2013 June Budget & Tax News

Issue Date: 
June, 2013
Newspaper PDF: 

The June issue of Budget & Tax News reports on the growing controversy over the Marketplace Fairness Act, which critics say represents “an enormous expansion in state tax collection authority” and “would be a disaster for consumers.” A letter co-signed by several conservative, free-market, and libertarian groups – including The Heartland Institute, which publishes Budget & Tax News – was sent to Congress.

Also in this issue:

  • Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane says three former top officials at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and a former state senator ran a political scheme that resulted in “untold millions” of taxpayer dollars being misused and stolen. Charges have been filed.
  • “Illinois is the ‘Candy Capital of the World,’ but in the last decade the number of jobs in the industry has steadily decreased because of our current policies, which artificially inflate the price of sugar,” said Sen. Mark Kirk, a sponsor of the Sugar Reform Act, which aims to end the sweet deal government has handed the U.S. sugar industry, which enjoys protections at the expense of consumers and businesses that use sugar.
  • The small town of Bridgeview, Illinois has stuck its citizens with a huge amount of debt after borrowing big to build a professional soccer stadium. Property taxes there have tripled in 10 years to keep paying the stadium’s debt. The situation has grown so bad that Bridgeview is borrowing money to repay the money it’s already borrowed.
  • When people follow rules, they don’t expect to be penalized years later for having done so. But that’s what’s happening in California, where state tax officials have decided to retroactively apply taxes that small business owners and investors were told they would not have to pay.
  • Sometimes the cure can be worse than the disease. So-called “pension obligation bonds” offer an enticing way for Pennsylvania policymakers to avoid a steep increase in pension payments over the next few years, but experts warn to tread carefully. Swapping one type of debt for another could easily backfire and leave the state in even worse shape.
  • Broadband users in Tennessee could soon see a big increase in their monthly bills if legislation now before the state legislature passes. SB 1222 and HB 1111 are companion bills that would allow Tennessee’s electric cooperatives and government-owned utilities to raise the fees they charge telecom companies, including cable providers, to attach fiber optic lines to public utility poles.

Newspaper Articles in this Issue