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Category: Taxes



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

    Michi Iljazi on January 21, 2016

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    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

    » Read More
  • Surprise! New York Losing Revenue After Tobacco Tax Increase

    Michi Iljazi on January 15, 2016

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    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.

    » Read More
  • Congressional Repeal of Obamacare is an Important Step Forward

    Michi Iljazi on January 8, 2016

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    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.

    » Read More
  • TPA's 2016 New Years Resolutions for Washington!

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on December 31, 2015

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    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.

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

    David Williams on November 27, 2015

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    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.

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

    Michi Iljazi on November 2, 2015

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    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.

    » Read More
  • TPA Presents the 2015 Taxpayer Tricks and Treats!

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on October 29, 2015

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    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.

    » Read More
  • 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

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    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.

    » Read More
  • IRS to Taxpayers and Business: Privacy? What Privacy?

    Michi Iljazi on September 11, 2015

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    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.

    » Read More
  • 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

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    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.

    » Read More
  • First GOP Presidential Debate: Ten Issues the Candidates Must Address

    David Williams on August 5, 2015

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    Here we go again.  Another election season is quickly approaching and the first sign of the 2016 election is the first debate.  On Thursday August 6, ten republicans will square off in the first of many debates in an attempt to win the hearts and minds of republican voters.  Thursday’s debate in Ohio will be the first (and certainly not the last time) for the presidential hopefuls to tell the voters why they should be the party’s nominee for President.  Even though the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) will not endorse anybody for President, we do have a Top Ten list of issues should be addressed by the candidates.

    » Read More
  • Congress Can Chip Away At Harmful Obamacare Taxes

    Michi Iljazi on July 28, 2015

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    A verision of this article originally appeared in The Daily Caller on July 15, 2015

    Despite a frustrating ruling from the Supreme Court that kept the state and federal subsidies intact for the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), there are still opportunities to chip away at some of the law’s more damaging provisions, including many of the taxes that were put in place to help offset some of the financial costs of Obamacare. Many of those taxes – which aren’t generating the promised revenue – shouldn’t have been created in the first place, and are now wreaking havoc on the economy. Even though a full repeal of Obamacare may not be realistic, Congress does have the ability to remove components of Obamacare that have bipartisan opposition. One such component is the tanning tax. Currently, there is legislation in the House of Representatives sponsored by Rep. George Holding (R-N.C.) to repeal the tanning tax, H.R.2698, the “Tanning Tax Repeal Act of 2015.” The bill is a simple one-page piece of legislation that eliminates the tanning tax on indoor tanning salons. The bipartisan bill has 30 cosponsors, including Brad Ashford (D-Neb.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.). The 10 percent tax on indoor tanning is the perfect example of a tax not generating the revenue promised.  In 2010, the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) projected that the new tax would generate $1 billion between 2010-2014. The IRS reports that the tax only produced $86.3 million in fiscal year (FY) 2011, $91.5 million in FY 2012, and $92 million in both FY 2013 and FY 2014 – a total of only $362 million. With a difference of $600 million, those numbers are far from what was expected.

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  • Raising Taxes Not A Long-Term Solution for Highway Trust Fund

    David Williams on July 6, 2015

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    This article originally appeared in The Hill on June 25, 2015

    With the Highway Trust Fund set to run out of money yet again in the coming weeks, members of Congress have focused their efforts around various ideas to provide a sustainable, long-term solution to the funding shortfall. At least some of them have. A fix to the Fund will not be easy. And the failure of Congress to work toward a real solution has led some politicians to resort to their age-old answer of raising taxes.  This is a monumentally bad idea because in addition to the 18.4 cents per gallon that consumers are paying in federal gas taxes, the average state gas tax is 20 cents per gallon, making the total taxes paid at the gas pump to be 38 cents per gallon. Another option is to use taxes received from repatriated funds (money brought back into the country by corporations).  Whether it’s raising the gas tax or using repatriated tax revenue, attempts to shore up the Fund by shifting money from other budgets will not be a long term solution.  And, these gimmicks will not solve transportation problems.

    » Read More
  • States Continue to Target Tobacco, and now, Vapor Industry for Taxes

    Michi Iljazi on June 30, 2015

    July 1st marks the beginning of the fiscal year for states across the country, and with that comes the end for many legislative sessions where budgets have been completed and difficult choices on spending have been made. Unfortunately, many states have defaulted to the tired and repeated mistake of taxing tobacco products and some legislatures are even looking to go after those who partake in vaping with new taxes on what is a growing industry, the last thing it needs is excise taxes to harm that potential.  This is sadly a bipartisan affair, as states run by Democrats and Republicans are getting in on the haphazardly scheme of taxing tobacco and vapor products. Here are some of the states that have done a disservice to the taxpayers that put them in office by enacting these misguided policies that do more harm than good.

    » Read More
  • TPA Reacts to Supreme Court Decision on King v. Burwell Obamacare Case

    David Williams & Michi Iljazi on June 25, 2015

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    TPA Reaction to SCOTUS Obamacare Decision
    Taxpayer Group Slams Decision to Keep Subsidies, Urges Full Repeal

    Washington, D.C. - Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) slammed the United States Supreme Court after a disappointing ruling in King v. Burwell.  This ruling on Obamacare is bad for taxpayers and the whole country.  Obamacare has been a flawed and failed piece of legislation from the beginning.  Today, the Supreme Court deepened the pain of working families as millions of Americans continue to pay for a program that has forced people onto lower quality plans, forced families to lose their preferred coverage, put the privacy of the public at risk, and will cost taxpayers over $1 trillion in just the next decade alone.

    Even with this disappointing ruling, TPA will continue to call for a full repeal in the House and Senate so that Washington can encourage incentive-based, private sector solutions to healthcare that will lower costs and provide greater access for all Americans who need quality health care in this country. Obamacare isn’t the answer, and after the continued failure of many key components of the law, bipartisan repeal of specific provisions of the bill, and record unpopularity there should be no doubt that this program needs to end. » Read More
  • TPA Joins Coalition Opposing Latest Congressional Efforts on Online Sales Tax Legislation

    Michi Iljazi on June 16, 2015

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    In what amounts to a new spin on a bad idea from Washington, yesterday saw the introduction of an online sales tax bill, the “Remote Transactions Parity Act” (RTPA), sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). The Senate passed the loathsome Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) in 2013, which fortunately, never saw the light of day in the House of Representatives.  Rep. Chaffetz's legislation is bad news for taxpayers because it would hit total sales, no matter the amount of sales in online business transactions. This new attempt by Rep. Chafftez should be rejected by House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and opposed by all members. Rep. Chaffetez's bill would target small businesses and harm the internet economy by discouraging innovation and investment. With that in mind, TPA joined a coalition effort led by the R Street Institute who sent this letter to Congress outlining the problems with the Chaffetz RTPA legislation and urging members to oppose the bill.

    Click 'read more' below to see the full letter

    » Read More
  • Internet Access Tax Ban Passes in House and Now Senate Must Do the Same

    Michi Iljazi on June 15, 2015

    capitol

    Last week the House of Representatives (on a voice vote) passed H.R. 235, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA), which would forever ban internet access taxes. This is an important piece of legislation for several reasons and taxpayers should be encouraged that the House has once again moved in a bipartisan way to protect internet users from needless taxes that would be imposed simply for going online. The bill was sponsored by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.); and he, along with cosponsors Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.),  Tom Marino (R-Pa.), Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), and Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.).

    » Read More
  • Corporate Tax Reform Could Give Energy Sector Big Boost

    Michi Iljazi on June 1, 2015

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    Time is running out for this current session of Congress to address many issues.  While there has been some positive movement on important legislation dealing with trade and the budget, there are several issues outstanding that elected officials need to address before the end of the year. Corporate tax reform is one of the easiest and most important of the unresolved issues facing Congress. Tax reform is critical and corporate tax reform could be the key to unleashing a major boost in energy production. The United States has had the corporate tax rate the world since April 1, 2012. This is not something to be proud of and it is the reason businesses are fleeing the country at a disturbing pace.

    » Read More
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