Archive for the ‘Tax News’ Category

The Botox Tax

July 28, 2009

Gun-loving Americans made a rush on gun stores after Barack Obama was elected president because they wanted to buy while they still could. Plastic surgeons may see a similar surge in business now that word of the tax plan is out:

Face-lifts, tummy tucks and hair transplants could be hit with a new tax to help finance the trillion-dollar healthcare overhaul plan, according to sources familiar with the Senate talks.

The Senate Finance Committee has discussed imposing a 10 percent excise tax on cosmetic surgery deemed unnecessary for medical purposes. The idea was broached in a meeting with OMB Director Orszag in mid-July, after which Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus told reporters he had heard some “interesting,” “creative,” and “kind of fun” ideas.

Interesting, creative and fun — that’s the way politicians approach economically repressive changes to the tax code. And that’s why nothing, not even the vanity surgeries of Hollywood liberals, is sacred when it comes to raising money for Obama’s healthcare plan.

[Cross-posted at The Enlightened Redneck]

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Bailouts, Bailouts Everywhere

October 22, 2008

And rest assured that your taxes will go up eventually as the government keeps trying to save us from bankers who gave bad loans and greedy Americans who took them — and us — for every penny they could.

With that in mind, it’s worth your time to check out the new Web site BeyondBailouts.org. You can sign a petition against any more bailouts.

Take Me Out To The Tax Park

October 13, 2008

Via The Club For Growth, I learned this bit of tax news from Chicago:

Chicago sports fans, movie mavens, concertgoers and theater patrons will pay more to attend live events — and so will those who park their cars in garages and surface lots — under a $25 million revenue package tied to Mayor Daley’s 2009 budget.

Daley tied his own hands by promising to close a massive budget gap without raising property taxes on the heels of last year’s record $83.4 million increase.

But he didn’t promise to hold the line on all other taxes and fees.Today, aldermen were told that the city’s two-tiered amusement tax would be going up — from 4 [percent] to 5 percent for mid-sized venues and from 8 [percent] to 9 percent for large sporting venues.

Just another reminder that liberals will always find a way to raise some tax, or make up a new one, even when they promise to hold the line or cut others.

Obama’s Tax-And-Spend Plans

July 8, 2008

From “The Morning Bell,” an e-mail newsletter of the Heritage Foundation:

According to the nonpartisan Annenberg Political Fact Check, Sen. Barack Obama’s tax plan would increase gross tax receipts by $103.3 billion in 2011 alone. That number by itself would make it the largest single-year tax increase in American history since World War II, and measured as a percentage of gross national product, it would be the fifth-largest tax increase since 1943.

Even with these record-breaking levels of taxing, Obama still would not be able to cover all of his promised increases in domestic spending. Commenting on Obama’s tax and spending plans, Clinton-era Office of Management and Budget official Idabel Sawhill tells the Los Angeles Times: “I don’t think it all adds up.”

Absorb all of that while you watch this great anti-tax spoof of an anti-war ad by MoveOn.org:

About That Gas-Tax ‘Holiday’

May 5, 2008

Proposals to give Americans a break from gasoline taxes this summer — and perhaps to offset it with a “windfall profits tax” on oil companies — are being roundly criticized by economic experts and pundits across the country. Here’s a selection for your reading pleasure:

Charlotte Observer: “This is flimflam work. The plan can only hope to provide small and limited relief. … This is still sleight-of-hand chicanery. Sen. Barack Obama … is right to oppose it. So should the rest of us. What’s needed is a president with a practical energy policy, not one who’s prone to pander.”

The Chicago Tribune: “[A] three-month break is too brief to elicit much response from refiners. They would more likely pocket the difference, leaving motorists no better off.”

Christian Science Monitor: “The tax break would add to the federal deficit. Gas-tax revenues normally go to the Highway Trust Fund, which is used to maintain and improve the highway and public transit systems.”

Dallas Morning News: “The McCain-Clinton ‘gas-tax holiday’ would be celebrated most fervently in the corporate offices of oil companies and in Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and the other oil-producing nations. Your 18-cent ‘discount’? That would degrade and probably disappear faster than you could say ‘supply and demand.'”

Houston Chronicle: “What we have is a supply problem. It just seems strange to me that the people who scream the loudest about our dependence on foreign oil, Sen. Clinton and Speaker Pelosi among them, are the very ones who do everything they can to suppress production from domestic sources with repressive restrictions on offshore drilling and the building of new refineries.”

The Mercury News: “For politicians to gain any real traction, they should bring something beyond a say-anything-for-a-vote pipe dream to the table. Be bold and call for a permanent end to the federal fuel tax.”

Miami Herald: “The tax holiday — give-away, to call it by its real name — is a classic Washington palliative. It creates the illusion that the politicians are making the problem go away when, instead, they are actually making the problem worse. … [I]t does nothing to cure the underlying problem, which consists of an addiction to cheap gasoline coupled with wasteful habits like driving gas-guzzlers instead of gas-savers.”

— The Star Tribune in Minnesota: “The gas tax holiday is an empty political gesture that makes little sense. It wouldn’t put enough in consumers’ pockets to stimulate a sluggish economy. It wouldn’t solve the underlying problems that are sending gas prices soaring toward $4. And, by artificially stimulating demand, many energy experts believe it could send pump prices even higher when the gas tax kicks back in.”

Tax Policy Blog: “ExxonMobil’s recent announcement of first quarter profits of $10.9 billion has prompted the predictable political demagoguery about “obscene” profits and the need for a new windfall profits tax. … If reporters were to dig just a bit deeper into the company’s earnings statement they would find that Exxon — like all the major domestic oil companies — directly pays or remits a staggering amount of taxes to governments both here and abroad.”

The Wall Street Journal: “We tried this windfall profits scheme in 1980. It backfired. The Congressional Research Service found in a 1990 analysis that the tax reduced domestic oil production by 3 percent to 6 percent and increased oil imports from OPEC by 8 percent to 16 percent.”

Election-Year Tax Gimmicks

May 5, 2008

President Bush and the Democratic Congress already have given Americans a tax rebate touted as an economic stimulant that isn’t likely to stimulate anything. Now politicians are tripping over themselves to offer more tax gimmicks as gasoline prices rise in this election year.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain was the first to propose a holiday from the federal gas tax (currently 18.4 cents a gallon) for the summer, and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has embraced a similar idea, with the twist of adding a “windfall profits tax” on oil companies to cover the lost revenue from the tax break. Barack Obama, Clinton’s rival for the Democratic nomination, has criticized those plans but countered with a call for a middle-class tax cut.

If only we voters could get a summer holiday from this kind of pandering!

Sing Along On Tax Freedom Day

April 22, 2008

Tomorrow is Tax Freedom Day. Theoretically speaking, every penny you have earned since Jan. 1 this year has gone to the government in the form of one tax or another. But tomorrow you can celebrate your freedom from the taxers and spenders!

“I work almost four months a year until I’m finally free. Every penny that I earn they keep ’til April 23.”

Paper Or Plastic? A Taxing Question

April 21, 2008

Remember the good ‘ol days when grocery stores gave you the choice between paper and plastic bags for your goodies? Those days are mostly gone as stores now bag everything in plastic — and that has the nanny-state tree-huggers in California rarin’ for a fight.

It’s not that they want the paper back, mind you. They just don’t want people hauling groceries in plastic any more. One legislator wants to tax the bags to make people think twice about using them.

Yes, you heard that right, a plastic bag tax. The idea is so bizarre that I don’t even know what category to apply to it in this blog.

So I guess it’s time for a new one: “Stupid Taxes.”

What Taxes Can ‘Due’ To You

April 16, 2008

The proud-to-be-liberal New York Times celebrated income-tax day by publishing a pro-tax column that touts an admittedly “sneaky” plan.

The writer, Richard Conniff, said the government should abolish “taxes” — the word, not the practice — and instead start referring to its money-grubbing ways as the collection of “dues.”

Sadly, that sounds like just the kind of deceitful plan politicians and bureaucrats will rush to embrace. They’ve long preferred to hide new taxes under the guise of “fees,” and they love word games. Remember that debate over the meaning of the word “is”?

Look for the “dues” debate to come to a legislative body near you.

The Fine Print Of Tax Law

April 4, 2008

When it comes to taxes, folks, there’s always a catch. The bureaucrats will find a way to separate you from your money:

At first, Ohio’s new tax law appealed to Michael Kovach. Under the plan, which was enacted in 2005 and is being phased in gradually, Kovach, president of City Machine Technologies in Youngstown, Ohio, would no longer have to pay tax on machinery and equipment. The state scrapped its outmoded tangible personal property tax and several others and replaced them with a new tax on gross receipts. …

But as is often the case with tax law, the fine print revealed a different story. If Ohio’s gross receipts tax, known as the Commercial Activity Tax, doesn’t raise enough revenue within a certain time period, the tax commissioner can increase the rates without warning. The likelihood of just such a tax hike seems to have grown, because Ohio faces a budget deficit that some estimate could reach $1.9 billion in the coming fiscal year.

And more of that fine print is coming to a tax law near you: “Already, 28 states appear to be headed for budget trouble, with deficits totaling $35 billion.”

Taking A Stand In Taxachusetts

April 2, 2008

As reported by The Boston Globe:

Faced with a sagging economy, voters in three of four towns were in no mood yesterday to approve property tax increases.

Voters in the blue-collar towns of Holbrook and Chelmsford along with well-to-do Harvard all rejected property tax hikes.

Don’t let “voter fatigue” keep you from taking further stands against fees increases for services like trash collection and after-school activities.

Maryland’s Troublesome ‘Tech Tax’

March 30, 2008

Last year, Maryland lawmakers slapped a 6 percent sales tax on computer services in a special legislative session. The tax caused an outcry and now lawmakers are rethinking it because “the tax is more trouble than it is worth.”

Dropping the tax will cost the state $200 million it can’t afford, however, so officials will have to find a solution. Another tax — raising the income tax on people making more than $1 million a year — is an option, but the encouraging news is that lawmakers also are looking instead at ways to … cut spending. Imagine that!

Maybe one day the tax hikers will realize that most taxes are more trouble than they are worth and start reining in the profligate spending all across America.

Terminating Taxes

March 29, 2008

Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggar, who long ago abandoned his pretense of being even a moderate Republican, is wavering in his commitment to terminate tax proposals in California:

Aides contend that the governor has kept his word on that key GOP issue by raising fees, not taxes. But the fees he has backed — including some amounting to billions of dollars that were included in his failed healthcare plan — are essentially the same thing, say many Republicans and antitax groups.

The governor, who in January promised, “I will not raise taxes on the people of California,” later said he agreed with the nonpartisan legislative analyst’s suggestion that the state collect more tax money by cutting or reducing some “loopholes.”

This month, he said “everything is on the table” in budget negotiations with the Capitol’s dominant Democrats. He cited as an example a demand by state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland) to increase sales taxes.

Exercise May Be Bad For Your Financial Health

March 27, 2008

Well, it will be in Rhode Island if Democratic Rep. Arthur Handy gets his way. He has proposed expanding the sales tax to include health-club memberships, as well as expensive clothing, landscaping and legal services.

I love this quote from Gov. Donald Carcieri: “All they’re doing is taxing just about everything that moves.”

The good news is that even Handy’s own party doesn’t support his plan. If he can’t win the backing of tax-and-spend Democrats, his odds seem pretty slim. The bad news is that Carcieri, a Republican, is open to the idea of more fees.

I Always Vote ‘No’ On Tax Initiatives

March 27, 2008

So should the voters of Shrewsbury, Mass.

Stand firm. Don’t let the bureaucrats browbeat you into higher taxes by throwing ballot initiative after ballot initiative at you until you finally cave:

Even though they have rejected every request for a Proposition 2-1/2 override put before them, Shrewsbury voters will again be asked to approve a $1.5 million proposal that would eliminate some school fees and potentially save jobs.

The call for the tax increase is slated for the May 6 town ballot.

Last May, a $5 million override was narrowly rejected, 5,568 to 5,160, in an election that drew 52 percent of Shrewsbury’s registered voters. In 2004 and 2005, overrides were rejected by large margins. The town has never approved raising taxes by overriding Proposition 2-1/2, a state law that limits annual increases to 2.5 percent of a community’s total tax levy.