September 12, 2018
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
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.
August 10, 2018
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
July 30, 2018
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
July 24, 2018
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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.
July 23, 2018
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
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.”
June 28, 2018
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.» Read More
June 26, 2018
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
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.
June 21, 2018
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
June 8, 2018
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This article originally appeared in Economics21 on June 7, 2018.
For more than a decade, Starbucks has branded itself as a liberal company that MSNBC viewers can support. This careful posturing, though, was not enough to shield the company against accusations of racism after staff called the police on two African-American men sitting at a table without making a purchase. Since then, Starbucks announced that all were welcome to make use of company facilities such as bathrooms and Wi-Fi, even if no purchases are made. But what if, instead of a panicked PR response, Starbucks’ open-access policy is an opportunistic ploy to put itself in a league of its own and receive more taxpayer subsidies?
Taxpayers Protection Alliance Criticizes President Trump’s Imposition of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum ImportsRoss Marchand on
June 1, 2018
Today, David Williams, President of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), slammed President Trump’s imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the United States. Williams argued that, “if the US government hides behind trade barriers and quotas in a global marketplace, it will start a trade war where allies will treat U.S. products in the same manner. Already, Canada, Mexico, and various European countries have announced retaliatory tariffs that will harm US producers." » Read More
May 31, 2018
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This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on May 29, 2018.
In December, an inaugural Amtrak trip from Seattle to Portland ended in disaster, as thirteen train cars derailed and caused a smoldering ruin over I-5. Amtrak is hardly the only passenger rail vessel to encounter safety issues; the Washington, D.C. metro system has had multiple fires and crashes costing many lives over the years. These events almost always lead to calls for more public funds, even when subsidized systems have a myriad of ways to access cash. For instance, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority recently benefited from private funds from Qatar to stay open after a sporting event in downtown Washington, D.C. But taxpayers would be wise to look to another model of doing things.
May 16, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) urged all members of Congress to vote for the Sugar Policy Modernization Act as an amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill. The Sugar Program was established more than 80 years ago and keeps the cost of sugar high with import quotas and tariffs. » Read More
May 14, 2018
This article originally appeared in the Daily Caller on May 11, 2018
The prospect of a bold new farm bill this year has Congress in a lurch, with endless debates over which amendments to include and discard. As lawmakers embrace sensible reforms such as work requirements for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, leading policymakers have expressed reluctance to include an amendment to modernize the 80 year-old US Sugar Program. Not including the modernization of the outdated program would keep high costs in place for consumers and taxpayers, ensuring backlash from voters wanting to “drain the swamp.” » Read More
May 1, 2018
TPA joined together with free-market groups to explain why the outdated sugar program hurts taxpayers and consumers. » Read More
April 30, 2018
This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on April 25, 2018. Paul Blair is strategic initiatives director at Americans for Tax Reform. Image credit: http://vaping360.com/
This week, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it was cracking down on the illegal sale of electronic cigarettes, namely JUUL, to minors across the country. Honest observers of this most recent move by the agency applauded the acknowledgment that the enforcement of current laws is the best way to promote public health. A contingent of Democrats and deranged activists, however, would like this to be the beginning of the end for an industry struggling to tell its side of the story. » Read More
April 19, 2018
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This article originally appeared in National Review on April 18, 2018.
Millions of Americans are beginning to see the fruits of the federal tax overhaul passed in December, with higher take-home pay, bonuses, and a stronger job market. However, these good times could soon end in some left-leaning states that are considering raising their income taxes. New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Maine may soon place surtaxes on “millionaires,” via legislation in the Garden State and ballot measures in the others. To proponents of larger government and greater state-level redistribution, raising rates on “fat cats” is a perfect way to fund more Medicaid and anti-poverty spending, which is perceived to be under threat at the federal level.
April 17, 2018
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This article originally appeared in RealClearMarkets on April 16, 2018.
The month of April brings about two things Americans love: baseball and warmer weather. It also features our least favorite day of the year—Tax Day. And the fact that we get an extra few days (April 17) to file doesn’t take the sting out of filling out those tax forms and lining up at the Post Office. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed last year may do the trick, leaving wallets a little heavier at the end of the day.