC Speaker Pro Tem and candidate for Lt. Governor, Dale Folwell. The Taxpayer Information Act is about truth in advertising and transparency. The bill, if passed, would require that bond measures disclose to voters not only the debt to be authorized, but the interest that would be incurred on that debt, which taxpayers will ultimately be on the hook for. 

Currently, bond measures only have to disclose how much debt would be authorized. Picture a couple going out to eat at one of their favorite restaurants because it is offering a great $60 dinner for two deal. Yet when they get the check at the end of the night the waiter tells them that they actually owe $90 bucks. When they inquire how this could have happened, they are told that the advertised price did not include gratuity, tax, and some silly environmental charge that the restaurant knew would be assessed the whole time. The couple is right to feel cheated and deceived. Yet the hypothetical restaurant’s deceptive tactics are analogous to those used by proponents of bond proposals not just in North Carolina, but all over the country. The result is voters being fooled into approving new public debt without being told the true cost that taxpayers will be on the hook for.

As Speaker Pro Tem Folwell astutely noted in committee, his bill is about “Trust, and whether the taxpayers who are asked to approve debt deserve to have the same information that the local government commission has, that the bond counsel has, and that underwriters of bonds have.”

Americans for Tax Reform couldn’t agree more. Voters deserve to have the same information that local governments have when they propose bond measures and taxpayers deserve to know how much they would really be on the hook for. Mortgage providers are required to tell borrowers the true cost that they are incurring, both the principal and interest. Taxpayers should expect no less when government seeks to borrow on their behalf.

When the North Carolina General Assembly comes back into session next month, ATR will be urging North Carolina legislators to pass Folwell’s bill, which is currently pending before the House Finance Committee. North Carolina government could use a dose of sunshine, and Speaker Pro Tem Folwell’s bill will provide just that.

The Taxpayer Information Act isn’t just good for North Carolina, it’s a model that every state should follow. As the father of this brilliant pro-taxpayer legislation, Speaker Pro Tem Folwell is a true hero of the taxpayer.

Folwell also happens to be the only taxpayer champion running for Lt. Governor. As it stands, Folwell is the only candidate in the race who has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. In doing so, Folwell is the only candidate in the race who has committed to oppose any and all efforts to raise taxes on hardworking North Carolinians.

With the largest federal tax increase in American history scheduled to hit the Old North State in less than nine short months, North Carolinians need to elect candidates like Speaker Pro Tem Folwell, who put taxpayers, and not spending interests, first. North Carolinians would be hard pressed to do better than to make Speaker Pro Tem Folwell the next Lt. Governor.

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Louisiana Senate Considers Raising 911 Tax


Posted by Patrick M. Gleason on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012, 9:47 AM PERMALINK

When ATR sent a letter to Louisiana legislators on the first week of the 2012 session urging them to stand with Gov. Bobby Jindal in opposition to tax increases, The Shreveport Times was dismissive, confidentially proclaiming that “Under the Louisiana Constitution, state lawmakers can't approve tax increases this legislative session.”

An astute commenter on The Times website noted that even though this year is a non-fiscal session, that hasn’t stopped Pelican State lawmakers in Baton Rouge from trying to pass higher levies in the past.

And as it would happen, legislation to raise taxes was introduced on March 12th, the first day of session and four days before The Shreveport Times declared that no tax increases would be taken up this year. SB 361, introduced by Sen. Jean-Paul "JP" Morrell, would impose a substantial increase in the 9-1-1 tax. The bill is projected to raise taxes by $12 million, with all the money earmarked for Orleans Parish Communications District. Some proponents try to claim this is a fee. Not so. Since the district has no separate 9-1-1 fund, this revenue will be available in the parish's general fund for spending completely unrelated to providing 9-1-1 services.

SB 361 was passed out of the Senate Local & Municipal Affairs Committee yesterday and senate floor action on the bill is pending. For a copy of the legislative alert ATR sent to Louisiana legislators, click here.  

For a copy of the aforementioned letter that ATR sent to Louisiana legislators during the first week of session, click here.

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Colorado Senate Considers Legislation to Eliminate Wasteful Subsidies


Posted by Patrick M. Gleason on Monday, March 19th, 2012, 12:26 PM PERMALINK

The Denver Post’s technology reporter, Andy Vuong, had an article this past weekend on a much-needed piece of legislation that will be taken up today in the Colorado Senate Business, Labor, & Technology Committee, SB 157.

Vuong’s article hilighted a recent report from the state Public Utility Commission that found Colorado state government was wasting millions in taxpayer dollars. The report, according to Vuong, represents the first time that the commission has calculated how many taxpayer-subsidized land lines are in locales that "may no longer be considered high cost to serve.” SB 157, The Telecommunications Modernization Act of 2012, would put an end to government waste and reform these policies and programs that have not, according to Vuong, “been updated to reflect competitive and technological changes in the marketplace.”

SB 157 would also bring relief to Colorado taxpayers at a time when it is most needed. Amid rising gas and food prices, SB 157 would bring down phone bills for Colorado ratepayers by reducing hidden taxes, in addition to phasing out wasteful subsidies and unnecessary taxpayer-funded programs. 

It’s time to bring Colorado’s antiquated communications regulatory and subsidy regime into the modern age. That’s why ATR is urging Colorado lawmakers to do just that by supporting and voting “Aye” on SB 157.

ATR sent the following letter to committee members last week in support of SB 157.

To read Vuong’s piece in its entirety, click here.

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Texas Shows That the Size of Government Matters


Posted by Patrick M. Gleason on Monday, March 12th, 2012, 4:55 PM PERMALINK

The Texas Public Policy Foundation recently updated a key chart from their 2010 paper, Texas vs. California: Economic Growth Prospects for the 21st Century.

TPPF Vice President of Research Bill Peacock on the chart’s importance:

The chart shows that Texas has much lower government spending as a percentage of the private economy than the U.S. or our largest competitor, California.

In other words, Texas generally imposes a lower spending burden on it citizens, which translates into lower taxes. But a low spending burden isn’t a constant in Texas. The chart also shows that Texas spending burden has increased at certain times. This is certainly the case in 2009, for which our new data shows a sharp uptick in Texas’ spending burden.

Peacock adds:

A state that keeps its taxes low and overregulation at bay is one that fosters economic development. On the other hand, a state that plows its cash into government spending is one whose businesses and citizens will soon be leaving for greener pastures. The state spending burden is perhaps the best measurement to gauge which one of these paths a state is traveling.

ATR encourages folks to visit www.TexasPolicy.com to see more of the great reports and helpful work that TPPF is putting out in the Lone Star State.

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Will Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's Sales Tax Hike Expire as Scheduled?


Posted by Patrick M. Gleason on Thursday, March 1st, 2012, 3:11 PM PERMALINK

The untold story about Arizona’s immigration law is that it greased the skids for a tax increase in 2010. Two years ago, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer was campaigning for a one point, 18%, sales tax increase in the middle of a recession and was facing a host of well-funded and credible primary challengers. Then Brewer signed the now famous immigration bill, SB 1070 (a bill that originally she did not even want sent to her desk), and overnight her approval rating skyrocketed, along with support for the sales tax hike that she staked her reelection campaign on.

While the sales tax increase ended up passing, ATR warned at the time that “temporary” tax increases tend to be not-so-temporary and there would be an effort to extend the rate hike before it expires on May 31st, 2013. And not surprisingly a group is in the process of filing paper work to do just that.

The best thing for the Arizona economy would be to let the increased rate sunset as scheduled. Increased sales taxes disproportionately impact small businesses. As a state that bore the brunt of the burst housing bubble and is struggling through a tepid recovery, the last thing Arizona needs is for small businesses, the engine of job creation, to be hit with a continuation of the Brewer sales tax hike. ATR president Grover Norquist recently noted in California’s Flash Report the disproportionate effect that higher sales taxes have on small businesses.

“PricewaterhouseCoopers conducted a 2004 survey that was the first national measure of retailers’ sales tax compliance costs. The report found that retailers with less than $1,000,000 in annual sales were burdened with sales tax compliance costs in excess of 13 percent. Meanwhile, retailers with income between $1,000,000 and $10,000,000 saw average compliance costs less than six percent and retailers with more than $10,000,000 in sales had compliance costs that were less than three percent on average.” 

While an extension of the Brewer tax hike would be misguided at any time, it would be even more harmful in light of the fact that the largest federal tax increase in U.S. history will hit individuals, families, and employers in Arizona in less than 10 months. The changes scheduled to take effect on January 1st, 2013 include higher income tax rates, higher taxes on marriage and family, a middle class death tax, higher tax rates on savers and investors, employer tax hikes, and twenty new or higher taxes in ObamaCare alone. In less than 30 days, the U.S. will have the highest corporate tax rate in the world.

Arizona’s state & local tax burden jumped from 9th to 3rd highest in the country as a result of the Brewer tax hike. It’s time to let it expire, as Gov. Brewer herself said it should.

What do you think, will Gov. Brewer keep her word and vocally oppose efforts to extend the sales tax increase? Time will tell.

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ATR to Massachusetts Legislators: Vote "NO" on Gov. Patrick's soda tax


Posted by Patrick M. Gleason on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012, 10:14 AM PERMALINK

January 26, 2012


Massachusetts Senate
Massachusetts House of Representatives


Dear Legislator,

Gov. Patrick’s plan for balancing the Massachusetts budget is incorrectly focused on revenue, rather than the real problem - overspending. The governor’s new executive budget is chock-full of tax increases that will adversely impact the state’s economy. One of the most egregious examples is Gov. Patrick’s proposal for a soda tax hike, which applies the state’s 6.25% sales tax to soda and other sweetened drinks.

Soda taxes have already proven to be ineffective and bad policy. As such, both Washington and Maine recently repealed failed taxes on soda. I encourage you to look to the experiences of these states as a cautionary tale.

Gov. Patrick is trying to sell this idea under the auspices of an obesity prevention initiative. In reality, soda taxes do not necessarily decrease an individual’s caloric intake. They are nothing more than a shameless cash grab that puts off necessary spending reforms. According to a recent study by the Tax Foundation, consumers will likely substitute other food and drink to make up for the discrepancy in their diet when they discontinue soda consumption due to higher prices. Thus, decreased soda consumption does not necessarily mean a healthier population in Massachusetts.

Singling out soda, when many factors contribute to obesity, is an ill-advised use of government power that needlessly restricts citizens’ freedom of choice. This tax falls on all consumers, not just the ones who consume in excess. No one should have to incur higher prices from a nanny state to curb their consumption, particularly perfectly healthy individuals who enjoy soda and other sweetened drinks.

Gov. Patrick’s justification of the soda tax does not cite the facts. In his budget recommendations, the governor claims that soda consumption is on the rise. This statement is simply untrue. The aforementioned Tax Foundation study shows that soda consumption actually decreased in recent years. Between 1998 and 2010, soda consumption per capita fell by 16%.

Worse, the soda tax proposal is also a job-killer. Massachusetts is home to Polar Beverages, a major employer, which will be negatively affected if this tax is enacted. In this tepid economic recovery, jobs are at a premium. Gov. Patrick’s friends in the White House have recently emphasized the need to promote domestic manufacturing, yet this proposed soda tax would reduce the job-creating capacity of beverage manufacturers in the Commonwealth. Targeting these manufacturers with discriminatory taxes harms their ability to hire and maintain current employment levels.

As you work through the budget process, I encourage you to focus on cutting the fat in government, rather than the waistlines of individuals. There is plenty of room to cut. I know it irritates some lawmakers when ATR says that the government has a spending problem and not a revenue problem, but that statement is supported by the facts. From 1999 to 2009, the Massachusetts budget grew by 31%. If spending was limited to the growth in population and inflation during that period, the Bay State would have spent $44 billion less. To prevent future budget shortfalls, ATR encourages Massachusetts lawmakers to pass a spending cap in 2012 that will keep government spending in line with population and inflation.
Please look to ATR as a resource on this issue. If you have any questions, please contact ATR’s Patrick Gleason at 202-785-0266 or pgleason@atr.org.

Onward,


Grover G. Norquist

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ATR to Massachusetts Legislators: Vote "NO" on Gov. Patrick's tobacco tax


Posted by Patrick M. Gleason on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012, 10:08 AM PERMALINK

February 2, 2012


Massachusetts Senate
Massachusetts House of Representatives


Dear Legislator,

I write you today regarding Gov. Patrick’s proposed budget. A particularly misguided aspect of the
governor’s executive budget is the bevy of lifestyle tax increases that will adversely impact the state’s
economy, hurt small businesses and, frankly, serve as an unnecessary annoyance that Bay State
residents will remember as they head to the voting booths later this year. Two of the most
egregious examples are the excise tax hikes called for on cigarettes and other tobacco products –
Gov. Patrick’s proposal would increase taxes on cigarettes in Massachusetts by $.50, bringing the
tax rate to an astounding $3.01 per pack and apply the heightened cigarette tax rate to all other
tobacco products, costing taxpayers $72.9 million next year.

Excise taxes have repeatedly been proven ineffective and bad policy that kills jobs and drives
business across state lines. Jobs are at a premium amid this tepid economic recovery, yet Gov.
Patrick’s proposed tax increases are sure to reduce the job-creating capacity of small business
owners across the Commonwealth by forcing commerce across state lines. It should be noted that
taxes on cigarettes in neighboring Vermont and New Hampshire are considerably lower than the
proposed rate. Gov. Patrick should look to South Carolina, Washington, D.C., and Chicago’s
recent experiences with cigarette excise tax increases. These cautionary tales demonstrate that
consumers are not deterred by a short drive if onerous lifestyle taxes are lower in a nearby state, as
evidenced by Massachusetts’ own Sen. Rodrigues, who made news for crossing state lines to buy
alcohol in New Hampshire.

South Carolina added $.57 to each pack of cigarettes in July 2010. Despite the rate increase, records
show a decline in cigarette tax revenue in South Carolina since that time, while neighboring states
saw growth. Neighboring Georgia saw a net increase in cigarette sales of nearly 1.3 million packs in
the six months after South Carolina raised its excise tax rate. Washington, D.C. raised its cigarette
tax by $.50 in 2009 only to see an 11 percent net decline in cigarette tax revenue as consumers
flocked to neighboring states with a low tax rate on cigarettes like Virginia. When Cook County,
which encompasses the city of Chicago, increased its cigarette tax by $1 in 2006, Chicagoans
flocked to neighboring Indiana to make their purchases. Following that tax hike, The Huffington
Post reported a team of University of Illinois-Chicago researchers collected a sample of discarded
cigarette packs. According to their study, 75 percent of the discarded packs came from outside
Cook County. Massachusetts, given its geography, can expect similarly dubious results if lawmakers
on Beacon Hill elect to raise tobacco taxes.

Gov. Patrick is trying to sell this tax hike under the auspices of a tobacco use mitigation initiative.
Yet, scientific research shows that Gov. Patrick’s tobacco tax increases could be detrimental to
public health. By taxing other tobacco products (OTP) at the same increased rate as cigarettes,
Gov. Patrick is perpetuating the egregious misconception that use of smokeless tobacco is as
harmful as smoking. A 2011 analysis of data from the International Tobacco Control four-country
survey shows that more than 85 percent of U.S. smokers do not believe there is less risk associated
with smokeless tobacco than cigarettes. In actuality, risks associated with the use of smokeless
tobacco are significantly lower than cigarettes. The anti-smoking campaign brands nicotine the
culprit, when the most significant risk associated with smoking is the smoke inhaled. The
aforementioned ITC study shows that only about half of smokers correctly reported that nicotine is
not the chemical in cigarettes that causes cancer. Nicotine is addictive, but it poses no serious health
risks. Thus, the use of smokeless tobacco is proven to be a safer alternative to smoking. Smokeless
tobacco has similar nicotine levels as cigarettes, but is 98 percent safer – smokeless tobacco poses
no risk for emphysema, lung cancer, or heart disease. Though there is still a risk for mouth cancer,
it is significantly lower than smoking. A study by the American College of Chest Physicians shows
the overall mortality among snus users, a form of smokeless tobacco, was the same as nonusers of
tobacco.

A study by Brad Rodu, Professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville, demonstrates that the
use of smokeless tobacco is as an effective substitute for cigarettes, yielding tobacco harm
reduction. Sweden, the only country to meet the World Health Organization’s 2000 target for
reducing smoking to less than 20 percent, saw a significant decrease in smoking as the use of
smokeless tobacco increased according to the study conducted on white males. Rodu also saw a
corollary decrease in smoking attributable diseases.

Though using other low risk forms of tobacco could help smokers quit and lower overall
healthcare costs, Gov. Patrick’s budget ignores the science and raises the cost of products that are
proven to be safer alternatives to smoking. Adult smokers need to know the truth so they can make
informed decisions about their health. The false claims used by Gov. Patrick and proponents of
higher taxes on smokeless tobacco only perpetuate scientific falsehoods and serve to keep the
public misinformed.

As you work through the budget process, I encourage you to focus on cutting the fat in
government, rather than trying to control the personal choices of your constituents through
misguided lifestyle taxes. I know it irritates some lawmakers when ATR says that the government
has a spending problem and not a revenue problem, but that statement is supported by the facts.
From 1999 to 2009, the Massachusetts budget grew by 31 percent. If spending was limited to the
growth in population and inflation during that period, the Massachusetts government would have
spent $44 billion less. To prevent future budget shortfalls, ATR encourages Massachusetts
lawmakers to pass a spending cap in 2012 that will keep government spending in line with
population and inflation. Please look to ATR as a resource on this issue. If you have any questions,
please contact ATR’s Patrick Gleason at 202-785-0266 or pgleason@atr.org.

Onward,

Grover G. Norquist

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ATR Supports Virginia Bill Preventing Two ObamacareTax Hikes


Posted by Patrick M. Gleason on Tuesday, January 24th, 2012, 9:14 AM PERMALINK

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Virginia Senator Dick Black (R-Sterling) and Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Manassas) recently introduced SB 673, legislation that would prevent two of the twenty tax increases in Obamacare from hitting Virginia taxpayers. Today Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) announced its full-throated support for this legislation and calls on all Virginia legislators to join Sen. Black and Del. Marshall in standing up for taxpayers throughout the Commonwealth by supporting SB 673.

SB 673 would amend the Code of Virginia to deconform Virginia tax rules from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Virginians would be able to deduct the increased expenses from their state returns which result from the new threshold of unreimbursed medical expenses –  Obamacare raised this threshold from 7.5% to 10%.  

The second thing SB 673 does is protect Virginians from the increased expense that comes from Obamacare’s reduction in the allowance of tax deductible contributions to flex spending accounts. Obamacare caps such tax deductible contributions at only $2,500 – prior to Obamacare, taxpayers could make unlimited contributions to their flex accounts under federal law. Sen. Black and Del. Marshall’s bill would effectively preserve the present tax rules on Virginia state returns, thereby preventing two tax increases that would have otherwise taken effect with the implementation of Obamacare.  

“By introducing SB 673, Senator Black and Delegate Marshall are taking a bold stand in defense of Virginia taxpayers, whom are currently scheduled to face the largest federal tax increase in U.S. history in less than twelve short month,” said ATR president Grover Norquist. “In moving to block two of the twenty tax increases imposed by Obamacare, Senator Black and Delegate Marshall have distinguished themselves as taxpayer heroes and have taken one of the most significant steps of any lawmaker in the country to protect their constituents from the onslaught of tax increases coming from Washington.”

SB 673 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance. A hearing date has yet to be set.

“Under current law, on January 1, 2013, Virginians will be hit with higher federal income tax rates, higher taxes on marriage and family, a middle class death tax, higher tax rates on savers and investors, and employer tax hikes. SB 673 would help mitigate the adverse economic impact of this tax tsunami for Virginians,” Norquist continued. “Their legislation is a positive step in curbing the federal overreach and job-killing tax increases signed into law by President Obama and is a model for state legislators across the country to follow.”  

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ATR, like George Washington, Cannot Tell a Lie


Posted by Patrick M. Gleason on Wednesday, December 21st, 2011, 10:13 AM PERMALINK

In a recent letter to Georgia Governor and Taxpayer Protection Pledge signer Nathan Deal, ATR warned that excise tax increases drive commerce across state lines and would hurt Georgia businesses if enacted in the upcoming 2012 legislative session. PolitiFact decided to take a look at ATR's assertion and found it to be true:

The question for us: Do excise tax increases, as Norquist wrote, "drive commerce across state lines"?

Excise taxes are placed on items such as cigarettes and alcohol. Most excise taxes are on cigarettes. Georgia, like most Southern states, has among the lowest excise taxes on cigarettes (37 cents a pack) in the nation. One news report earlier this said state Senate leaders are considering raising the cigarette tax by $1 a pack.

The Americans for Tax Reform staff argued its case that Norquist is right, pointing to the results of excise tax increases in three places, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and South Carolina. Here’s a closer look:

Chicago

ATR told us that Chicagoans flocked to neighboring Indiana when Cook County, which encompasses the Windy City, raised its cigarette tax by $1 in 2006. After the 2006 changes in Cook County, Chicagoans paid among the highest prices for cigarettes in the country. A team of University of Illinois-Chicago researchers found in a sample survey of discarded cigarette packs that 75 percent of them came from outside Cook County, The Huffington Post reported. The taxes on a pack of cigarettes in Chicago in 2007 was $4.05. The taxes were $1.37 outside city limits.

Washington, D.C.

ATR says Washington saw an 11 percent net decline in cigarette tax revenue after it raised the cigarette tax by 50 cents, to $2.50 a pack in 2009. Cigarette taxes in the nation’s capital were already higher than most states before 2009. In Virginia, the taxes for a pack of smokes is 30 cents, nearly the lowest in the nation. Missouri has the lowest cigarette taxes, 17 cents a pack, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids. City officials still expected to bank $30 million from the increase, although it was less than their initial projection of about $45 million.

South Carolina

Georgia saw a net increase in cigarette sales of nearly 1.3 million packs in the six months after South Carolina raised its excise tax rate in July 2010, ATR says. Cigarette tax revenue did decline slightly in South Carolina in the first 12 months since its increase, records show. South Carolina previously had the lowest cigarette tax in the nation, at 7 cents a pack. It’s now 57 cents a pack. Many smokers in the Palmetto State were not happy with the changes.

Matthew Farrelly, whose research on cigarette excise taxes has been used by others, said some people will travel across state lines to buy cigarettes once excise taxes are raised. Other smokers will buy by the carton or choose a lesser brand to save money, he said.

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

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Governors of California and New York Encourage Employers to Kindly Leave


Posted by Patrick M. Gleason on Wednesday, December 7th, 2011, 4:09 PM PERMALINK

The governors of California and New York, respectively the 1st and 3rd most populace states in the union, have proposed massive tax increases in the last few days.

In California, Gov. Jerry Brown was unable to pass the largest state tax increase in U.S. history earlier this year because legislative Republicans, whose votes were needed due to California's 2/3rds vote requirement to raise taxes, kept their pledge to constituents to oppose any and all efforts to raise taxes. So Brown is now going out to collect signatures, with financial backing of government sector unions and Hollywood, to put an income and sales tax hike on the ballot. (Side note: Brown should hire ATR to consult him, because as we told him back in January, his tax hikes wouldn’t get through the legislature and he would save himself time and embarrassment by just going and getting the requisite signatures.) California has the 6th highest state and local tax burden in the country. If Brown has his way, California families and employers will be the nation’s most heavily taxed.

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s vow to not raise taxes apparently only had a shelf life of less than a year. Cuomo recently proposed a massive income tax increase that will serve to make state revenues more volatile and unpredictable. Today’s Wall Street Journal lays out how Cuomo’s plan will make New York’s income tax more progressive:

“Mr. Cuomo is also tossing out the most desirable part of New York's tax code, which is its relative flatness, with a top income tax rate that would have been 6.85% next year (after the previous surcharge expires). The new code will include a "progressive" ladder: 6.45% for couples earning between $40,000 and $150,000, 6.65% from $150,000 to $300,000, 6.85% from $300,000 to $2 million, and 8.82% above $2 million ($1 million for individuals).”

Upon coming into office at the beginning of this year, Cuomo remarked that New York has no future as the tax capital of the nation. That assessment is just as applicable, if not more so, today as it was in January.

Liberals hate it when we say that these states have a spending problem and not a revenue problem, but the data makes clear that is in fact the case. Let’s take a look at the numbers:

Over the last 10 years, had California kept spending in line with population growth and inflation, the Golden State would have spent over $230 billion less than it did and would be sitting on a sizable surplus. Same goes for New York, which would’ve spent over $130 billion less over the last decade had lawmakers in Albany simply kept spending in line with population and inflation.

What do you think? Will continuing their strategy of hiking taxes on families and employers while ignoring out-of-control spending work out well for New York and California?

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