Archive for the ‘Taxes’ Category

A new Congressional Budget Office study has torn in hole in yet another one of President Obama’s insistent claims about the way things are.

The Congressional Budget Office study, “The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2010, ” shows that the top 40 percent of households, based on pre-tax income, paid a remarkable 106.2 percent of the nation’s income tax in 2010. Meanwhile, households in the bottom 40 percent paid “negative income tax,” receiving an average of $18,950 in government transfer payments while paying no federal income tax.

Read more here.

On the heels of Maryland’s decision to enact tough new gun laws, the ironically nicknamed state (the “Free State”) will now impose a so-called “rain tax” on its residents.

The “storm management fee,” passed by the state legislature in 2012, will go into effect following a decree from Democrat Gov. Martin O’Malley.

But first, a little background [via the The Gazette]:

In 2010 the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency ordered Maryland to reduce stormwater runoff into the Chesapeake Bay so that nitrogen levels fall 22 percent and phosphorus falls 15 percent from current amounts. The price tag: $14.8 billion.

And where do we get the $14.8 billion? By taxing so-called “impervious surfaces,” anything that prevents rain water from seeping into the earth (roofs, driveways, patios, sidewalks, etc.) thereby causing stormwater run off. In other words, a rain tax.

The EPA ordered Maryland to raise the money (an unfunded mandate), Maryland ordered its 10 largest counties to raise the money (another unfunded mandate) and, now, each of those counties is putting a local rain tax in place by July 1.

The 10 areas affected by the “rain tax” include Montgomery, Prince George’s, Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Hartford, Charles, Frederick, Baltimore counties, and Baltimore city.

“Fees will be calculated on the surface area of properties as the theory is that roofs, driveways and carparks create more potential for drainage problems and water contamination,” Metro explains. “Councils are supposed to determine how much to charge per square foot, but the fee depends on the size of the building and surrounding paved surfaces.”

Read more here.

An upcoming conference being held at the Des Moines Community College will use taxpayer dollars to hold a breakout session on how to attack conservatives and Christians.

Here’s the description of the course from the conference website:

Young America’s Foundation broke the story:

A Young Americans for Freedom chapter is demanding its school to pull funding from an upcoming LGBT conference, claiming a bias against conservatives and Christians.

Des Moines Community College student Jake Dagel, who chairs the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter, is opposing the 8th Annual Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning) Youth and is calling for the school to pull its $1,000 sponsorship during a press conference announcing his chapter’s position. Dagel claims that conservatives and Christians will be bullied at the event.

“Any conference or event that attacks individuals for their beliefs is not diversity,” Dagel told the Iowa Republican. “We, the DMACC Young Americans for Freedom…believe that he LGBT community has every right to host this conference due to their First Amendment rights. However, as long as the conference hosts workshops that attack individuals, we will demand that DMACC revoke its sponsorship of tuition and taxpayer money from this conference.”

Read more here.

“God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.
The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is
wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts
they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions,
it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. …
And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not
warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of
resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as
to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost
in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from
time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
It is its natural manure.”

—Thomas Jefferson

Boxer Manny Pacquiao has shocked the sports with the announcement that he will no longer fight in Las Vegas — or any U.S. city, for that matter — because federal taxes have become too burdensome.

Obviously, this means he won’t be fighting Juan Manuel Marquez in September at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas as originally planned.

“But while promoter Bob Arum wanted it to happen, Pacquiao is now calling it a ‘no go’ due to the 39.6 tax hit he would take from the federal government [emphasis added],” the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard notes.

The Grover Norquist-founded Americans for Tax Reform weighed in on the Pacquiao exodus.

“Pacquiao’s concerns lie with the federal income tax. As Nevada is one of the nine states that do not have an income tax, Las Vegas has grown to become the home for major bouts because fighters do not have to worry about the state taking a bite out of their winnings or purse,” they told Bedard.

“Unfortunately, Nevada’s economic benefit is now overshadowed by the federal income tax rate,” the group added.

Read more here.

In a final regulation issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assumed that under Obamacare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year.

Under Obamacare, Americans will be required to buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS.

The IRS’s assumption that the cheapest plan for family will cost $20,000 per year is found in examples the IRS gives to help people understand how to calculate the penalty they will need to pay the government if they do not buy a mandated health plan.

The examples point to families of four and families of five, both of which the IRS expects in its assumptions to pay a minimum of $20,000 per year for a bronze plan.

“The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000,” the regulation says.

Bronze will be the lowest tier health-insurance plan available under Obamacare–after Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Under the law, the penalty for not buying health insurance is supposed to be capped at either the annual average Bronze premium, 2.5 percent of taxable income, or $2,085.00 per family in 2016.

In the new final rules published Wednesday, IRS set in law the rules for implementing the penalty Americans must pay if they fail to obey Obamacare’s mandate to buy insurance.

Read more here.

Is Lefty’s stance on California’s tax hikes a sign of things to come for millionaire athletes?

The Golden State’s new 13.3 percent income tax on top earners prompted golfer Phil Mickelson to say earlier this month he was considering a move, and according to the accountants who advise millionaire athletes, he was just saying what a lot of jocks were already thinking. Federal taxes on the top income bracket just rose by roughly 5 percent, and, while there’s nothing rich athletes can do about that, they are paying attention to which states dip into their game checks — and how much they take.

“They’re going to have an exodus of people,” said John Karaffa, president of ProSport CPA, a Virginia-based firm that represents nearly 300 professional athletes, primarily in basketball and football. “I think they’ll see some [leave California] for sure. They were already a very high tax state and it’s getting to a point where folks have to make a business decision as well as a lifestyle decision.”

The taxes of professional athletes became incredibly complicated in the early 1990s, when aggressive state and local tax collectors began targeting them to pay non-resident income taxes. Technically, all employees who earn money for work done outside their home states have to pay non-resident taxes, but enforcement has focused on millionaire athletes with publicized work schedules to the extent is is commonly called the “jock tax.” Although ballplayers can’t get out of the state and local taxes they pay while on the road, where they play their home games can make a huge difference. California takes 13.3 percent on income above $1 million, but states like Florida, Nevada and Texas are among seven that take nothing.

It adds up, says Karaffa. As tax season enters full bloom, he expects to see an uptick in the number of clients who will consider leaving California. Under a hypothetical calculation, the tax difference for a single professional athlete making roughly $10 million a year between being a resident of California versus Florida is around $800,000 annually.

Read more here.

Phil Mickelson said he will make “drastic changes” because of federal and California state tax increases.

“It’s been an interesting offseason,” Mickelson said Sunday after the final round of the Humana Challenge. “And I’m going to have to make some drastic changes. I’m not going to jump the gun and do it right away, but I will be making some drastic changes.”

The 42-year-old golfer said he would talk in more detail about his plans – possibly moving away from California or even retiring from golf – before his hometown Farmers Insurance Open, the San Diego-area event that starts Thursday at Torrey Pines.

“I’m not sure what exactly, you know, I’m going to do yet,” Mickelson said. “I’ll probably talk about it more in depth next week. I’m not going to jump the gun, but there are going to be some. There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state and, you know, it doesn’t work for me right now. So I’m going to have to make some changes.”

In November, California voters approved Proposition 30, the first statewide tax increase since 2004. Mickelson lives in Rancho Santa Fe.

Read more here.