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Category: Taxes



  • IP Abuses Harm Taxpayers

    Michi Iljazi on April 20, 2016

    piracy

    Now that tax day is over, another very important day is on the horizon: World Intellectual Property (IP) Day on April 26. World IP Day is observed each year and marks the importance of IP and the benefits it has on the free market as well as to taxpayers, consumers, and businesses. As IP continues to be a critical issue on a number of fronts, including trade and the economy, it cannot be ignored that the abuses of IP protections are harmful to economies and taxpayers not just in the United States but also all over the world. Free market groups from around the world are taking notice of the importance of IP.  The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) joined with the Property Rights Alliance and more than 80 other organizations representing more than 50 countries signing this coalition letter sent to the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Dr. Francis Gurry. The letter lays out the case for protecting intellectual property rights and not just here in the United States, but around the entire world. Two areas where the economic impact can be seen directly are digital piracy and plain packaging.

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  • Happy Tax Day! Watch Your Assets!

    Michi Iljazi on April 15, 2016

    Tax Day 2016: Watch Your Assets

    Today is Tax Day 2016!  The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) hit the streets and talked to folks from around the country about what they thought about taxes.  The last time there was comprehensive tax reform was 1986. A lot has changed since 1986, why hasn't the tax code? Many of the Presidential candidates have said that tax reform will be a priority if they are elected, but Congress has the ability to act now. This is a bipartisan issue, where both Republicans and Democrats agree that our outdated and cumbersome tax code needs to be reformed now. Taxpayers are sick of being in a time warp where yet another tax day comes and goes and nothing has changed. We need tax reform done in 2016.

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  • TPA Launches "Tax Day 2016: Watch Your Assets" Campaign

    Michi Iljazi on April 13, 2016

    Taxpayers Protection Alliance Launches “Tax Day 2016: Watch Your Assets” Campaign

    Man on the Street Style Videos Ask People About Taxes and Their Preferred Policies

    (Washington, D.C.)—On Monday, April 11th, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) launched a Tax Day 2016 campaign aimed at Capitol Hill and members of Congress in order to keep comprehensive tax reform a priority for policymakers. The campaign, “Tax Day 2016: Watch Your Assets,” will run from April 11 through tax day and feature man on the street style videos, share graphics and targeted emails to members of Congress and Hill staff. The last time there was comprehensive tax reform was 1986. A lot has changed since 1986, why hasn't the tax code? “Many of the Presidential candidates have said that tax reform will be a priority if they are elected,” said David Williams, President of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance. “But Congress has the ability to act now. This is a bipartisan issue, where both Republicans and Democrats agree that our outdated and cumbersome tax code needs to be reformed now. Taxpayers are sick of being in a time warp where yet another tax day comes and goes and nothing has changed. We need tax reform done in 2016.”

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  • Oklahomans Latest Victims of Targeted Cigarette Tax Hike Campaign

    Miriam Roff on April 12, 2016

    tax

    Miriam Roff is the State Affairs Coordinator at Americans for Tax Reform, this piece orginally appeared on ATR.org

    The purported “popularity” of a particular piece of public policy should not be the end-all justification for its passage. Such is certainly the case with efforts to raise taxes on tobacco products. Many state lawmakers have labeled these tax hikes as a win-win for taxpayers and the government because they have bought into the fallacy, perpetuated by organizations like the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, that the state revenue impact and affect on consumer behavior justify the targeting of low-income taxpayers with regressive tax hikes. These proponents are wrong. Oklahomans are the latest victims in the targeted campaign to address a state overspending problem with a cigarette tax hike.  And academics have been called in to help make the case for big government legislators. A Northeastern University professor of economics released a misguided report earlier this month bolstering Gov. Mary Fallin’s (R- Okla.) proposed $1.50-per-pack cigarette tax hike. Although the report insists that cigarette tax revenue increases with each hike and remains relatively stagnant in the following years, it fails to address and expand upon all of the consequences that come with tobacco tax increases.

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  • Hillary Clinton's Attacks on Business are Harmful, Hollow, and Political

    Michi Iljazi on April 8, 2016

    hill

    The 2016 Presidential contest is in full swing as the party primaries enter the final stages before the summer conventions. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) believes that all candidates should be talking about comprehensive tax reform, reducing spending, reforming the Pentagon, and fixing the broken process on how spending is authorized in Washington. The lack of regular order has led to billions in earmarks (which are technically illegal), and continuous stopgap measures to fund the government. Unfortunately, much of this discussion is missing real substance. One candidate in particular, Hillary Clinton, has been taking a harsh tone on the private sector, going so far as to single out specific companies purely for political points. Former First Lady, New York Senator, Secretary of State, and current Democrat frontrunner for her party’s nomination Hillary Clinton has been increasingly using her campaign to level dishonest attacks on the business community. The tactics from Sec. Clinton show a clear unnerving by her campaign, which continues to fend off the insurgent campaign of Vermont’s Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders. Her campaign is struggling not just because her lack of energy, her attacks on the private sector are full of hypocrisy and dishonesty. The specific issue here is the current talks between Johnson Controls, Inc. and TYCO as they move towards a merger that could be beneficial to consumers, employees, and shareholders of the two companies. Sec. Clinton asserts that the merger is nothing more than greedy corporate America hurting the middle class.

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  • Coalition to Congress: No Tax Extenders in FAA Reauthorization Bill

    Michi Iljazi on April 7, 2016

    plane

    Congress has a great deal to get done before they take their extended vacation in the summer, seven weeks as opposed to the usual six. The House is in recess right now, but the Senate is in session and moving towards another last minute deal that could cost taxpayers billions. At issue is the inclusion of tax extenders as part of S. 2658, the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016. Congress has already addressed the issue of tax extenders, and now they want to retroactively include additional provisions that amount to little more than cronyism and corporate welfare. The Senate should reject this approach and the House should follow suit as they take up their own legislation on FAA reauthorization. TPA recently signed a letter sent by Americans for Prosperity calling on the Senate to oppose the inclusion of tax extenders in the FAA reauthorization bill.

    Click 'read more' below to see the letter

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  • TPA Applauds Legislative Efforts to Reform FCC Lifeline Program

    David Williams on April 5, 2016

    phones
    Some phones that might be included in a Lifeline plan

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is one of the more active regulatory agencies under the Obama Administration and many times their actions have come at a price to taxpayers and consumers. Net neutrality and municipal broadband expansion are two very public battles that the agency has been at the center of, and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has been fighting them every step of the way. TPA has worked hard to ensure that the taxpayers’ voice is heard as FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler continues to expand the agency’s power through increased regulations. One program that has received some attention and notoriety is Lifeline. The program is part of the Universal Service Fund (USF), which is a tax on phone bills, provides a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers. In 2005, the program expanded to pre-paid cellular phone services and now the FCC wants to expand the reach of the program to broadband services. The problem though is that the program is a mess, filled with rampant fraud and abuse.

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  • Budget Proposals Offer Ideas for Ways Forward on Balancing the Budget

    Michi Iljazi on March 21, 2016

    cap

    This is the time of year when Congress begins work on a budget for the coming fiscal year, and last week marked the introduction of a pair of budget proposals from the both the House GOP and the Republican Study Committee (RSC). Both proposals are far better than President Obama’s eighth and final budget (click here to read more) released in late January. Each of the proposals released last week lay out a structure for a budget that will be balanced over the next decade by implementing spending cuts and enacting a series of reforms on spending programs and entitlements.

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  • America Says "No" to New Oil Taxes

    Drew Johnson on March 18, 2016

    obama

    This article originally appeared on MinuteManNewsCenter.com on March 15, 2016

    Americans today are relieved to be paying less than $2 for a gallon of gas. President Obama, though, thinks that’s just not enough. In his recent budget request to Congress, the president proposed a $10.25-per-barrel fee on crude oil to fund transportation projects. If implemented, this new tax would paralyze the economy, undermine our competitiveness in the global energy market, and raise prices at the pump by more than 10 percent. The timing of the president’s proposal couldn’t be worse. The oil industry supports 9.8 million jobs in the United States and accounts for 8 percent of the economy. It’s suffering from its worst financial crisis in 25 years thanks to a 70 percent drop in the price of crude oil over the past year and a half. Consequently, energy companies have had no choice but to let people go. Shell has cut its workforce by 10,000. BP recently announced it will eliminate 3,000 jobs. Haliburton has laid off 22,000 workers since the beginning of 2015.
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  • TPA Signs Coalition Letter Urging Death Tax Repeal Vote in the Senate

    Michi Iljazi on March 17, 2016

    tax

    One of our nation’s founders, Benjamin Franklin, is credited with saying, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” But who thought that combining the two would be good policy? The first time the government imposed a form of the Death Tax was back in the late 1700s with the Stamp Act.  A century later the tax was used to help finance the Civil War (as an inheritance tax).  And then again in 1916 when the Revenue Act became law (ushering in income tax), the estate tax (aka the “Death Tax”) came with it. Like before, when conflict arose in World War I (WWI), the tax became the vehicle for revenue generation. However unlike the previous two, the post –WWI Death tax was not repealed and is the foundation for what is in the current tax code. There has been momentum to repeal the Death Tax, and the broad coalition fighting for repeal continues to grow in size and diversity. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) recently signed onto a letter sent by the Family Businesses Coalition to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) urging action in the Senate to repeal the Death Tax. The House has already acted on Death Tax repeal by passing the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015, sponsored by current House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas). The time for the Senate to act is now and there is legislation ready to be brought to the floor, S. 860, sponsored by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.). It is important to get a repeal bill of the Death Tax onto the President’s desk sooner rather than later.

    Click 'read more' below to see the full letter

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  • To Fix Our Broken Tax System, Sunset the Tax Code

    Michi Iljazi on March 11, 2016

    irs
    IRS Headquarters, Washington, D.C. 

    Tax reform
    is critical to ensuring our economy recovers from the sluggish growth it has been experiencing.   Real individual and corporate tax reform will boost the middle class and encourage more business investment at home. President Obama, members of the House and Senate, groups like the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), and individual Americans have all weighed in on how to get tax reform done. There is agreement that the code needs to be overhauled.  There is also agreement that the corporate tax rate is too high. There is now a new path forward with legislation in the House that guarantees something will be done when it comes to fixing our broken tax code. H.R. 27, the Tax Code Termination Act, introduced by House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), puts in place a blueprint to get rid of the current code, have a timetable for a new code to be approved, and then have that new code ultimately adopted.

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  • Tax Reform – Not Higher Taxes – Will Bring Economic Growth

    David Williams on February 22, 2016

    capitol

    This article appeared in Morning Consult on Feburary 16, 2016

    Two significant documents were delivered to Congress last week:  President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget and U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s semiannual Monetary Policy Report. The President’s budget is a $4.1 trillion plan containing $2.6 trillion in tax hikes.  And it’s not surprising that it’s a repeat of his previous plans – more spending and tax increases.  When it comes to the latter, one proposal in particular has garnered the most ink and discussion: a $10 per barrel tax on oil produced in the United States. As always, it will be consumers on the losing end of this deal, which many on Capitol Hill have called “dead-on-arrival.”  And for good reason.  It’s estimated that President Obama’s $10 per barrel tax on oil would add almost 25 cents a gallon to the cost of gasoline, hitting middle class and low-income families particularly hard.  But it’s not just the pump where Americans will feel the pinch.

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  • Taxpayers Are in Love With Tax Reform. What About Members of Congress?

    David Williams on February 12, 2016

    heart

    Love is in the air as Valentine’s Day approaches.  With that in mind, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) continues our Valentine’s Day themed campaign designed to address the serious issue of tax reform for members of Congress. The “Love is Patient, Taxpayers Aren’t” campaign (click here for press release) sums up the desire for immediate tax reform.  Much like the holiday of Valentine’s Day, the campaign will be conducted with the passage of cards, candy and alluring messages.

    As part of the campaign, members of Congress and their staff will be sent a BuzzFeed-style personality quiz to see if their views truly are aligned with tax reform. The results of the quiz are simple - either the member of Congress is in favor of economy boosting tax reform, or they oppose tax.  TPA will also encourage Capitol Hill to utilize our snapchat filter that features conversation hearts adorned with tax reform messages such as “Tax Reform BAE (Before Anything Else)” and “Tax Reform 2016.”  Additionally, Congress will be sent eCards featuring tax reform memes with holiday-themed facts such as: “There are 75 thousand pages in the US Tax Code. That’s enough paper to write a love letter every day for the next 200 years.”

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  • VICTORY!! Senate Passes PITFA: Internet Access Taxes Permanently Banned!

    Michi Iljazi on February 11, 2016

    cap

    Taxpayers Protection Alliance Applauds Senate on PITFA Passage!

    Internet Access Taxes Permanently Banned After Bipartisan Vote in Senate

    Washington, D.C.- Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) applauded the Senate for passing the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA), a permanent ban on Internet access taxes, as apart of H.R. 644, The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.  The House has already passed PITFA, so the Senate’s vote brings the legislation one step closer.  TPA urges President Obama to sign the bill and end the threat of Internet access taxes, forever.  After nearly two decades of temporary extensions, taxpayers and consumers of all income levels are on the verge of a major victory.  The federal government has been determined to stifle the growth of the Internet by imposing draconian regulations and taxes. Americans are taxed enough already.  Now, with just the signature of the President, that ban will be permanent.  

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  • TPA Releases Statement on Final Budget Proposal from President Obama

    Michi Iljazi on February 9, 2016

    obama

    Washington, D.C.- Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reacted to the final budget proposal from President Barack Obama. The budget, released on Tuesday calls for $4.1 trillion in spending for Fiscal Year 2017, an increase over the previous proposal from the White House which sought $3.99 trillion for FY 2016. With calls for new taxes and no meaningful reform on spending, it is hardly a proposal that moves the needle in the right direction.

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  • Taxpayers Are in Love With Tax Reform. What About Members of Congress?

    David Williams on February 8, 2016

    heart

    Love is in the air as Valentine’s Day approaches.  With that in mind, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) launched a Valentine’s Day themed campaign designed to address the serious issue of tax reform for members of Congress. The “Love is Patient, Taxpayers Aren’t” campaign (click here for press release) sums up the desire for immediate tax reform.  Much like the holiday of Valentine’s Day, the campaign will be conducted with the passage of cards, candy and alluring messages.

    As part of the campaign, members of Congress and their staff will be sent a BuzzFeed-style personality quiz to see if their views truly are aligned with tax reform. The results of the quiz are simple - either the member of Congress is in favor of economy boosting tax reform, or they oppose tax.  TPA will also encourage Capitol Hill to utilize our snapchat filter that features conversation hearts adorned with tax reform messages such as “Tax Reform BAE (Before Anything Else)” and “Tax Reform 2016.”  Additionally, Congress will be sent eCards featuring tax reform memes with holiday-themed facts such as: “There are 75 thousand pages in the US Tax Code. That’s enough paper to write a love letter every day for the next 200 years.”

    » Read More
  • Taxpayers Getting "Berned" by Misinformation About Subsidies

    David Williams on February 3, 2016

    sanders

    As the march towards Election Day 2016 continues, the current crop of presidential candidates are getting more specific with their tax policy proposals.  And, in the process, they are trotting out their favorite campaign trail sound bites that may sound attractive in theory, but in reality would be a disaster for the nation’s economy. A perfect example of this is presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).  On Friday, his campaign released five steps he would take in reforming the corporate tax code, and unsurprisingly, targeting the energy industry was near the top of his list.  According to the plan, “Sen. Sanders would repeal dozens of loopholes and tax subsidies throughout the federal tax code that benefit oil, natural gas, and coal special interests, saving more than $135 billion over the next decade.” Sen. Sanders is simply wrong on the facts.  The traditional energy industry doesn’t receive subsidies; however, they do take deductions.  A subsidy is a direct payment from the government, typically to help prop up an industry. A deduction is taken to write off legitimate business expenses which the energy industry takes along with practically every company listed in the S&P 500. Interestingly, the Sanders plan makes no mention of repealing subsidies for the renewable energy sector which have increased to record levels under President Obama’s watch. The Obama administration’s record of renewables subsidies took place despite the fact that renewables accounted for only 11.4 percent of America’s primary energy production while fossil fuels accounted for 78.5 percent in 2013, according to the Congressional Research Service.

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  • NFL Subsidies: Taxpayers Left High and Dry After Rams Move to Los Angeles

    David Williams on January 26, 2016

    rams

    This article appeared in Inside Sources on January 20, 2016

    With a great deal of fanfare from the National Football League (NFL) and the owner of the St. Louis Rams, the announcement was made on January 14 that the St. Louis Rams would be moving to Los Angeles.  What was left out of that announcement was that taxpayers would still be on the hook paying for the Edward Jones Dome in. St. Louis. St. Louis and Missouri taxpayers paid the full $280 million cost of construction for the Edward Jones Dome in 1995. In an effort to keep the Rams in St. Louis, government officials tried to persuade the team to stay with the promise of $500 million for a new billion-dollar stadium.  Rams owner, and billionaire, Stan Kroenke decided to move despite the generous taxpayer gift.  The problem is that Missouri taxpayers aren’t off the hook because they will be paying $12 million until 2022 on the Edward Jones Dome.

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  • TPA Joins Coalition Urging Senate to Pass Permanent Ban on Internet Access Taxes

    Michi Iljazi on January 21, 2016

    comp

    The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) continues to fight a number of battles in order to make certain taxpayers won’t have new or increasing taxes coming from federal and state governments. In the next few weeks Congress has an opportunity to end one potential new tax forever and that’s Internet access taxes. Passage of H.R. 644, Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 by a vote of 256-158 in the House in late December was a critical step because legislation contained the "Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act" (PITFA), which will forever eliminate any threat of tax increases for Internet access. Now, the Senate must act in kind to end the threat of Internet access taxes permanently. Keeping that in mind, TPA signed onto this coalition letter (click here) this morning urging Senate leadership to keep the PITFA provision and pass the bill.

    Click 'read more' below to read the full letter

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  • Surprise! New York Losing Revenue After Tobacco Tax Increase

    Michi Iljazi on January 15, 2016

    cig

    In a not so shocking development, the state of New York is finding out how ineffective and damaging excise tax increases can be to state and local economies.   According to The Daily Caller, “New York raised taxes on cigarettes to $4.35 in 2010 from $2.75. In total, cigarette taxes have increased by 190 percent since 2006. The sharp rise has resulted in a raft of unintended consequences which are dealing a significant blow to the state’s finances.  New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli reports New York’s revenue from cigarette taxes has plunged by $400 million over the past five years.” The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is hardly surprised or amused at what amounts to yet more proof of the failure of ‘tax first’ policies.

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