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Category: Taxes



  • 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

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    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.”

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  • 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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  • Congressional Repeal of Obamacare is an Important Step Forward

    Michi Iljazi on January 8, 2016

    obamacare

    On March 23, 2010 the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), aka Obamacare, was signed into law.  Now, less than two months away from its sixth anniversary, the United States Congress finally passed an Obamacare repeal bill that will be sent to President Obama.  While it is likely that the bill will be vetoed and unable to be overridden in the Senate, this is an important moment in the fight against Obamacare. This victory, while not fully realized without a President willing to sign the repeal bill, presents an opportunity for Congress to make their case on the best way forward to fix the problems that do exist within our healthcare system today. The House voted on Wednesday, January 6 240-181 to pass a repeal bill of Obamacare.  The same bill passed the Senate in December by a vote of 52-47 through a process called reconciliation.  TPA applauded House and Senate leaders for finally doing what had been promised for several years; get a repeal bill onto the President’s desk.

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  • TPA's 2016 New Years Resolutions for Washington!

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on December 31, 2015

    nye

    The time to say goodbye to 2015 has arrived as the New Year is upon us. From losing weight to reading more, it’s that time of year when millions of Americans make their resolutions for the coming year.  The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) put together a list of our own resolutions for Washington.

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  • Cyber Monday is a Reminder Why Lawmakers Should Keep The Internet Tax Free

    David Williams on November 27, 2015

    cm

    Today is “Cyber Monday,” the busiest online shopping day of the year. Last year, there was a record number of online sales with one-day purchases exceeding $2 billion.  According to CNN, this is an increase of 17 percent over 2013.  With renewed threats of Internet sales taxes coming out of Congress, there’s no better time to look at why e-commerce is so important and how Washington can make sure it continues to be a key driver of the economy. The increase in online shopping from 2013-2014 shows that the Internet is a key driver in a strong economy.  That makes it even more baffling to think that some in Congress would be so out of touch to continue to push the idea of creating new taxes for Internet sales (click here to listen to the Taxpayer Watch that discuses the online sales taxes). Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) recently introduced new online sales tax legislation. H.R. 2775, the “Remote Transactions Parity Act” (RTPA) would hit total sales, no matter the amount of sales in online business transactions.

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  • GOP Debate Number Three: The Economic Debate That Wasn't

    Michi Iljazi on November 2, 2015

    cnbc

    The 2016 campaign continues to be a major part of the discussion as candidates from both parties travel across the country attempting to woo voters. The debates are supposed to be a platform where the candidates can separate themselves and provide clarity about what plans they have on specific policy areas.  Unfortunately, the debates have not provided a real discussion on issues.  Instead, they have become a melee of zingers and one-liners. Last week’s third GOP primary debate was one of the least substantive and what makes matters worse is that weeks of buildup centered around the promise that it would be focused on economic issues, an important topic of discussion as the economy struggles and the country is faced with a $18 trillion debt. In Boulder, Colorado last Wednesday ten of the remaining fifteen GOP candidates met on stage to debate what CNBC billed as a debate centered on economic issues. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) was looking forward to hearing the moderators ask questions about tax reform, regulatory policy, entitlement reform, and pro-growth ideas. Frank exchanges about the candidates views and plans on these issues would have been a win for the candidates, CNBC, and taxpayers.  But, instead, the audience of 14 million was treated to a bizarre debate where the moderators, as much as the candidates, failed to provide voters with any substance.  Considering that a two-year budget deal that busted the budget caps was passed by the House and Senate last week, a golden opportunity to talk about fiscal issues was lost.

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  • TPA Presents the 2015 Taxpayer Tricks and Treats!

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on October 29, 2015

    halloween1

    Halloween this weekend so that means families all over the country are getting ready to celebrate with candy and costumes. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) however, is getting ready for the scary season by keeping our eye on what government has been doing to taxpayers over the past year. That’s right, it’s time for TPA’s annual Taxpayer Tricks and Treats! This year, there’s plenty for taxpayers to be frightened of with threats of government shutdowns, uncertainty with spending bills, and a host of other ghoulish scares that Washington is bringing to working families this year.

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  • TPA Presents the 2015 Taxpayer Tricks and Treats!

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on October 26, 2015

    halloween1

    Halloween is just around the corner so that means families all over the country are getting ready to celebrate with candy and costumes. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) however, is getting ready for the scary season by keeping our eye on what government has been doing to taxpayers over the past year. That’s right, it’s time for TPA’s annual Taxpayer Tricks and Treats! This year, there’s plenty for taxpayers to be frightened of with threats of government shutdowns, uncertainty with spending bills, and a host of other ghoulish scares that Washington is bringing to working families this year.

    » Read More
  • TPA Releases Detailed Report on NFL Stadium Finances

    Michi Iljazi on September 12, 2015

    nfl rpt

    The Taxpayers Protection Alliance Releases New Report on NFL Stadium Financing

    Washington, D.C. - This week, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) released a new report, “Sacking Taxpayers: How NFL Stadium Subsidies Waste Money and Fall Short on Their Promises of Economic Development” detailing the public financing deals for NFL stadiums across the country. The report examines the economic impact of taxpayer-financed NFL stadiums on the people who pay the taxes that fund the construction of those very stadiums. Since 1995, a staggering 29 of the 31 stadiums that house NFL teams received public subsidies for construction, renovation or both. Over the last twenty years, taxpayers have been forced to spend nearly $7 billion subsidizing NFL stadium construction and renovation projects. “Americans love watching the NFL and football fans love going see their team play each week at stadiums across the country,” said David Williams, TPA President. “Unfortunately, beneath all of the glitz and glamour, these venues are nothing more than monuments to corporate welfare and taxpayer handouts. These stadiums have been built on the backs of taxpayers who had no or little say in the matter and in many cases have benefitted little or not at all.” The report comes as the NFL opens its 2015 season, which began on Thursday night September 10 as the Pittsburgh Steelers were defeated by the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. The game was played in Gillette Stadium, which was built using $72 million of taxpayers’ hard-earned money.

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  • IRS to Taxpayers and Business: Privacy? What Privacy?

    Michi Iljazi on September 11, 2015

    irs

    Individuals and organizations should expect a modicum of privacy when it comes to certain personal or financial information.  Unfortunately, that expectation has taken a hit recently as news of hacks have dominated headlines. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) hack was embarrassing for the federal government as more than twenty million public employees had their personal information exposed. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a had a less than stellar track record of late when it comes to keeping in line with protecting the interests of taxpayers and their record on privacy. Everyone knows by now the IRS targeting scandal that revealed a political witch-hunt within the agency that focused on harassing and delaying the tax classification free-market and conservative non-profits. However, this is not the only way in which the IRS is going after groups and individuals. The IRS has been looking for ways beyond the treatment of non-profits to widen their authority over individual taxpayers and organizations. Businesses have come under fire with increasing regulatory action from federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Communications Commission but now even the IRS is starting to ratchet up the hostility towards the private sector.

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  • TPA Releases New Report on NFL Stadium Finances

    Michi Iljazi on September 9, 2015

    nfl rpt

    The Taxpayers Protection Alliance Releases New Report on NFL Stadium Financing

    Washington, D.C. - Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) released a new report, “Sacking Taxpayers: How NFL Stadium Subsidies Waste Money and Fall Short on Their Promises of Economic Development” detailing the public financing deals for NFL stadiums across the country. The report examines the economic impact of taxpayer-financed NFL stadiums on the people who pay the taxes that fund the construction of those very stadiums. Since 1995, a staggering 29 of the 31 stadiums that house NFL teams received public subsidies for construction, renovation or both. Over the last twenty years, taxpayers have been forced to spend nearly $7 billion subsidizing NFL stadium construction and renovation projects. “Americans love watching the NFL and football fans love going see their team play each week at stadiums across the country,” said David Williams, TPA President. “Unfortunately, beneath all of the glitz and glamour, these venues are nothing more than monuments to corporate welfare and taxpayer handouts. These stadiums have been built on the backs of taxpayers who had no or little say in the matter and in many cases have benefitted little or not at all.” The report comes as the NFL prepares to open its 2015 season on Thursday night September 10 as the Pittsburgh Steelers visit the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. The game will be played in Gillette Stadium, which was built using $72 million of taxpayers’ hard-earned money.

    » Read More
  • Summer Reading: Taxes

    Michi Iljazi on August 21, 2015

    capitol

    The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) continues its Summer Reading series focusing on tax reform and specific tax issues that Congress should address. The most immediate needs for reform are the tax code, unresolved issues with how the IRS treats non-profit organizations, and the constant ambiguity on Internet taxes.

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