The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Taxes

Connecticut and Pennsylvania Pass Budgets

As we finish our Halloween candy and start preparing for Thanksgiving, each of the fifty states has now passed its required budget.  As forty-nine of the fifty states require a balanced budget, which means the politicians can’t always resort to gimmicks and kick the can down the road like they do in Washington, D.C., the process of budgeting in state capitals takes considerable time and careful deliberation.  This year, for Connecticut and Pennsylvania, passage occurred way behind schedule. 

Cook County Soda Tax Repealed After Only Two Months in Effect

When politicians decide to tax something new, taxpayers rarely see the end of it.  This adage is especially true of so-called “sin taxes,” levies on products like alcohol, tobacco, and, increasingly, soda.  Those in government always appreciate more money, and politicians like beating up on unpopular industries.  It’s a two-pronged argument:  you shouldn’t be buying too many alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, sugary drinks, and the like; and besides, the government needs more revenue anyway. 

Connecticut Legislature Passes a Bipartisan Budget Plan

Faced with a budget deficit of $3.5 billion over the next two years, and three months overdue on a budget for fiscal years 2018 and 2019, Connecticut lawmakers face a difficult situation and must make tough choices.  In 2011 and 2015, the legislature tried to solve the state’s fiscal woes by passing big tax increases.  That’s why a vote in the wee hours of Saturday, September 16 is so impor

The Needy, Greedy City

Mayor Jim Kenney was elected last year with a promise to bring universal prekindergarten to Philadelphia. With no way to pay for it, the Mayor needed a solution. So now, the City of Brotherly Love has implemented the soda tax.

The FCC Should Keep Its Hands Out of Our Wallets

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seems to be taking a fast and furious ride through America’s pockets lately.  The FCC, under the helm of Chairman Tom Wheeler, announced plans to expand the Lifeline program to give away broadband Internet subsidies to low-income individuals.  What this means for the average consumer is an increase in their telephone bills, by requiring the payment of higher contributions to the Universal Service Fund (USF).

Running Down the Clock on Internet Taxes

Nothing like waiting until the last minute to do something important. That is exactly what is happening on the Hill this week. The Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) is set once again to expire at midnight on December 11, 2015.

Congress Impounds Obama's Cadillac Tax

Yesterday in the Senate, legislators voted 90-10 in support of the Heller Amendment that would preemptively repeal the so-called ‘Cadillac Tax’ on employee health plans.

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).

IRS Hiring of Outside Litigator Appears to Violate Law and Infringe Privacy

In what appears to be an unprecedented and illegal action, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has apparently for the first time hired a law firm to assist in the income tax audit and investigation of a taxpayer.

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