Voting With Their Feet

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about what is happening to the cost of living in New York City.

The article reports:

More than a third of all city residents say they can’t afford to live anywhere in the state — much less the Big Apple — and believe economic hardship will send them packing in five years or less, according to a dismal new poll.

That’s 41 percent of city dwellers who say they can’t cope with New York’s high cost of living, according to a Quinnipiac poll published Wednesday.

Separately, 41 percent fear they’ll be “forced” to pull up stakes and seek greener pastures where the economic climate is more welcoming.

“They are making this city a city for the wealthy, and they are really choking out the middle class,’’ said Ari Buitron, a 49-year-old paralegal and born-and-bred New Yorker from Forest Hills, Queens.

The cost of taxes and housing have driven many residents south:

Even well-heeled New Yorkers are being lured down south thanks to New York’s hefty tax burden and new federal tax policies that punish high-tax states, according to Miami property magnate Gil Dezer.

“Because of the city tax and the non-deductibility of your real estate taxes, we’re seeing a lot more people with piqued interest,” he told The Post.

The poll’s findings reinforce research done by the Empire Center for Public Policy that shows that New York leads the nation in terms of residents jumping ship.

“It’s not surprising. The out migration downstate is first and foremost about affordability. Rent and property taxes downstate are very high,” said the Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon.

Right now, a very large percentage of Americans live in New York City and Los Angeles. If the electoral college were eliminated, these cities would essentially elect our President. However, if these cities continue to lose population, eliminating the electoral college, despite the fact that it would be a foolish move, might not have the effect those calling for its elimination desire.

The Heritage Foundation’s Analysis Of The Proposed Tax Plan

Below is the Heritage Foundation‘s analysis of the proposed tax plan:

Months ago, conservatives began pressuring their lawmakers to ensure that tax reform followed five conservative principles. Here’s how the bill stacks up to those principles:

Lowering and Simplifying the Individual Tax Rates: The GOP proposal provides long overdue relief to millions of Americans by simplifying and lowering the individual tax rates to 12 percent, 25 percent, 35 percent and 39.6 percent. For married couples, the 25 percent rate starts at $90,000, the 35 percent rate starts at $260,000 and the top rate starts at $1 million. The bill will also double the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for families.

Lowering the Corporate Tax Rate: This bill will immediately lower the corporate rate to 20 percent — the rate demanded by conservatives for months — making American businesses more competitive with the rest of the world and providing hard working Americans with a much needed raise. Rates for small business pass throughs were also reduced by 15 percentage points, down to 25 percent.

Tax Free Entrepreneurship (Full Expensing): The GOP proposal includes full expensing for some investments that phases out after 5 years. This is a necessary boost to investment in the short-term, though improvements could be made as the process advances.

Establishing a Territorial Tax System: This bill attempts to eliminate the double taxation that defines our current worldwide tax system, though there are some provisions that could undermine the full value of that reform. Stay tuned for a more in-depth analysis.

Ending Cronyism in the Tax Code: Conservatives have also been fighting back against big-government special interest groups. The plan eliminates many special interest provisions including the State and Local Tax Deduction (SALT), though it allows a write off for property taxes. If not for conservative pushback, the swamp creatures would have been far more successful in defending the broken, corrupt status quo.

Here are some other things included in the bill you should know:

  • Child tax credit goes to $1600 from $1000 plus additional $300 credit for parents and non-child dependents.
  • State and local deduction converted to property tax deduction with $10K cap
  • 401k’s are untouched
  • The Death Tax exemption will be doubled and eventually phased out after five years.
  • Preserves the home mortgage interest deduction for current mortgages and limits the deduction to $500,000 for new mortgages.
  • Preserves the Charitable Tax Deduction.

At first glance, the preliminary text released today has the potential to unleash economic growth, create American jobs, increase wages for American workers, allow families to keep more of their hard-earned money, and make U.S. businesses competitive across the globe.

According to documents released by Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee, a typical middle-income family of four, earning $59K (median household income), will receive a $1,182 tax cut under this bill.

Good Government Makes A Difference

When Governor Scott Walker took office in January 2011, he began a wave of reforms that have advanced Wisconsin’s economy. Wisconsin added over 63,000 private sector jobs in 2011-12 following the loss of about 134,000 private sector jobs during the previous four years. The private sector job gains under Governor Walker are the best two-year gains under any Governor in over a decade.

Yesterday, the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune posted an article about Governor Walker’s plan to use part of the state’s surplus to reduce taxes on the residents of the state.

The article reports:

Assembly Republicans put the finishing touches Tuesday on Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to devote a huge chunk of the state’s surplus to tax cuts, approving the proposal one last time before sending it to the governor to be signed.

…The bill calls for using the state’s projected $977 million surplus to cover property and income tax cuts. The measure would send $406 million to technical colleges to reduce their property tax hit and cut income taxes by $98.6 million. The changes would translate to a $131 reduction on a median-valued home’s property tax bill this December and save the average worker $46 in annual income taxes.

Admittedly, that’s not very much–a little over $200 for a family where both parents work–but it represents movement in the right direction. How many years have the residents of Wisconsin watched their taxes increase by that much?

Governor Walker created an environment in Wisconsin that attracted businesses, and businesses came. The irony of this is that many ‘experts’ have attributed the migration of Americans to southern states to warmer climates–frankly, I am not sure you could convince anyone to go to Wisconsin based on climate alone.

Congratulations to Governor Walker for a job well done!

 

 

 

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Government By The People At Work

Last night I attended a Town Meeting in my town in Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the town had a population of about eight thousand people. Because this was a special town meeting called to address a specific financial issue, about 500 people showed up (usually about 200 or 300 show up).

The issue causing the controversy was how to finance sewers that the town was installing.

Last June, the town voted to put sewer lines in some areas of the town that do not have public sewers. Included in that Article was the amendment to the article which stated:

100% by betterment to the bettered properties in this area as the funding locally and contingent upon successful funding from SRF Massachusetts DEP and or USDA-RD loans and or grants.

What happened was that no loans or grants came through, and the sewers were going to have to be totally paid for by the 155 town residents they impacted–not just the sewer hook-up–the actual sewer. Those 155 residents had received letters telling them that the town was putting $25,000 tax liens on their property, plus they were going to be required to hook into the new system at their own expense.

The residents of the town at the meeting voted 317-225 to pay for the cost of the sewers with a property tax increase for everyone in the town (a cost of approximately $62 annually per residence). Although I would have liked to have seen the cost split between the homeowners effected and the town, I was happy with the outcome. However, there are a few things here to take note of.

The sewer project has already started. It is not practical finacially to try to stop it. However, it seems to me that when it became obvious that the loans and grants were not forthcoming, there should have been a town meeting to vote on whether or not to undertake the project. The project was supposed to be contingent upon those loans and grants; obviously it was not. Public sewers are an asset to a community, and I suspect that the government will someday get around to requiring them, so putting in sewers is not a bad thing. I suspect, however, that the way this was done may cause some people who have never been involved in local politics in the past to be more involved in the future. That is a good thing.

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