The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

State Issues

Net Metering: Get Subsidies or Die Tryin'

The pro-solar energy activists have been on full alert since the Nevada State Legislature passed a solar bill last May that failed to raise the net metering cap for rooftop solar customers.

Clarity Needed in Taxation of Digital Goods

With technology changing the way consumers listen and view music and videos, state and local governments are now looking toward taxation of digital goods and services to increase their tax revenues. Currently, 17 states require by statute that taxes be paid on digital goods and services, and another eight states plus the District of Columbia draw this authority from their departments of revenue regulations or case law.

The Unfair “Fairness” Act

It is disingenuous to call something fair and equitable when it is clearly not. This is the case with both S. 698, the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2015 (MFA), and the Remote Transaction Parity Act (RTPA), introduced on June 15, 2015 by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).

The Clock is ticking on Internet Taxation

Less than six months from now, citizens across the country could face new taxes.  That is when the moratorium banning taxes on Internet access and discriminatory duplicate taxes on Internet services expires.  While legislation to make the moratorium permanent has been introduced with bi-partisan support, the clock is ticking leading up to the November 1, 2014 expiration.

Halting Wireless Tax Increases

The June 2013 early release report on wireless substitution by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that the percentage of adults and children living in households with wireless only telephone service has been on a steady increase since 2003.  The data in the report indicates that wireless-only population is now about 36.5 percent and overall household adoption of wireless is now set at 89 percent of the population in the U.S. as of the end of 2012.

Forever Red in Illinois

As the Illinois legislature winds up the 2013 session by creating a new $750,000 “Forever Green Illinois Program” (it's really there on pp. 8-9 of the 284-page budget bill) that would fund the “maintenance and beautification of greenery,” including grass, weeds, trees, shrubs, bushes, and plants on state or local government property, elected officials should also consider adopting a new official state song:  "Forever Red; I Want to Be, Forever Red."

911 Funds Should Support 911 Functions

The 911 system is a valuable emergency communications tool available nationwide, and supported, in part, through fees typically designated as either 911 funds or enhanced 911 (E-911) fees.

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