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The Oklahoma Legislature May Need You to Start Smoking

A question from David Van Risseghem on his Facebook page got me thinking. He asked, “Hey? Is the impending special session being called to help folks quit smoking? Or just to get more money?”

Very quick background for those who don’t know – During the last Oklahoma legislative session a bill was passed enacting a $1.50 per pack ‘cessation fee.’ Senate Bill 845, the Smoking Cessation and Prevention Act of 2017, was designed to bring in about $215 million into the state coffers. Earlier this week the state Supreme Court ruled the bill violates the Oklahoma Constitution for various reasons that are completely correct but not relevant to the discussion here.

Now the question is what to do about the $215 million in taxes (note – taxes, not ‘fees’) that the stat will not be receiving, but was included by the legislature in the 2017-2018 budget appropriations. Conventional wisdom seems to be that the governor will call for a special […] → Keep reading

Tax Freedom Day In Oklahoma

If you live in Oklahoma, congratulations, you have made it to Tax Freedom Day! From January 1st until today, every penny you have made goes toward your federal, state and local taxes. This year’s Tax Freedom Day in Oklahoma comes three days later than last year. Americans will pay approximately $3.3 trillion to the federal government this year and an additional $1.5 trillion to state and local governments. I’m sure every penny of our tax dollars will be spent wisely and not wasted.

If you do not live in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, California, Massachusetts or Maryland, be glad. Tax Freedom Day in those states doesn’t come until May. The state to have the earliest Tax Freedom Day is Louisiana on April 2nd, but they’re also three days later than last year.

The Tax Foundation in Washington, D.C. has more analysis on their website and some interesting historical facts about Tax Freedom Day.

 

[…] → Keep reading

New York Times: Stay-at-Home Parents Are Tax Cheats

If you’re a stay-at-home parent the New York Times thinks you’re a tax cheat. Makes perfect sense, right? You don’t have a job, yet somehow you’re robbing the government of tax revenue. Josh Barro wrote a piece for the Times that details just how it is he thinks you’re getting an unfair advantage.

New York Times – President Obama’s proposal to expand a tax break for working parents with children under 5 has some conservatives criticizing it for discriminating against stay-at-home parents.

Those parents wouldn’t be able to take the proposed tax credit equal to 50 percent of child care expenses, up to a maximum of $3,000 per child. What the critics fail to see is that the playing field wasn’t level to begin with. The tax code is already hugely distorted in favor of stay-at-home parenting: Labor outside the home is taxed; household work, such as stay-at-home parenting, is not.

Keep reading

Democrats, Burger King, Illegal Immigration and Hypocrisy

Yesterday, Burger King agreed to buy the Canadian restaurant chain Tim Hortons for about $11.4 billion, creating one of the largest fast-food corporations in the world. As part of the deal, Burger King will move its home up north to Canada where corporate taxes are significantly lower than the United States. Under current U.S. law, a company merging with a foreign company can move its headquarters abroad and take advantage of lower taxes, as long as at least twenty percent of its shares are held by the foreign company’s shareholders once the merger is complete. Management and operations of the merging company are still allowed to remain in the U.S. after the merger.

The news has angered some Democrats, who complain that corporate inversions should not be allowed. Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) has proposed that Congress pass inversion legislation to prevent corporations from moving abroad. He said, “The reported deal with Burger King, an American company, highlights the need for […] → Keep reading

Tax Freedom Day In Oklahoma

If you live in Oklahoma, congratulations, you have made it to Tax Freedom Day! From January 1 until today, every penny you have made goes toward your federal, state and local taxes. This year’s Tax Freedom Day in Oklahoma comes five days later than last year. Americans will pay approximately $3 trillion to the federal government this year and an additional $1.5 trillion to state and local governments. I’m sure every penny of our tax dollars will be spent wisely and not wasted.

If you do not live in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut, be glad. Tax Freedom Day in those states doesn’t come until May. And congratulations to Louisiana for having the only Tax Freedom Day that comes in March.

The Tax Foundation in Washington, D.C. has more analysis on their website and some interesting historical facts about Tax Freedom Day.

 

[…] → Keep reading

Governor Fallin’s Misleading Tax Cut

I don’t agree with much at all of what the Oklahoma Policy Institute puts out, but their information about the recent tax cut legislation passed by the Oklahoma legislature and signed into law by Governor Fallin is right on the money. Opinions about policy can vary, but numbers don’t lie.

I’ve looked at the new tax rates in House Bill 2032 and I’ve run the numbers against the tax rates in this year’s form 511 – the Oklahoma individual income tax form. What the numbers tell me is that the things being said by Governor Fallin, Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon and others are highly misleading. Do you think you’re getting a tax cut? Unless you’re on the poverty level, you are, but let’s see how much.

Below is a chart from the OK Policy Institute’s post about the tax cut. It’s accurate. As you can see, if you make between $19,500 and $36,400 your tax cut is […] → Keep reading

Sharing the ‘Burden’

Baltimore Tax Increase Costs 75 Their Jobs

The city council in Baltimore recently passed a two-cent per container tax on beverages, attempting to balance the city budget.

Pepsi has responded by shutting down production at the Baltimore plant, putting 75 people out of work.

Grocers have reported this month that sales are down in the city because nearby counties do not have the tax.

This is just a small example of what happens when governments raise taxes on businesses to make up for outrageous spending by the government. More harm is always the result.

More here: http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2011/01/10/baltimores-pepsi-plant-will-stop-making-soda/

Illinois Democrats Pass 66% Tax Increase

Democrats in Illinois have passed a 66% increase in personal income taxes, raising the rate from 3% to 5% for four years. Corporate taxes will also be increasing. The measure is designed to help an ailing budget which is $15 billion in the hole. The tax increase is projected to generate about $6.8 billion per year.

No Republicans in the Illinois House or Senate supported the increase. GOP lawmakers noted they weren’t included in the negotiations and they rejected raising taxes after years of spending growth. “We’re saying to the people of Illinois, `For eight years we’ve overspent, now we’re going to make it your problem,’” said Rep. Roger Eddy. “We’re making up for our mistakes on your back.”

Neighboring states are preparing for the influx of refugees.