January 7, 2013 |
Despite all the drama leading up to New Year's Day, the tax deal signed Thursday by President Obama did virtually nothing to change the trajectory of the U.S. government's debt-laden finances. The deal raised some taxes, but not enough to prevent the slow starvation of federal programs to help the poor and elderly, according to advocates for such programs. By leaving spending cuts off the table for the most part, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 set up what is sure to be an ugly fight over raising the nation's debt limit by early March.
January 2, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Americans are all but certain to face a broad hike in taxes on Tuesday for the first time in at least two decades, ending a prolonged period of declining taxation that has become a defining characteristic of the American economy. Regardless of whether President Obama and Congress reach an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff, many Americans will see a higher tax bill because of the expiration of the payroll tax cut, which was enacted in 2011 as a temporary measure to boost economic growth.
June 1, 2012 |
Online retail giant Amazon.com will invest $130 million in New Jersey, build two warehouses, and bring 1,500 full-time jobs to the state, Gov. Christie announced Wednesday. In return, the Seattle-based Internet retailer will collect the state's 7 percent sales tax from New Jersey residents who buy online starting in July 2013. Christie said at a news conference that the tax collection would bring an estimated $30 million to $40 million a year to the state. The deal is contingent on Amazon receiving tax incentives to finance construction of the warehouses in cities that were not named.
April 8, 2012 |
Americans are enjoying a brief tax holiday this year - filings are not due until April 17 - and credit for the postponement goes to an unexpected hero: none other than Abraham Lincoln. (Of course, Lincoln was also responsible for introducing federal income taxes in the first place, but that is another story.) The explanation for the reprieve has nothing to do with the burdens of taxation, and everything to do with the blessings of liberty. A hundred and fifty years ago, Lincoln became the first American president to sign a law - any law - restricting slavery.
February 9, 2012 |
TRENTON - Amazon.com, the world's biggest online retailer, is in talks to open two warehouses in New Jersey in a deal that could bring 1,500 full-time jobs to a state where unemployment has hovered around 9 percent. State Assembly Democratic Leader Louis D. Greenwald, who has been involved in the talks, said Amazon was seeking a 22-month sales-tax holiday - opposed by some retailers and at least one lawmaker. The Seattle-based online retailer is not required, as brick-and-mortar retailers are, to collect the 7 percent state sales tax for purchases.
December 26, 2011 |
What even minimally rational government enacts payroll-tax relief for just two months? As a matter of practicality alone, it makes no sense. The National Payroll Reporting Consortium, representing those who process paychecks, said of the two-month extension of the payroll-tax holiday passed by the Senate just days before the new year: "There is insufficient lead time to accommodate the proposal," because "many payroll systems are not likely to...
December 18, 2011
Alana Miller is a program associate with the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group (Penn PIRG) An army of lobbyists on Capitol Hill is trying to convince Congress that after stashing nearly $1.4 trillion offshore to avoid paying U.S. taxes, corporations should get a massive tax discount for bringing the money back to America. We've done this before. In 2004, Congress gave corporate America a "repatriation holiday" on the promise of job creation. Yet rather than hiring workers, the firms that benefited most actually shed jobs, bought their own stock to boost the price, and increased executive pay. Anticipating the next holiday, they then shifted even more profits offshore.
December 13, 2011 |
The Montgomery County Commissioners inched closer to solving their historic budget crisis - which could see programs eliminated, some 500 people laid off and taxes raised up to 28 percent - after listening to pleas for more money from department heads. Most of the administrators said they could not live with five to 11 percent cuts needed to close a $44.5 million budget gap. County President Judge Richard Hodgson said such cuts to the courts' budget would bring the court system "to its knees.
July 23, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - Efforts to avert a shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration failed Friday amid a disagreement over a $16.5 million cut in subsidies to 13 rural communities, ensuring that at midnight, nearly 4,000 people would be temporarily out of work and federal airline ticket taxes would be suspended. Hundreds of workers in Atlantic City would be among those furloughed. Lawmakers were unable to resolve a partisan dispute over an extension of the agency's operating authority, which was to expire at 11:59 p.m. Friday.
June 26, 2011
Republican leaders in Harrisburg have crafted a state budget with deep cuts in funding for education and other critical programs while letting natural-gas drillers off the hook for paying their fair share toward meeting Pennsylvania's needs. What a cynical debut for freshman Gov. Corbett's fiscal stewardship. The Senate was scheduled to return Sunday to prepare to implement a budget deal that came together late last week without input from Democratic lawmakers. So, there's still time to chart a course that confronts fiscal reality while spreading the burden more fairly.