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Category: Taxes



  • The Regulators You've Never Heard of Who Are Raising Prices at the Pump

    Ross Marchand on February 20, 2019

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    This article originally appeared in RealClearPolicy on February 14, 2019. 


    When the news reports on international organizations, big players such as the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization usually hog all of the headlines. But that may all change by the beginning of next year when the International Maritime Organization (IMO) — an organization most Americans have never heard of — implements revised fuel standards for ships. While this may sound far removed from Americans without direct ties from the maritime industry, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects ripple effects on oil prices writ large with significant negative consequences for all Americans. » Read More
  • Tackle transportation woes by steering toward pilot projects

    Ross Marchand on February 19, 2019


    This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on February 11, 2019. 

    America has a pavement problem. In 2017, substandard conditions on America’s urban roads caused an average of nearly $600 in repair costs per vehicle. According to a 2016 study , U.S. drivers pay an additional $3 billion per year in maintenance calls due to pothole-related automobile damage. Meanwhile, America has a nearly $900 billionbacklog of highway and bridge capital needs, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, who gave American roads a D grade. This rising national repair bill has prompted the Trump administration and lawmakers to call for increased infrastructure investment, rallying most often around around increasing a federal gasoline tax that has remained unchanged since 1993.

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  • TPA Grades President Trump on his State of the Union Address

    Ross Marchand on February 5, 2019

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    WASHINGTON, D.C
    . – Tonight, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reacted to President Trump’s second State of the Union address, grading the executive on a number of key issues discussed.  TPA President David Williams noted that, “it was unfortunate that President Trump failed to mention the $1 trillion deficit or the $22 trillion debt, or possible ways to cut spending.” » Read More
  • Michigan City Should Back Off Taxpayer-Backed Broadband Plan

    Johnny Kampis on January 22, 2019

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    This article originally appeared in the American Spectator on January 21, 2019. 

    Even though it’s jam-packed with internet options, Traverse City, Michigan, wants to use millions in taxpayer money to build its own broadband network. It’s a foolish plan for a number of reasons, from the plethora of existing competition to the evolution in which internet will be delivered in the future. Traverse City Light & Power, the city’s public utility, is moving forward with a plan to connect all residents and businesses in the city limits with high-speed internet at an estimated cost of $16.3 million. It has picked Fujitsu and Allo as the two finalists to build and run the fiber-optic network. The utility’s board of directors is likely to choose a company at its next meeting on Jan. 22.

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  • New Congress Should Target Tariffs, Not Tax Reform

    Ross Marchand on January 16, 2019

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    This article originally appeared in Morning Consult on January 10, 2019. 

    Jan. 3rd ushered in a new, Democratic-led House of Representatives and with it, the potential for both peril and promise. Chief among the grievances of new progressive House members is the landmark tax reform that the previous, Republican-controlled Congress put into place at the end of 2017.  » Read More
  • Why are CAT Scans Cheaper for Cats than Humans?

    Ross Marchand on November 9, 2018


    This article originally appeared in the Catalyst on October 29, 2018.

    Pictured above is my adorable three-legged cat Hopper. In his short year and a half of life, he’s been through quite a few surgeries and even a CAT scan. When pets need medical attention, they often benefit from the same tools, machines, and expertise that humans use at the doctor’s office or hospital. The difference, though, is cost. While humans haven’t managed to bend the “cost curve” down in medicine, veterinary medicine becomes cheaper and cheaper with the passage of time. Humans and pets may use similar types of medical resources, but there’s one key difference in the care they receive: the source of payment. Regardless of country, human healthcare is almost always predominantly paid for by someone besides the patient or patient’s family. Yet in veterinary care, things could not be more different; comprehensive insurance and government subsidization are rare.
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  • Why are CAT Scans Cheaper for Cats than Humans?

    Ross Marchand on November 9, 2018


    This article originally appeared in the Catalyst on October 29, 2018.

    Pictured above is my adorable three-legged cat Hopper. In his short year and a half of life, he’s been through quite a few surgeries and even a CAT scan. When pets need medical attention, they often benefit from the same tools, machines, and expertise that humans use at the doctor’s office or hospital. The difference, though, is cost. While humans haven’t managed to bend the “cost curve” down in medicine, veterinary medicine becomes cheaper and cheaper with the passage of time. Humans and pets may use similar types of medical resources, but there’s one key difference in the care they receive: the source of payment. Regardless of country, human healthcare is almost always predominantly paid for by someone besides the patient or patient’s family. Yet in veterinary care, things could not be more different; comprehensive insurance and government subsidization are rare.
    » Read More
  • South Dakota Misses the Mark in Analysis of Tobacco Tax

    Ross Marchand on November 1, 2018

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    State governments often have little understanding of the fiscal or behavioral repercussions of the policy changes they’re trying to make when taxing and regulating products they don’t like.  This is never more evident than in South Dakota where a tax increase initiative known as Measure 25 is on the November ballot. Should the initiative be approved, South Dakota would see an increase in the state cigarette excise tax by $1.00 per pack (to $2.53 per pack), and an increase in the state tax on other tobacco products from 35 percent of the wholesale purchase price to 55 percent of the wholesale purchase price. But in examining the impact of higher taxation on cigarette usage and prices, the South Dakota Legislative Research Council (SDLRC) misses the mark entirely. » Read More
  • TPA’s Tricks and Treats for 2018

    Ross Marchand on October 30, 2018


    It’s 4 PM right before Halloween night, and you traipse on over to the grocery store to get some Halloween candy before the kids come a-knocking, looking for their treats.  Unfortunately, the scariest part of Halloween will prove not to be the too-retro Michael Myers costumes, but rather the price tag on those mini Hershey bars. Unbeknownst to the irksome ghouls and Kylo Rens knocking at your door later, those candies have become far more expensive thanks to tariffs, continued sugar protectionism, and miscellaneous regulations. But, regardless of how many treats you have to buy to placate the kids of the neighborhood, the fearful prospect of Uncle Sam stretching out his hand to trick taxpayers is ever-present. » Read More
  • Fatally Flawed Montana Initiative 125 Would Fuel Illegal Trade

    Ross Marchand on October 26, 2018


    Special-interest groups (and allied politicians) have yet to learn that even the best-sounding initiatives can be unraveled by naïve assumptions and flawed incentives. In November, Montana voters will encounter a deeply flawed referendum sponsored by “public health” groups to hike tobacco taxes (from $1.70 to $3.70 per pack), with revenues slated toward making Medicaid expansion permanent. But proponents ignore illicit tobacco trade at their own peril. Tobacco tax increases have the nasty habit of fueling illegal enterprise while undermining revenue. And even if the funding were there, there are far more worthy public health ventures than the deeply flawed Medicaid program. Voters need to take a long-hard look at the unintended consequences and bogus claims propping up Initiative 185.

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  • States should tread carefully in setting sports betting tax rates

    Johnny Kampis on August 20, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in Watchdog.org on August 15, 2018.

    The dynamic screens at the Venetian sports book list the various odds of the day, and the Atlanta Braves at 16-1 are a tempting pick to win the World Series. Although the team leads the National League East and faces lesser competition in the senior league, their youth and experience could trip them up if they make the playoffs. Sharps across the country will soon be making such value judgments from their home states. Bettors in places like New Jersey and Mississippi will no longer have to travel to Nevada to make legal wagers; instead they’ll be able to purchase those tickets in casinos in their home states – or even online. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the 1992 law that prevented sports wagers in every state but Nevada, many states have already legalized sports books or have plans to do so. But experts warn them not to overtax the games, lest they chase bettors back into the black market.

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  • Summer Reading: Tax Reform 2.0

    Ross Marchand on August 10, 2018

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    Anyone who has been on the Eastern seaboard recently will notice that a torrential downpour can ruin even the best-laid beach plans. Should the unthinkable happen, tanners can at least retreat to their ocean chateaus and turn on a movie. Be careful when watching a movie sequel because the only movie sequel that even comes close to being as good as the first is Rocky II.  But, with Tax Reform 2.0 just around the corner, there could be another sequel where the underdog (taxpayers) win. » Read More
  • Instead of Carbon Taxes, Lawmakers Should Lessen Federal Footprint

    Ross Marchand on July 30, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in Economics21 on July 27, 2018.

    In the days since Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) introduced new carbon tax legislation, limited government advocates have set about criticizing what they see as a misguided scheme. Many have decried the carbon tax as an ineffective environmental policy that would come at a gargantuan cost to low-income Americans, while others fault it for creating more federal bureaucracy and producing thinly-veiled wealth redistribution. » Read More
  • TPA Slams President Trump’s Aid Offer to Farmers Impacted by Unnecessary US Tariffs

    David Williams on July 24, 2018


    Washington, D.C.- Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), representing millions of taxpayers and consumers across the country, slammed President Trump’s proposed $12 billion in aid to farmers impacted by foreign tariffs. The President’s announcement comes after the European Union, China, and other countries impacted by US tariffs announced billions of dollars in tariffs targeting a variety of American products, with the heaviest tariffs hitting US farmers. 

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  • Taxpayer Group Urges Support For Anti-Carbon Tax Resolution

    David Williams on July 23, 2018

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    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) expressed its support for H. Con. Res. 119, which states that, a carbon tax would be detrimental to American families and businesses,…and is not in the best interest of the United States.”  Introduced by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.), the resolution was scheduled for a vote for Thursday July 19. » Read More
  • Corporate welfare harms prosperity and grows government

    Ross Marchand on July 16, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on July 12, 2018.


    Taxpayers are accustomed to seeing state and local governments draw up sweetheart deals with big businesses and sports teams at a gargantuan cost. Defenders of crony capitalism say opponents of such favoritism are shortsighted. Bribing corporations to move to their state, they say, ultimately benefits everyone by contributing to economic growth and growing tax revenues. In trying to lure Amazon to Maryland with a multibillion-dollar package of subsidies and targeted tax breaks, Gov. Larry Hogan called Amazon’s proposed new headquarters the “single greatest economic development opportunity in a generation … that makes Maryland competitive with any state or city in the country — we’re playing to win.” 

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  • Union “Fair Share” Fees Anything but Fair for Taxpayers, State Workers

    Ross Marchand on June 28, 2018

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    Big Labor is in all-out Armageddon mode, following a June 27 Supreme Court ruling (Janus v. AFSCME) allowing non-union public workers to opt out of union “fair-share” fees. In a 5-4 decision, the Court overturned the status quo, preventing “unconstitutional exactions [that result in] billions of dollars…taken from nonmembers and transferred to public-sector unions in violation of the First Amendment” in the words of Justice Alito. Proponents of “fair share” fees, however, worry that the ruling will open up a Pandora’s Box of freeriding and union-busting across the country. These fears fail to consider the wider impact of transitioning unions to a more robust “members-only” model instead of the current one-size-fits-all representation. Making public sector unions smaller and more responsive to the needs of members will lead to better representation for employees and lower costs for taxpayers. 

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  • Tariffs Would Tax Consumers, Roll Back Tax Reform Gains

    Ross Marchand on June 26, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in the Morning Consult on June 20, 2018.

    In the wake of historic tax reform delivered by President Donald Trump and Congress, the American economy is showing strong signs of life. Just days ago, it was reported  that the United States added around 223,000 net new jobs in May, helping the economy reach an 18-year low jobless rate of just 3.8 percent. And with new tax reform in hand, taxpayers can expect to keep more of their hard-earned dollars in their pockets. » Read More
  • Here's How the World Cup Could Force Taxpayers to Fund Bureaucrats’ Pet Transit Projects in Houston

    Johnny Kampis on June 25, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller on June 22, 2018.

    As Houston officials mull the possible flow of tax dollars into their city if they win a bid to host some games in the 2026 World Cup, they’re talking up that dreaded “L” word — light rail. Houston is part of a 32-city bid to host some of the soccer matches that will be spread across North America. While the city won’t know if it is selected to host any games until 2020 or 2021, that hasn’t stopped local officials from excitedly talking up possible taxpayer-funded infrastructure and beautification projects that could result from a successful bid.

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  • TPA Slams Supreme Court for Online Sales Tax Ruling

    David Williams on June 21, 2018

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    Today, Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) President David Williams expressed disappointment at the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that allows states to require all internet retailers to collect sales taxes. “The 5-4 decision breaks with 50 years of precedent that kept states from mandating that out-of-state retailers collect sales taxes from their customers,” Williams said. “This ruling opens the door for any state to tax any business that simply wants to use the internet to gain a foothold in the national market.” » Read More
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