August 26, 2009
CHEW ON THIS: Our "leaders" in Harrisburg are considering taxing gum, candy, chewing tobacco, stogies and more. Like what? Well, how about basic-cable TV, ATM transactions, legal services or any of a host of things currently tax-exempt such as toothbrushes, flags, twine, airline food, dry cleaning, sports tickets or (gag) newspapers? I'm not saying that this is going to happen. I'm saying that those fiddling with the stalled budget - the seventh in a row, now 57 days late - say that they're looking at all options to help close a $3 billion-plus deficit.
January 24, 2008 |
Recently, three published reports documented New Jersey's problems attracting and retaining residents and jobs. This is a major issue for the business community and workers in the state, and policymakers cannot afford to ignore or downplay these reports, or consider them a self-fulfilling prophecy. One of the most publicized reports, released in October by Rutgers University's Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, documented the migration of New Jersey residents to states that are more affordable and have lower taxes.
April 17, 2003 |
By proposing more Band-Aids for a festering wound, State Sen. John Adler's "modest tax proposal" of a constitutional convention would not solve the New Jersey property-tax quagmire. The average property tax on residences in New Jersey exceeds $4,000 a year, the highest rate of any state. The tax burden increasingly threatens residents' economic well-being. According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, the per-capita New Jersey state and local tax burden for 2002 was $4,146, or 10.3 percent of the state's $40,258 per-capita income.
April 26, 2001 |
May 3 is Tax Freedom Day for the nation as a whole, according to a new report from the Washington-based Tax Foundation. That's when we stop working to pay local, state, and federal government and start working for ourselves. The federal tax burden has grown by 14 days' pay between 1992 and 2001, even though President Clinton declared that "the era of big government is over. " In contrast, state and local tax burdens have remained virtually unchanged during that period. The burden of government has expanded by two days from last year and now stands at the highest level since World War II. Taxes take 35 percent of a worker's gross income - 24 percent for federal taxes and 11 percent for state and local.
March 2, 2000 |
Two years ago at a Texas convention, the president of a large petroleum company walked up to me and said, "I just bought gasoline for 68 cents a gallon. " I asked him how he managed to get such a great price. "That's the cost before taxes are added," he said. As fuel prices rise, pushing, even passing, $2 a gallon in parts of California, politicians blame production cutbacks by Arab nations. But the primary culprits are taxes, a refusal to exploit oil sources on U.S. territory for fear of a backlash from environmentalists, and what looks suspiciously like a deal among politicians, American oil companies and Arab oil-producing states.
October 28, 1998 |
Camden County Republicans know they are facing an uphill battle in the First Congressional District - a traditionally Democratic area that incumbent U.S. Rep. Robert E. Andrews has dominated since 1990. But that is not deterring GOP candidate Ron Richards, who is aggressively campaigning to unseat the four-term congressman in a district that spans portions of Camden, Burlington, and Gloucester Counties. Richards, 50, marketing manager for a software firm and a member of the Voorhees Township Committee, is painting Andrews as a "professional politician" who is robbing the district.
March 12, 1998 |
Advocates of radical changes in the federal tax system are busy these days trying to convince the American people that their paychecks are about to be devoured by the U.S. government. "The typical family pays more than 38 percent of its income in taxes. That's nearly 40 cents of every dollar," said Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott in his response to President Clinton's State of the Union address. "That's not just bad policy. It's immoral. " It's also just plain wrong, say analysts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington-based liberal research group.
May 5, 1992 |
Government workers, especially here in Philadelphia, get lots of holidays that ordinary taxpayers don't get. To balance things out a bit, I propose a new holiday called Tax Freedom Day, which is to be celebrated by any person who doesn't work for a government entity, does pay taxes on time, but is super-rich and therefore doesn't worry about taxes. Picking the day to celebrate this new holiday will be a bit tricky. Last year, for instance, it would have been April 30. Thanks largely to Gov. Casey's $3 billion tax increase, Pennsylvanians can't celebrate until tomorrow - May 6. According to the Tax Foundation in Washington, that's the day average Pennsylvanians finally start working to feed themselves and their families instead of slaving away to feed the insatiable tax appetite of monsters called federal, state and local governments.
April 16, 1991 |
Uncle Sam will keep his hand in your wallet longer than ever this year, a Washington research organization said yesterday. On average, taxpayers will labor a record 128 days - Jan. 1 through May 8 - to earn enough money to pay their 1991 taxes, according to the Tax Foundation, a nonprofit group that annually calculates how long it takes Americans to cover the cost of all federal, state and local taxes. The tax "burden is at its highest level ever," said Dan Witt, the group's executive director.
May 1, 1988 |
Paul Gann, now 75, who with the late Howard Jarvis founded a tax-reform movement on the West Coast, will celebrate next month the 10-year anniversary of Proposition 13, which has lopped off an estimated $75 billion in California property taxes since it passed overwhelmingly in 1978. That's the good news. On Thursday, there will be another kind of celebration, this one, however, marking the ignominious liberation of the average American from the tax bite. The Tax Foundation in Washington calls it Tax Freedom Day, the day when Americans start working for themselves, having satisfied the requirements of federal, state and local taxes.