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Category: Taxes



  • TPA Presents the 2015 Taxpayer Tricks and Treats!

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on October 26, 2015

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    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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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

    Michi Iljazi on June 15, 2015

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    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.).

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  • 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.

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  • A Taxing Problem for John Kasich in Ohio

    David Williams on May 28, 2015

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    John Kasich was a member of Congress that conservatives could trust when it came to fiscal issues.  His co-sponsorship of the Penny/Kasich plan (named after former Democrat Tim Penny from Minnesota and John Kasich), which would have cut spending and eliminated the deficit, showed that he understood spending.  Unfortunately, his recent actions as Governor may be a sign that he may need a refresher course on tax policy. In February, Gov. Kasich delivered his fiscal year 2016 budget to the Ohio legislature. In the State of the State Address, he described the proposal as “a message to job creators around the state, around the country and around the globe that Ohio is open for business.” Unfortunately, the $5.2 billion increase in sales, commercial activity, and energy and tobacco taxes packaged in the plan is hardly a welcome mat for economic growth. Not surprisingly, the plan drew immediate and acute criticism.

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  • In Pennsylvania, Go for Spending Cuts, Not Tax Increases

    David Williams on May 15, 2015

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    This article originally appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer on Wednesdsay, May 6, 2015

    Pennsylvania is not different from any other state where legislators are confronted with decisions on whether to raise taxes or cut spending to balance their books. The easiest (and laziest) option is to raise taxes.
    Gov. Wolf seems to be taking the lazy way out by proposing a $4.5 billion tax increase. Some Pennsylvania legislators are trying to help the governor by introducing a bill that would increase the state 911 fee on wireless service from $1 to $1.65 (a 65 percent increase). This would result in a $78 million annual fee increase on wireless consumers ($114 million annually when including the increase on home phone and VOIP services). Wolf's broader tax plan, which calls for increasing income and sales taxes while cutting property taxes, is getting a chilly reception.

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  • As Highway Funding Deadline Nears, Bipartisan Appetite for Tax Hikes Grows

    Michi Iljazi on May 8, 2015

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    The Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is set to run out of cash on May 31, 2015. Established nearly sixty years ago by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, the HTF is a federal fund for transportation projects and programs that derives money from the federal gas tax (18.3 cents per gallon on gasoline, 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel fuel, and other related excise taxes).   As Congress prepares to replenish the trust fund, some members of Congress (from both parties) are looking at options to raise taxes to keep the fund solvent.  A bad idea that would do little to solve America’s transportation problems. Last month, USA Today reported that Democrats in Congress and their union allies are fighting to pass a gas tax increase before the end of May. But it isn’t just Democrats, there is legislation in Congress introduced by Rep. James Renacci (R-Ohio) that, “would allow gas taxes to rise as high as necessary to cover funding shortfalls, unless Congress agrees to an alternative solution by the end of 2016.” Raising the federal gas tax is a copout. The truth is that Americans are not just paying 18.3 cents per gallon, there are also state taxes on gasoline that need to be taken into account.

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  • Coalition to United Nations: Honor World Press Freedom Day by Allowing Press Freedom

    David Williams and Drew Johnson on April 30, 2015

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    The United Nations Condemned by Groups from Across the Globe for Silencing the Media and Attacking Press Freedom
    Taxpayer groups, government watchdog organizations and think tanks from six continents demand transparency and accountability from the taxpayer-funded UN

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Government watchdog groups, taxpayer organizations and think tanks from across the globe have united to condemn the taxpayer-funded United Nations (UN) for denying freedom of the press just hours before the launch of the UN’s annual “World Press Freedom Day.” More than 30 organizations representing 14 countries on six continents signed an open letter (click here) to the UN recounting examples of the organization’s unacceptable treatment of the media. The letter demands that the UN uphold the same standards of press freedom it expects from its member nations. World Press Freedom Day, which takes place on Sunday, May 3, is a celebration of the vital role the media plays in a free society and an attempt to promote a free, independent press in countries where that right is not yet appropriately valued. But the UN’s shameless assault on the same press freedoms the organization claims to defend has turned the event into a mockery and an embarrassment.

    Click "read more" below to see the full release and letter

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  • For Tax Day 2015, TPA Talks to Taxpayers About the IRS and Tax Reform

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on April 14, 2015

    Tax Day 2015 is tomorrow! As taxpayers around the country do what they need to finish up their annual tax filings, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) thought it would be the perfect time to go out and talk to people about tax reform. TPA hit the streets of Washington D.C. to talk to everyday Americans from around the country about the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and tax reform (click here to see the video). People from all walks of life in our nation's capitol spoke with TPA about their views on what Congress should do to benefit all taxpayers. The video is a sobering reminder of just how important individual and corporate reform is to the economy, and how views of the IRS are still plagued by the bad image the agency has after recent scandals. TPA invites you to sit back and watch as folks take a minute to have their voice heard in honor of Tax Day 2015! And, please let us know what you think of the tax system by e-mailing us at help@protectingtaxpayers.org. Please feel free to send us your own tax reform videos so we can share your story and ideas with the rest of the country.



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  • TPA Submits Public Comments on Individual and Corporate Tax Reform to Senate Finance Committee

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on April 13, 2015

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    Tax Day 2015 is this week and there’s no better time to remind Washington that the need for real and comprehensive tax reform is critical. The tax code continues to be extremely complicated, as TPA’s recent interviews on the streets of DC (see video here) showed. Congress needs to act in way that will both to increase investment for American businesses and have a positive impact for working families nationwide. This morning, Taxpayers Protection Alliance submitted public comments to the Senate Finance Committee on both individual and corporate tax reform. TPA encourages others to comment at Individual@finance.senate.gov and Business@finance.senate.gov.

    Click 'read more' below to see TPA's comments » Read More
  • As Tax Day 2015 Looms, TPA Asks Taxpayers About IRS and Tax Reform

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on April 8, 2015

    It’s almost that time. Tax Day 2015 is a week away!  As taxpayers around the country do what they need to finish up their annual tax filings, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) thought it would be the perfect time to go out and talk to people about tax reform. TPA hit the streets of Washington D.C. to talk to everyday Americans from around the country about the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and tax reform (click here to see the video). People from all walks of life in our nation's capitol spoke with TPA about their views on what Congress should do to benefit all taxpayers. The video is a sobering reminder of just how important individual and corporate reform is to the economy, and how views of the IRS are still plagued by the bad image the agency has after recent scandals. TPA invites you to sit back and watch as folks take a minute to have their voice heard in honor of Tax Day 2015! And, please let us know what you think of the tax system by e-mailing us at help@protectingtaxpayers.org. Please feel free to send us your own tax reform videos so we can share your story and ideas with the rest of the country.



    » Read More
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