Tag Archives: Taxes

Here’s why ‘Red Ahead’ deserves a red light.

Lawmakers in Chicago are forcing citizens to fear their tax burden more than the inevitable winter cold.

In addition to boasting one of the highest sales tax rates in the country, the infamous “Netflix tax,” and a pending tax increase on water, Chicagoans will now see an increase in both property and fuel taxes for the purposes of funding the “Red Ahead” program. The program seeks to “rebuild vital infrastructure for Chicago’s future,” but rests upon a premise shakier than a rusting portion of “El” tracks.

City officials claim that monies levied from these specific tax increases will go exclusively to fund the Red Ahead project. However, constituents should raise their eyebrows reading this statement, given the pension debacle occurring within the state. Both the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago have misappropriated funds to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Why should Chicagoans trust city lawmakers to handle these funds appropriately amidst an ongoing financial crisis? City officials in Washington, D.C., certainly did not handle funds for their streetcar program well — $200 million over the last 10 years on a streetcar system that barely functions.

Continue reading at Watchdog.

The Bitter Truth About Sugar Taxes

Why​ ​is​ ​it​ ​when​ ​politicians​ ​try​ ​to​ ​“fix”​ ​a​ ​problem,​ ​they​ ​always​ ​seem​ ​to​ ​reach​ ​for​ ​​your wallet?​ ​Governments​ ​from​ ​all​ ​across​ ​the​ ​world,​ ​from​ ​Mexico​ ​to​ ​the​ ​United​ ​Kingdom​ ​to Berkeley,​ ​California​ ​have​ ​made​ ​a​ ​strong​ ​effort​ ​to​ ​warn​ ​its​ ​citizens​ ​about​ ​the​ ​dangers​ ​of sugary​ ​drinks.​ ​But​ ​some​ ​have​ ​gone​ ​even​ ​further​ ​by​ ​imposing​ ​excise​ ​taxes​ ​on​ ​citizens​ ​who consume​ ​these​ ​sweet​ ​nectars. 
  
The​ ​city​ ​of​ ​Philadelphia,​ ​where​ ​the​ ​Declaration​ ​of​ ​Independence​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Constitution were​ ​written,​ ​is​ ​on​ ​the​ ​verge​ ​of​ ​passing​ ​​a​ ​tax​ ​on​ ​sugary​ ​drinks.​​ ​Taxes​ ​are​ ​typically​ ​toxic​ ​to economic​ ​growth​ ​but​ ​a​ ​sugar​ ​tax​ ​is​ ​especially​ ​harmful​ ​to​ ​those​ ​in​ ​a​ ​lower​ ​socioeconomic 
class.​ ​The​ ​common​ ​argument​ ​for​ ​a​ ​sugar​ ​tax​ ​is​ ​that​ ​it​ ​combats​ ​obesity​ ​while​ ​having​ ​no negative​ ​effect​ ​on​ ​the​ ​public. 
  
Yet,​ ​increasing​ ​the​ ​price​ ​of​ ​sugary​ ​drinks​ ​does​ ​not​ ​necessarily​ ​translate​ ​into​ ​a​ ​healthier citizenry,​ ​as​ ​shown​ ​by​ ​a​ ​Tax​ ​Foundation​ ​​study​: 
  
Detailed​ ​economic​ ​analysis​ ​shows​ ​that​ ​when​ ​the​ ​consumption​ ​of​ ​soda​ ​is discouraged​ ​with​ ​higher​ ​prices,​ ​children​ ​and​ ​adolescents​ ​tend​ ​to​ ​substitute​ ​other food​ ​or​ ​drink​ ​to​ ​make​ ​up​ ​for​ ​lost​ ​calories.​ ​Taxes​ ​on​ ​soda​ ​could​ ​even​ ​cause​ ​an increase​ ​in​ ​caloric​ ​consumption,​ ​as​ ​other​ ​substitutes​ ​can​ ​have​ ​higher​ ​calorie contents​ ​than​ ​soda. 
  
The​ ​only​ ​certain​ ​effect​ ​of​ ​the​ ​sugar​ ​tax​ ​is​ ​that​ ​it​ ​will​ ​increase​ ​prices​ ​for​ ​all​ ​consumers. Politicians​ ​and​ ​presidential​ ​candidates​ ​claim​ ​to​ ​care​ ​about​ ​the​ ​poor​ ​and​ ​middle-class families,​ ​but​ ​increasing​ ​the​ ​prices​ ​of​ ​goods​ ​they​ ​consume​ ​is​ ​not​ ​caring—it’s​ ​callous​ ​and 
unproductive.​ ​When​ ​politicians​ ​claim​ ​the​ ​middle-class​ ​is​ ​disappearing,​ ​they​ ​should​ ​be reminded​ ​that​ ​many​ ​families​ ​have​ ​been​ ​taxed​ ​​out​​ ​of​ ​the​ ​middle​ ​class. 
  
Sugar​ ​may​ ​be​ ​addictive,​ ​but​ ​clearly​ ​not​ ​as​ ​addictive​ ​as​ ​taxation.​ ​When​ ​politicians blatantly​ ​try​ ​to​ ​increase​ ​taxes​ ​on​ ​the​ ​poor​ ​and​ ​middle​ ​class,​ ​it​ ​shows​ ​that​ ​addiction.

Candidates should focus on corporate tax cuts, not individual

Tax cuts are a major feature of Republican presidential candidates’ economic policies, and it showed in last week’s debate.

But not all tax cuts are created equal. In particular, the drive to cut individual rates is misguided. In the tax code, the real culprit for sluggish economic growth is the corporate tax.

The United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world—39 percent, when including an average of state levies. In the 1950s, high corporate taxes provided a sizeable chunk of federal government revenue—up to 32 percent in some years. But today, the tax makes up only about one tenth of federal government revenue.

Read the rest on Watchdog here.