(This blog post is Part II of a series looking at waste in taxpayer funding of green energy submitted by Rachael Slobodien with the Heritage Foundation. Part I ran on Wednesday November 7. Click here to read) As a follow up to the Green Graveyard overview, this post provides additional information concerning the funding for each of the now-bankrupt green energy companies. In one of the most extensive compilations to date, Heritage has identified 19 bankrupt green energy companies that were unable to succeed even with the government’s promise to provide generous financial assistance totaling a whopping $2.6 billion.
The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) today announced the release of "Being Played,” (click here to view the ad) the second in a series of television ads opposing the recently-announced special legislative session in Maryland to expand gaming. Governor O’Malley also wants to form a special secret commission to set tax rates for casino operators. Creating a commission to determine tax policy solves nothing; any recommendations it makes are non-binding. This is just a ploy to prevent legislators from openly supporting casino special interests at the expense of Maryland taxpayers before the fall elections. It is a textbook example of politicians trying to avoid accountability. Earlier this year, the Maryland General Assembly passed and Governor O’Malley signed legislation raising income taxes on workers making more than $100,000, families earning in excess of $150,000. The state increased the marriage penalty and shifted pension costs to localities, engaging in some creative accounting to hide its unfunded obligations. Maryland’s state-local income rate now stands at 8.95 percent -- the fourth-highest in the nation. At the same time, Governor O’Malley has been trying to convene a special session to work out a plan to give a tax break for casinos, particularly a casino at National Harbor. This special session could cost Maryland taxpayers $15,000 per day.
The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) today announced the release of "Fast One," a television ad (click here to watch) opposing the prospective plans to expand gaming through a special legislative session this summer. Governor O'Malley and several legislators are trying to pull a 'fast one" on Maryland residents, taxpayers and voters. All of the political maneuvering does not change the fact that the state is going out of its way to give tax cuts to billionaire casino interests just after raising taxes on Maryland families. The Governor has expressed a desire to convene a special session to address building a sixth gaming site in Maryland - most likely at National Harbor - and forming a commission to set tax rates for casino operators. Governor O'Malley's latest idea to allow a new gaming commission to determine casino tax rates after voters would decide this issue in November is more absurd than any of his previous ideas on this issue. This proposal mirrors asking someone to sign a contract, committing to buy a house without knowing the price before closing. If the Governor wants voters to decide this matter, he needs to provide them with the exact information of what they are voting on, including the tax rate.
The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) today urged the boycott of a special session of the Maryland Legislature to expand gaming and Governor Martin O’Malley’s plans to create a commission to set tax rates for casino operators. The plans of Governor O’Malley and gaming proponents in the legislature are all smoke and mirrors. They do not move Maryland in the direction of a better tax policy. The fact remains that much of the state leadership remains intent on giving tax breaks to the investors and developers at National Harbor, just months after they raised taxes on Maryland’s working families. The state’s residents and economy gain little from such policies.
Over the past several months, Maryland officials have discussed expanding gambling throughout the state. Like many other areas throughout the country, Maryland sees existing video lottery terminal (VLTs) and table games at gaming facilities as a partial solution to budget woes that were often caused by runaway spending. However, Maryland’s proposed solutions will only create greater inefficiencies in the economy and taxpayers will continue to bear the brunt of the state’s misguided fiscal policy. In May, the state legislature passed a massive income tax increase that will hit many families that are far from “rich.” The new, top state-local income rate will rise to 8.95 percent -- the fourth-highest rate in the nation. This hike will not just affect individuals and couples; small business owners’ profits are taxed as personal income. Additionally, the state increased the marriage penalty for working couples, which will significantly hit families with children, and also shifted pension obligations from the state to localities. Governor Martin O’Malley may now call a second special session of the legislature in July to possibly give tax breaks to casino interests. Earlier this year, members of the legislature proposed a 10.4 percent decrease in the rate for casino/“racino”/slot machine operators. This is being done to presumably entice a vendor to build a new casino in Prince George’s County, and also to cut taxes on (VLT) operators in the state. While this is being advertised as economic development, it is in fact corporate welfare.
TPAPB: TPA Urges a "NO" Vote on the Reauthorization of the Bloated, Bureaucratic, and Ineffective Export-Import Bank
Tomorrow (May 9), the House of Representatives is slated to vote on the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is urging a “NO” vote on the bill. Congress is looking to reauthorize the bank for three years that expands the bank’s borrowing authority by $40 billion. Billions of dollars per year are wasted in risky loans, atrocious business deals and the mishandling of taxpayer's money. In 1934, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank. The original purpose of the bank was to protect American companies by providing them loans in hopes of leveling the playing field against state-subsidized foreign competitors. As time passed, it grew, eventually becoming a bloated government agency with no oversight and little semblance to the bank established by Roosevelt and a classic example of corporate welfare. (click here to see full TPAPB).