Tag Archives: taxation

PA: Court upholds Philadelphia’s idiotic beverage tax

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

“A panel of judges has upheld Philadelphia’s beverage tax, dismissing complaints from the American Beverage Association and local retailers who argued that the levy is unlawful. The legal victory is the second for the city, which fended off a challenge in December. … In April, seven justices of Commonwealth Court in Pittsburgh heard arguments on whether the city’s 1.5-per-ounce tax duplicates the state sales tax, rendering it illegal. Wednesday the panel published a 5-2 decision affirming the lower court’s ruling. Arguments centered on whether the levy amounted to a double tax. State law prohibits Philadelphia from enacting taxes on items or transactions the commonwealth already taxes.” (06/14/17)


The carbon tax rebate scam

Source: Heartland Institute
by H Sterling Burnett

“A group of old-guard, ‘swamp’ Republicans calling themselves the Climate Leadership Council (CLC) has joined climate alarmists, including failed Democratic Party presidential candidate Al Gore, in calling for a tax on carbon-dioxide emissions. The group claims increasing CO2 emissions pose a threat for Earth’s people, animals, and plants. Economic analyses of various carbon-tax proposals consistently show they would harm all Americans and would be detrimental for the U.S. economy. A carbon tax would burden businesses with unnecessary costs, making them less competitive in the global marketplace. All this, and much more, is why Congress passed a resolution in 2016 rejecting carbon taxes.” (06/08/17)


Trump files for extension on 2016 tax returns

Source: New York Post

“Even the IRS will have to wait to see President Trump’s tax returns. Trump has requested an extension for filing his 2016 tax returns, a White House official told CNN. The official did not say when the request was filed or what reason Trump may have given. This year’s deadline was April 17. Trump’s taxes have been an issue since he announced his candidacy.” (06/04/17)


Why everybody is wrong about the Land Value Tax (except me)

Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Sam Bowman

“The main difference between a Land Value Tax and the current council tax and business rates tax system we have right now is that the current system is appraised on the value of the entire property, instead of just the land it sits on. That makes existing property taxes a partial tax on productive investment, which gets us less investment in buildings and improvements than we’d get without that tax. If you invest in the quality of your property by building an extra floor or by renovating the retail space, your tax bill will be higher. To really appreciate how bad this is, consider the fact that heavy machinery is included in business property valuations, so you will be taxed heavily for setting up a new electric car factory on a previously derelict bit of brownfield.” (06/01/17)


Effects of a Border-adjusted Corporate Tax

Source: National Center for Policy Analysis
by Richard B McKenzie

“U.S. firms pay the world’s highest corporate tax rate — a federal tax of 39.1 percent combined with an average 4.1 percent state tax on profits from domestic sales, or foreign sales (when and if the profits are repatriated). In contrast, the lower tax rate embedded in the prices of those goods produced in other countries and shipped to the United States often gives them a competitive advantage, whether due to other countries’ lower value added taxes (VAT) or much lower corporate tax rates. House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republican House members have proposed a lower corporate tax rate of 20 percent with a border adjustment. A border-adjusted tax (BAT) would apply to profits on domestic sales and on imports, but would not apply to profits from U.S. exports to other countries.” [summary — full paper available as PDF download] (05/17)


Repeal the ObamaCare taxes

Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Sheldon Richman

“The American Health Care Act, the House bill intended to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), is frequently opposed on the grounds that it cuts taxes for the rich. This may seem like an odd criticism of a purported health-insurance reform, but we must understand that Obamacare can reasonably be viewed as a massive tax increase disguised as health-insurance reform. If that’s the case, then those who favor Obamacare would naturally dislike the repeal of its tax increases. One is reminded of Thomas Paine’s insight in Rights of Man: ‘In reviewing the history of the English Government, its wars and its taxes, a bystander, not blinded by prejudice nor warped by interest, would declare that taxes were not raised to carry on wars, but that wars were raised to carry on taxes.’ Likewise, perhaps taxes were not raised to carry on health-insurance reform, but rather health-insurance reform was raised to carry on taxes.” (05/17/17)


Ballots & books

Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“The people of Roseburg, Oregon, aren’t paying enough in taxes. That’s the upshot of Kirk Johnson’s recent New York Times article, ‘Where Anti-Tax Fervor Means ‘All Services Will Cease.” ‘For generations in America,’ readers are informed, ‘small cities … declared their optimism and civic purpose with grand libraries that rose above the clutter of daily life and commerce.’ And then, the unthinkable: ‘last fall, Douglas County residents voted down a ballot measure that would have added about $6 a month to the tax bill on a median-priced home and saved the libraries from a funding crisis.’ How dare voters so vote? Didn’t they know the Times wanted those libraries fully funded? Where was the ‘optimism and civic purpose’ of Roseburgians?” (05/17/17)


The debate over taxation cannot be value-free

Source: Libertarian Institute
by Sheldon Richman

“When anyone calls for a new tax or a tax increase, that person wants government personnel to threaten force against others who fails to surrender their money to the state. But almost no one speaks in those terms. If tax advocates did that, their rhetoric at least would be value-laden and honest (and only in that sense noble.) Instead, such people engage in base rhetoric. They speak in ostensibly value-neutral language when in fact their meaning is value-laden: they implicitly claim that their plans for the money are superior to the plans of those who now possess it. … Consider Jimmy Kimmel‘s appeal for ‘free’ medical care. No decent person can help feeling sympathy for Kimmel and his ill child. But emotion should not cloud our judgment. When he says that no one should be denied medical care because he or she can’t afford it, he means that other people ought to be forced to pay for those services whenever the need is thought — by whom? — great enough. Why not say that openly?” (05/12/17)


Philosophy of Voluntaryism, episode 3

Source: Everything Voluntary

“Philosophy of Voluntaryism 003 is a look at taxation, by Danilo Cuellar and Jim Limber Davis. ‘The unintended consequences of taxation are nearly infinite. What doesn’t have to be is our nescience about them. By understanding wealth, how it is created, and what its purpose is we can break down the idea of taxation and show the world what it really is: a practice befitting a less civilized, intelligent, and courageous period of humanity’s history.'” [various formats] (05/11/17)


“Starve the Beast” enables the Bankrupt-in-Chief

Source: Niskanen Center
by Will Wilkinson

“Other than containing less detail, Donald Trump’s notes toward a sketch of a ‘tax plan’ is similar to his campaign tax proposal, which analysts estimated would add $3-5 trillion to the budget deficit. That is to say, Trump does not have a corresponding plan to reduce spending. Republicans often rail against deficits, but when the rubber hits the road, they reliably increase deficit spending by cutting taxes. This has often been rationalized by the idea that reducing revenue and driving up deficits creates pressure to ‘Starve the Beast’ and reduce spending. But big tax cuts create no pressure at all to balance the books. On the contrary, they ease the main pressure that keeps spending and the size of government in check. In the hands of a big-spending, serial bankrupt like Donald Trump, Republican supply-side fiscal policy dogma, of which Starve the Beast is a central element, poses a serious threat to the growth and stability of the American economy.” (05/10/17)