October 24, 2017
This articled appeared in Inside Sources on October 17, 2017.
In a rare victory for consumers and taxpayers, Cook County, Illinois, lawmakers repealed a 2-month-old tax on sweet drinks this month. The cent-per-ounce tax, a lightning rod of controversy during its brief existence, has already found an army of supporters urging reimplementation. But, despite defenders’ claims that the law was a sound way of filling coffers and curbing obesity, such taxes do little for waistlines or public finances. » Read More
October 18, 2017
As the Senate gears up to vote on the fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget resolution Thursday afternoon, billions of dollars in spending across the federal government lie on the line. The Senate’s budget resolution takes a $5.1 trillion bite at the federal budget over the next decade, with annual cuts exceeding $100 billion by 2027. Assuming that the economy chugs along at an average pace of 2.6 percent a year for the next decade, the submitted budget will balance over a ten-year timeframe.» Read More
October 12, 2017
This is the first of a two-part series on public policy in the Republic of Georgia. On Friday, Taxpayers Protection Alliance policy analyst Ross Marchand will address the International Black Sea University in Tbilisi on economic reform in Georgia and the United States.
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When comparing the United States to the small Asian nation of Georgia, it's easy to dwell on the differences. At first glance, the former Soviet republic bears little in common with America, both in culture and politics. But Georgians' enthusiastic embrace of free-market principles and responsible governing offers many parallels and lessons for lawmakers in Washington, DC. While left-leaning politicians and talking heads lovingly long for the "Swedish model," taxpayers and consumers would be best served by the Georgian model.
October 6, 2017
This article appeared in The Daily Caller on September 29, 2017
Congress sits on the verge of comprehensive tax reform for the first time since 1986. Individuals and businesses of all sizes will likely find plenty to like in the bracket consolidations and rate reductions in forthcoming legislation. Absent all of the excited chatter about full expensing and low pass-through rates is a sober discussion of the problems facing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Taxpayers and policy wonks can’t be blamed for ignoring one of the least-popular federal agencies in the United States. But given the vital role that the IRS plays in realizing any changes to the tax law, lawmakers must ensure that the agency is well equipped to deal with a completely reformatted code.» Read More
September 28, 2017
September 26 through October 1 is Tax Reform Week for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA). Leading up to, and after our press conference with the National Taxpayers Union this morning at 10:15 am at the House Triangle (media advisory here), TPA will be highlighting the need for comprehensive tax reform. Our third and final installment outlines the importance of comprehensive tax reform.
The tax code is a complete and utter mess. Individual tax reform is an absolute necessity. The tax code is more than 4 million words, hopelessly stacking the deck against individuals trying to comply with the code. The Taxpayer Advocate Service estimates that taxpayers spend more than 6 billion hours complying with the Tax Code. In estimating the value of that time, the National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF) calculates that an astounding $262 billion is lost to tax compliance each year. In the absence of comprehensive tax reform, that figure will only increase year after year.» Read More
September 6, 2017
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This piece was published in the Spectator on August 31, 2017.
If you build it, they will come, but will they have a place to park? That’s the conundrum now facing the future Las Vegas Raiders as they figure out the logistics of their new home, Las Vegas Stadium. A study released in June shows the stadium site at the corner of Russell Road and Dean Martin Drive can fit just 2,400 parking spots within the planned site footprint. That’s just 15 percent of the 16,250 parking spaces required by Clark County code for a facility that will seat 65,000 people.
September 5, 2017
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This piece was published in the Spectator on August 30, 2017.
It’s a nondescript location on this 114-degree June day, but in mere months construction should begin on the new home for the National Football League’s (NFL) Raiders. This will be the world’s most costly stadium, built heavily on the backs of taxpayers. As with many taxes for stadium support, tourists will largely pay the costs for the Las Vegas Stadium. The Nevada Legislature passed a lodging tax increase quickly in a 2016 special session to raise the revenue for the public subsidy when the NFL came calling.
September 1, 2017
Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reacted to President Trump’s speech on tax reform delivered on August 30, 2017 in Springfield, Missouri. President Trump’s plan, to overhaul our nation’s tax code through lowering individual and corporate rates while simplifying the tax code, should lay the groundwork for immediate Congressional tax reform efforts. President Trump's bold commitment to overhauling our nation's tax system stands to benefit all Americans. » Read More
August 30, 2017
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This piece was published in the Hill on August 22, 2017.
Congress has arrived at a decisive moment. Following months of legislative turbulence and indecision, the healthcare debate is subsiding, opening a critical opportunity to address tax reform. For Congress, this is a test of dedication to all taxpayers. The question is whether they will allow petty differences and harsh words to dominate the process again or if they will inspire voters by demonstrating unity and vision.
August 8, 2017
It is no surprise that the decision to raise taxes on cigarettes is backfiring spectacularly. Illegal cigarettes are now robbing taxpayers of an estimated $40 billion in tax revenue each year. Time and time again lawmakers turn to taxing soda and tobacco as lucrative revenue opportunities. But, budgeting problems stem from not spending money effectively or profligate spending rather than not having enough money. Budgetary solutions shouldn’t come from tax increases, they should come from fiscal discipline. In addition to lost revenue, another consequence of raising tobacco taxes is the increase in illicit trade of tobacco that fuels criminal enterprises. » Read More
July 28, 2017
Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reacted to the Joint Statement on Tax Reform released by leaders in the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives. The Statement signals House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) willingness to move ahead on comprehensive tax reform, including lowering rates and reducing the number of brackets, while eschewing the Border-Adjustment Tax (BAT). » Read More
July 18, 2017
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This article appeared in the Morning Consult on July 6, 2017.
While it might seem lately that the healthcare debate is sucking up all the oxygen in Washington, there has also been an uptick, albeit limited, in activity and discussion about tax reform on Capitol Hill. In May and June there were multiple hearings in the House and Senate, with additional hearings scheduled for July. And, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) recently laid out tax reform principles in a major speech before the National Association of Manufacturers.
July 3, 2017
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This article appeared in The Hill on July 2, 2017.
On June 20, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) delivered a speech on comprehensive tax reform that should delight citizens across the country fighting to downsize the tax code and lower rates. In the speech delivered at the National Association of Manufacturers’ office, Speaker Ryan highlighted the issues with the current code, including overall complexity, outlandish corporate rates and numerous burdensome provisions, like the death tax. Most importantly, however, Speaker Ryan stated, “We are going to get this done in 2017.” That is a promising line from Speaker Ryan, in that it signals his resolve to tackle this “once-in-a-generation opportunity.”
June 16, 2017
Over the past few years, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has highlighted numerous examples of waste in the construction of public works, including government headquarters, schools, and roads. Leveraging private funds to pursue public projects can shield taxpayers from these risks, and harness efficiencies not normally achievable in the public sector. Unfortunately, the public-private partnership (PPP) model is discouraged by the federal tax code, which limits the amount of private funding that can be used in a project financed by tax-exempt bonds. To loosen this restriction, TPA supports the Public Buildings Renewal Act (H.R. 960 in the House and S. 326 in the Senate), which would make public buildings eligible for qualified private activity bond (PAB) financing. State and local governments would finally be able to invite private players onto public projects with tax-exempt bond financing, resulting in significant taxpayer savings and faster completion times. TPA signed onto this coalition letter, organized by the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), in support of the legislation. » Read More
May 22, 2017
With tax reform right around the corner, lawmakers must consider which onerous provisions to target first. While there’s no shortage of taxes that unfairly gauge taxpayers, inheritance (death) taxes are in a class of their own. Prevailing law requires that every deceased person’s estate worth at least $4,450,000 be subjected to a “death tax” of forty percent. This, paired with the gift tax targeting gifts over $14,000, transfers nearly $25 billion per year from landowners to bureaucrats. After a failed attempt at repeal during the Obama administration, President Trump promised on the campaign trail to remove these onerous provisions from the tax code. Next week, the House can fulfill this vision by passing H.R. 198, which plans to eliminate a host of inheritance taxes including estate, gift, and generation- skipping transfer levies. Congress can finally axe a series of taxes that are immoral, unnecessary, and burdensome to business owners.» Read More
May 2, 2017
This article originally appeared in Inside Sources on April 19, 2017
Tax Day 2017 is over, and for many Americans that’s a huge relief. Unfortunately, a greater relief for taxpayers would be for Washington to make comprehensive tax reform a priority and a reality. But that has yet to happen despite having the perfect conditions to get something done. And, as the Taxpayers Protection Alliance spoke to folks from around the country, the message was clear: People from all walks of life want tax reform now. The problem with the current tax code is crystal clear: It’s too complicated. The tax code currently has 10 million words, and growing. Every year, an estimated 100,000 words are added to the tax code. This growth causes a drain on time and money by taking away billions of hours and billions of dollars from hard-working families to comply with a code that is in real need of slimming down.» Read More
April 26, 2017
As President Trump marks his 100th day in office, commentators are already busy sizing up the leader’s legacy. The President’s short time in the Oval Office has been greeted with a constant stream of protests, cries for impeachment, and bouts of reflexive praise. Despite attempts to characterize the presidency in one word or phrase, the Mr. Trump’s performance has been wildly uneven. With a government shutdown looming around the same time as this milestone takes place, the stakes have become that much higher for the President to appear as though he is on or ahead of schedule with the laundry list of policy priorities he had coming into office. To highlight the positives and underscore the need for further improvement, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has graded the chief executive on his approach to regulation, tax reform, and spending.» Read More
April 12, 2017
Tax reform continues to be major priority for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) and a critical component to getting our economy back on the right track. The positive impact of overhauling our complicated tax code can reach individuals and businesses and be a major boon to productivity. While Congress continues to craft their plan, based largely on House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) Better Way for Tax Reform Blueprint, the Trump administration is still working on their own proposal. In TPA tradition, as Tax Day 2017 approaches, we took to the streets of the nation’s capital to ask Americans from all walks of life their thoughts on tax reform, and the process of getting their taxes done. Watch what they had to say!» Read More
April 11, 2017
While comprehensive tax reform continues to be a work in progress for Congress; there are some measures that Washington must take to chip away at a bloated tax code that sometimes works against Americans. One example is repealing the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Any tax reform package no matter how big or small must include repeal of FATCA. While FATCA was sold under the heading of a way to catch wealthy tax dodgers, instead it has harmed many innocent Americans and threatened financial privacy in a way that no law should ever carry out. That is why the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) signed a letter urging House and Senate Leadership to include FATCA repeal in any type of tax reform legislation. Repealing FATCA is critical to preserving the financial privacy of U.S. citizens, which have been eroded by federal agencies like the Internal Revenue Service for years now. Repealing of FATCA will also help to preserve and strengthen the financial freedoms and choices of all Americans.
Click "Red Blog" below to see the full letter» Read More
April 10, 2017
This article originally appeared in Morning Consult on March 29, 2017
With health care reform on pause, Washington now turns the spotlight on the next big ticket item from the Trump administration legislative agenda: comprehensive tax reform. And while there has been much discussion on Capitol Hill about the GOP tax reform blueprint, “A Better Way” which was introduced by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), the White House has so far kept details about its own plan close to the vest. That could soon change.» Read More