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Excise

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NEWS
April 22, 1986 | By David Hess and Patricia O'Brien, Inquirer Washington Bureau
The Reagan administration signaled Congress yesterday that it would be willing to accept higher excise taxes on consumers to finance lower income tax rates in the President's tax-revision plan. In testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, J. Roger Mentz, assistant treasury secretary for tax policy, said the administration "will entertain the possibility of selective increases in excise taxes in order to create a revenue-neutral tax reform package" - one that brings in the same amount of money as present law. Mentz offered no details about either the size of the increases or which taxes would be involved - although he implied that higher levies on alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and motor fuels would be acceptable to the administration.
NEWS
August 29, 1987 | By Gerald B. Jordan, Inquirer Washington Bureau
Sen. John Heinz (R., Pa.) calls it "the sick tax. " The federal government levies an 8 percent tax on each flight of an aircraft that weighs more than 6,000 pounds. Because many emergency medical helicopters exceed that weight limit, hospitals are feeling the pinch. And so, ultimately, are consumers. Officials at the American Society of Hospital-Based Emergency Air Medical Services (ASHBEAMS) say that some of their members pay up to $80,000 a year in excise taxes. They argue that because the money goes into the federal airport trust fund, which awards airport maintenance grants, the hospital helicopters, which do not use airports or the air traffic control system, should not have to pay. Heinz sponsored legislation, passed by the Senate Finance Committee earlier this summer, that would exempt the medical helicopters from the tax, the same 8 percent levied on airline tickets.
SPORTS
October 1, 1995 | By Stephen J. Morgan, FOR THE INQUIRER
For decades, hunters and anglers have provided most of the money used by state fish and game agencies to administer wildlife-conservation programs. They have done it by buying hunting and fishing licenses and by paying excise taxes on firearms and other equipment they use. Over the years, this revenue has paid for programs that primarily have benefited game species such as deer, wild turkeys and trout. Only a relatively small amount has been used to pay for programs specifically intended to benefit non-game animals.
NEWS
February 15, 1987
"President Reagan has ordered more than 20 U.S. warships to move into the waters off Lebanon to serve as a warning to terrorists there," said a Feb. 5 article. The great majority of the people of Lebanon have no more to do with terrorism than the American people had to do with the U.S. invasion of Grenada. Bullying the Lebanese people by bringing a massive U.S. naval force to their shore, or worse, will not discourage the relatively small number of terrorists scattered among them.
NEWS
April 5, 2013
EIGHTY years ago this Sunday, the federal government enacted a law that targets beer drinkers with a mean-spirited tax on every bottle, every glass, every sip they take. In the decades that have followed this ignominious date, the law has taken billions of dollars out of our pockets, killed jobs, thwarted brewery expansion and threatened the middle class. Beer lobbyists today describe the law as "devastating" and "regressive. " They say it jeopardizes the entire industry. Just another example of greedy tax-and-spend politicians, right?
NEWS
March 20, 1986 | By Patricia O'Brien, Inquirer Washington Bureau
Senate Finance Committee members yesterday began work on a tax-overhaul bill and fell almost immediately into a sharp dispute over a provision to prohibit businesses from deducting the excise taxes they pay. Only one of many items expected to produce friction in the committee, the excise-tax proposal involves now-deductible taxes paid by businesses on such things as gasoline, airline fares and tickets for entertainment and sports events....
NEWS
April 9, 1986 | By Patricia O'Brien, Inquirer Washington Bureau
Two popular retirement plans came under fire yesterday as Senate Finance Committee members writing a tax-revision bill grappled with proposals designed to make it harder for wealthy taxpayers to use the plans to avoid paying taxes. The proposals are aimed at recapturing some of the $15.9 billion in estimated revenues that the 401(k) and Individual Retirement Accounts programs will cost the U.S. Treasury in 1987. "We've found many pension programs are tilted toward higher-income employees," said Sen. Bob Packwood (R., Ore.)
NEWS
November 29, 1987 | By Robert A. Rankin, Inquirer Washington Bureau
Most taxpayers will not feel the bite of $9 billion in higher 1988 taxes mandated by the deficit-reduction accord. The extension of a 3 percent excise tax on all telephone calls is the only fee likely to hit most taxpayers directly. It is already in effect, but had been scheduled to expire Dec. 31. Extending it would yield $1.3 billion this year and $6.1 billion over three years, according to congressional tax documents. Otherwise, the $9 billion is expected to come from a vast assortment of small increases in low-profile taxes on corporations and upper-income taxpayers.
NEWS
November 25, 1988 | BY THELMA M. WASHINGTON
After years of continuing education for my husband and me, and gaining employment respectively as an account clerk and correspondence secretary, we retired several years ago as low low middle class. We fall into this category despite our efforts at independence and upward mobility because of the taxes and surtaxes placed upon our earnings. The U.S., we agree, is a great country to live in, but many flaws need to be addressed on all levels of government, if it is to reach its potential of greatness as envisioned by our forebearers.
NEWS
April 4, 2002 | By Gary M. Galles
We are approaching April 15, when people's checkbooks remind them that even if "taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society," it doesn't follow that the civilization we get is worth the taxes we are forced to pay. But this issue is hardly new. More than two centuries before our federal budget sped past the $2 trillion mark, those known as antifederalists warned us that the price we would have to pay for government would rise. Remember that as you struggle to understand the latest IRS forms, particularly as you write that check to the U. S. Treasury.
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NEWS
April 5, 2013
EIGHTY years ago this Sunday, the federal government enacted a law that targets beer drinkers with a mean-spirited tax on every bottle, every glass, every sip they take. In the decades that have followed this ignominious date, the law has taken billions of dollars out of our pockets, killed jobs, thwarted brewery expansion and threatened the middle class. Beer lobbyists today describe the law as "devastating" and "regressive. " They say it jeopardizes the entire industry. Just another example of greedy tax-and-spend politicians, right?
NEWS
September 28, 2010 | By Tom Infield, Inquirer Staff Writer
HERSHEY, Pa. - Facing a well-attired audience of more than 1,000 businesspeople, the candidates for governor both pledged Monday night to reduce Pennsylvania's nationally highest corporate net-income tax and to generally make the state a more "business friendly" place. The occasion was the first of only two scheduled debates between Democrat Dan Onorato and Republican Tom Corbett leading up to the Nov. 2 election. In a somewhat narrow discussion, moderated by former Nightline news anchor Ted Koppel and sponsored by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, the candidates disagreed sharply on whether Pennsylvania should impose an excise tax on natural-gas extraction.
NEWS
March 8, 2010
MAYOR NUTTER and Health Commissioner Don Schwarz are to be commended for singling out a problem everyone hates to talk about: most of the city is too fat. Sixty-four percent of adults and 57 percent of children here are overweight. Schwarz makes a compelling case in particular for the damages done by sugary sodas. Among one of his more shocking charts: the trend lines for sweetened beverages versus milk consumption has swapped positions, with children now drinking more soda than milk.
NEWS
January 18, 2010
The windfall from leasing state forests to natural gas drillers demonstrates that it's time for Pennsylvania to tax producers in this lucrative energy boom. At an auction last week, energy companies bid an average of $4,020 an acre for the rights to drill on 32,000 acres of state forest in north-central Pennsylvania. It earned the state $128.5 million, more than twice the amount called for by legislators. Just more than a year ago, a similar auction brought average bids of $2,000 per acre.
NEWS
June 28, 2009 | By William F. Shughart II
History, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt once remarked, does in fact repeat itself. Not long after taking office as the nation's first treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton persuaded Congress to enact a selective tax on whiskey. He believed that the consumption of distilled spirits, "carried on to an extreme, no doubt very much on account of their cheapness," threatened the health, morals, and economy of the new country. Hamilton's tax nearly ended in bloodshed, averted at the last minute when the Whiskey Rebellion's leaders surrendered to a federal militia led by President George Washington himself.
NEWS
March 5, 2009 | By Jonathan Tamari INQUIRER TRENTON BUREAU
An odd thing happened the last time New Jersey raised its cigarette tax: It lost money. According to advocates for lower taxes, that's because New Jersey smokers have cheaper purchase options nearby in Pennsylvania and Delaware, or online. Pennsylvania also saw revenues fall when it last raised cigarette taxes. Still, with both states facing mounting budget gaps, Gov. Rendell has proposed a cigarette tax increase and Gov. Corzine is considering one for the spending plan he will introduce Tuesday.
NEWS
August 1, 2004 | By Philippa J. Chaplin INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Drive down Prince Street in Bordentown City and as you approach Crosswicks Creek you'll see the figure of a man standing on an island in the roadway. He holds a book before him in one hand, the other arm outstretched, and he appears to be in midsentence. It is a statue of Thomas Paine speaking "Common Sense. " The patriot wrote the 1776 pamphlet that was a call to arms for the colonists to assert their independence. British born, he apparently found solace in Bordentown, 40 miles north of Philadelphia, where he landed in 1774.
NEWS
June 14, 2004 | By Froma Harrop
Ronald Reagan did some fine things, but the economic theory that bears his name was not one of them. Reaganomics made the world safe for today's reckless tax-cutting. And the public hardly understands the social upheaval these policies will soon unleash. Reaganomics held that cutting taxes and reducing the size of government would let loose the nation's entrepreneurial juices and lead to economic growth. Note that the theory comes in two parts. The fun part is cutting taxes. The not-so-fun part is reducing government.
NEWS
April 15, 2004 | By Matthew Miller
It's tax time, which means it's time for conservatives to roll out their perennial complaint that the well-to-do are being asked to pay too much. They're dead wrong, as every reasonable citizen will conclude in a moment, but first let's hear them out. "You're getting to the point where there are more people on this side of the see-saw not paying any income taxes," says Bruce Josten, the top lobbyist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, "and the burden is simultaneously increasing on the smaller and smaller portion of the population.
NEWS
April 4, 2002 | By Gary M. Galles
We are approaching April 15, when people's checkbooks remind them that even if "taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society," it doesn't follow that the civilization we get is worth the taxes we are forced to pay. But this issue is hardly new. More than two centuries before our federal budget sped past the $2 trillion mark, those known as antifederalists warned us that the price we would have to pay for government would rise. Remember that as you struggle to understand the latest IRS forms, particularly as you write that check to the U. S. Treasury.
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