STUMP » Articles » Twas the Night before Taxmas... » 24 December 2018, 05:02

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Twas the Night before Taxmas...  


24 December 2018, 05:02

So no, I’m not doing Taxing Tuesday on Christmas.

I’m doing it on Christmas Eve! (no, I’m not. I’m actually starting to put this together on Dec 20. It’s very rare that I actually write the post when you see it was posted. I add a few things as I come across them.)


You’ve been warned:

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy had a Christmas message about raising taxes next year. You may not find it very merry.

During a press conference, Murphy said “everything is on the table” when asked if he and the state Legislature plan to raise taxes next year.

Murphy, speaking in the below video, said “it’s too early to tell; we’re still in the early stages” when asked directly whether he plans to raise the income tax next year, given his plans to provide breaks on county college tuition and other potential costly initiatives.

“I would say eveything is on the table. Period. Full stop,” he said. “I would like to frankly provide tax relief to certain communities in our state.”


I’m not hearing that “cutting spending” is on the table.

Full stop.


Of course, the governor can’t impose taxes by himself… he needs the legislature to pass those taxes.

New Jersey Senate President Rebuffs Discussion of Tax Increases

The top Democrat in New Jersey’s state Senate said Thursday he opposes raising taxes next year, setting up another potential fiscal standoff with Gov. Phil Murphy.

Senate President Steve Sweeney said his caucus wouldn’t consider tax increases unless changes are made to government spending.

Hold on one second. This is a DEMOCRAT saying this.



The Senate president has proposed a package of fiscal reforms that include shifting new state employees to a hybrid pension and 401(k)-type plan and moving public employees to less-expensive health-care plans.

“There is a path forward for New Jersey that fixes fiscal problems and restores economic growth,” Mr. Sweeney said in a statement. “But tax increases are not part of the solution.”

I’m liking the sound of this.

Given Mr. Sweeney’s opposition, it will be challenging for the governor to enact any type of tax increase next year if he chooses to go that route. Other Democratic leaders have been wary of again discussing taxes after this year’s bruising budget fight.

Democratic Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin said he remains opposed to raising taxes.

“I haven’t wavered from my earlier position on new taxes,” Mr. Coughlin said. “I continue to keep a watchful eye on state revenues, and I am pleased that most revenue lines are at or above our projections to date.”

I’m not going to quote the Republicans, who are, of course, against tax increases. The whole point is the two top Democratic legislators are saying STOP.

And the kicker for me is at the very end:

Across the Hudson River, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday he plans to renew a state surcharge on New Yorkers earning more than $1 million in income and will seek a tax cut for middle-class earners.

Uh huh. I can wait to write about that crap when it comes about. Should be fun, especially with that SALT cap sticking and no good way to avoid it.


Hey, I guess it’s done its job: Seattle’s soda-tax collections top $16 million in 9 months, surpass first-year estimate

Seattle has collected nearly $17 million in the first nine months of its tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, already surpassing what the city initially expected the tax would raise in its first year.

Before the so-called soda tax took effect on Jan. 1, officials estimated it would raise about $15 million in 2018.

It’s possible the tax is generating more revenue than anticipated because the baseline assumptions behind the city’s estimate were wrong. It’s also possible the measure meant to discourage unhealthful choices is failing to make some people change their habits.

And the reason I say it’s doing its job is because its job is to raise revenue. Not actually have people drink less soda.

The city initially predicted its soda-tax collections would decline over time, but officials now are counting on the money to keep rolling in. The 2019 budget passed by Mayor Jenny Durkan and the City Council last month assumes the tax will raise about $21 million next year, with large annual declines “no longer expected.”

Uh huh.

They could really hike up the soda tax, and then you’d get black market soda, I bet.

Anyway, it’s not about reducing consumption. It’s about feeding the beast.


By all means, they should be doing this.

Democrats want to use obscure law to grab Donald Trump’s tax returns

Sometime after the Democrats take control of the House next year, Rep. Richard Neal, who will be the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, expects to send a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin requesting copies of Donald Trump’s returns.

He doesn’t expect to get them.

At least, not right away.

A 1924 federal law — 26 U.S. Code § 6103 — mandates that the Treasury secretary “shall furnish” the tax returns of any individual for private review by the chairmen of the House and Senate tax committees. Committee sources could find no evidence that it had ever been used to obtain somebody’s tax return.

But they say the law, which was passed to monitor conflicts of interest in the executive branch, is clear.

Neal, of Springfield, Massachusetts, has said he intends to use the law to seek Trump’s tax returns, because he believes it’s wrong that Trump is the first president in 40 years not to have made his returns public.
They say it’s a near certainty that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, and perhaps federal prosecutors in Manhattan, long ago obtained Trump’s tax returns, meaning not just his personal returns, but those associated with every company he controls.

Huh. Given how leaky Mueller has been, I’m surprised the Democrats don’t already have all the tax returns.

Prosecutors can get tax returns through a judge’s order, as long as they convince the judge that the returns are relevant to their investigations. They can go back 10 or even 20 years, if the investigation demands it.

But unlike Congress, prosecutors who get tax returns are bound by strict secrecy rules. They can’t make them public unless they become evidence in a trial.

Oh, they can’t legally make it public, but there’s all sorts of things that weren’t supposed to be public. And yet here we are.



Oh Chungles (if I may be familiar, Mr. Ranch Packets), give it time.

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