Tennessee Revenues Exceed Expectations for September

On Wednesday, the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration revealed the state’s revenues exceeded budgeted estimates for the month of September. September’s total tax revenues were $1.9 billion, which is $321.5 million more than September of last year and $378.1 million more than the budgeted estimate. The total growth rate for the month was 20.28 percent.

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Facebook Whistleblower Says Company ‘Paying for Its Profits with Our Safety’

Facebook knowingly chooses to prioritize its profits over the safety of its users, Frances Haugen, a whistleblower and former Facebook employee, said in an interview with “60 Minutes” on Sunday.

“The thing I saw at Facebook over and over again was there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook,” Haugen told Scott Pelley on “60 Minutes” Sunday night. “And Facebook, over and over again, chose to optimize for its own interests, like making more money.”

Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, leaked thousands of internal company documents to The Wall Street Journal last month which detail the inner workings of the company. The leaked documents showed that Facebook employs a separate content review system for high-profile accounts, the company has conducted research into the harms its Instagram platform has on teen users, and it stokes controversy by boosting inflammatory content.

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Report: Tennessee One of 11 States with Financial Surplus

Sheila Weinberg

Tennessee continued its trend of growing a financial surplus as the state ranked sixth nationally for its fiscal health, according to Truth in Accounting’s annual Financial State of the States report.

Using numbers that included data from the fiscal year that ended in June 2020, Tennessee had $8.7 billion more than it owed in obligations, amounting to a $4,400 surplus per taxpayer and earning a grade of B in the report, which was released Tuesday.

The state had a $3,400 surplus per taxpayer the year before.

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Businesses Push Back Against Biden Plan to Track All Bank Transactions over $600 Through the IRS

Joe Biden outside

A major component of President Joe Biden’s plan to raise revenue to pay for his trillions of dollars in new federal spending is now under fire from trade associations across the country.

The Biden administration has made clear its plan to beef up IRS auditing by expanding the agency’s funding and power. Biden’s latest proposal would require banks to turn over to the Internal Revenue Service bank account information for all accounts holding more than $600.

In a sharp pushback against the proposal, more than 40 trade associations, some of which represent entire industries or economic sectors, signed a letter to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., raising the alarm about the plan.

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Biden Tax Proposal Would Cost Arizona Thousands of Jobs: Report

President Joe Biden’s proposal to increase the United States’ Global Intangible Low-Tax Income (GILTI) tax will lead to job losses at 266 public companies in Arizona, according to research from Arizona State University. 

The proposal doubles the GILTI rate to 21% from 10.5%. Ninety-four percent of U.S manufacturers believe the increase will harm their business, according to a National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)survey on Sept. 9. 

The study by the Seidman Institute at ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business and Ernst & Young’s Quantitative Economic and Statistics Team (QUEST) said the tax “is specifically targeted at the income earned by foreign affiliates of those companies from intangible assets including intellectual property such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights.” 

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Brushing off Supreme Court Rulings, California County Fines Church as Commercial Enterprise

Hands praying on top of a Bible

While the state of California and multiple counties continue to settle with churches after imposing unconstitutional restrictions against them, one county is expanding its efforts to pursue damages against a church, claiming their worship services are a public nuisance.

In its latest request, filed Aug. 31, Calvary Chapel has asked the court to dismiss the public nuisance claim along with the $2.8 million in fines levied against it, arguing the county has not provided any evidence to support the accusation that the church has caused any harm to the public.

The battle between the county and the church began in late spring 2020 after the state and county encouraged residents to protest the death of George Floyd without numerical limitations or public health restrictions, even as the same authorities imposed severe constraints on houses of worship.

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Apple and Google Face First Major Challenge to Their App Store Dominance

smartphone app store

Apple and Google might change their app store business practices because of a new South Korean law similar to recent legislative efforts by U.S. lawmakers.

The new law would prohibit app stores, including Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store, from forcing developers to use the tech giants’ payment systems, The Wall Street Journal reported. The bill, passed by South Korea’s National Assembly, will become law once signed by President Moon Jae-in.

The Korean bill is similar to a bipartisan bill introduced by Sens. Richard Blumenthal, Amy Klobuchar, and Marsha Blackburn to the U.S. Senate earlier this month that seeks “to promote competition and reduce gatekeeper power in the app economy, increase choice, improve quality, and reduce costs for consumers.” Both bills prevent app stores from requiring the use of their billing systems and take aim at the tech giants’ commission structure.

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Many Pandemic Unemployed in Arizona Can Re-File for a Tax Rebate

Arizona taxpayers who received unemployment benefits in 2020 and filed their state tax return before the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) was enacted on March 11 can receive a new income tax refund.

That’s according to a Thursday announcement from the Arizona Department of Revenue. 

Congress passed the ARP to give communities money to address public health and economic recovery issues which resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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‘Squad’ Members Earned Tens of Thousands as Landlords, Even as They Supported Eviction Moratorium

Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib

Far-left Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), who have both been vocal critics of landlords and supportive of the eviction moratorium that prevents them from collecting rent indefinitely, made tens of thousands of dollars themselves collecting rent last year, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

Tlaib disclosed in a recent financial statement that she made between $15,000 and $50,000 from rent out of a property she owns in Detroit, even after she had recently criticized “landlords and bill collectors” and said that Americans needed to be protected from them “in the midst of a pandemic.” Pressley made roughly $15,000 from 2019 to 2020 off a property she owns in Boston. Pressley has denounced landlords for trying to collect rent during the pandemic, claiming it to be “literally a matter of life and death.”

Both congresswomen, along with others in the so-called “squad” and other congressional Democrats, were supportive of extending the eviction moratorium that has forbidden landlords across the nation from collecting rent, ostensibly to provide financial relief to Americans who cannot pay their rent due to losing their jobs to lockdown orders. The Biden Administration extended the eviction moratorium through October, after the original moratorium implemented last September by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was set to expire earlier this year.

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Conservative Media Company Is the Fastest-Growing Advertising And Marketing Business in the U.S., According to Inc. 5000

Person setting up lighting in front of green screen filming location

A conservative digital media company’s focus on the culture wars in America appears to be paying off, as it is the fastest-growing private advertising and marketing business in the U.S., according to the 2021 Inc. 5000 list released Tuesday.

“We focus on working with groups that are advocating for or otherwise advancing conservative causes or conservative beliefs,” Olympic Media Founder and CEO Ryan Coyne told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Thursday.

Olympic was founded in 2018 and has had many high-profile clients, such as Reps. Elise Stefanik, Jim Jordan, and Madison Cawthorn, Sen. Bill Hagerty and Turning Point USA.

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Study: Minnesota Marriage Penalty ‘Hurts Families and Businesses’

Wedding venue

A new report released Wednesday lists the states with a marriage penalty on citizens’ income taxes.

The Tax Foundation, a non-partisan policy think tank, lists 15 states that penalize couples for being married.

Minnesota is one of those states. North Dakota and Wisconsin join the state in punishing marriage.

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Ohio State Employees to Be Paid to Get Vaccinated

Doctor giving vaccination to patient

Ohio plans to spend more federal tax dollars to convince more people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Gov. Mike DeWine recently announced the state plans to pay $100 to each state employee for getting the vaccine. Their spouses would receive $25.

For spouses and employees enrolled in the state medical plan, the money will come from funds dedicated to state employee health and wellness, which is funded through state employee payroll deductions and state agency contributions. For those not enrolled, the state will use coronavirus relief funds. That is a small number of employees, according to Molly O’Reilly McGhee, public information officer for the Administrative Support Division.

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Michigan’s $348.7 Million Pandemic Relief Bill, with Funds for Child Care, Hospitals, Signed into Law

Jim Stamas

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed Senate Bill 27 to appropriate $384.7 million in supplemental pandemic relief funding.

Signed by the governor on Monday afternoon, the bill also provides $10 million of financial support for Southeast Michigan families and businesses that endured massive flooding in June.

SB 27 was introduced by Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, in January. The bill combines $367.7 million of federal COVID relief funding authorized through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and $17 million from the state’s general fund.

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Tennessee’s June Revenues $372 Million over Budget for a $2.8 Billion Surplus

Tennessee’s revenues for the month of June exceeded the budget by $372.3 million, putting the year-to-date surplus at $2.8 billion, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Butch Eley announced Thursday.

State taxes for June 2021, which is the eleventh month of the current fiscal year, were $321.1 million more than June 2020.

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Republicans Push Back Against ‘Politicization’ of IRS

President Joe Biden has pushed for beefing up IRS audits of corporations to raise revenue for his new spending proposals, but Republicans are raising the alarm about the potential consequences of the plan.

Biden unveiled his “Made in America Tax Plan” earlier this year as a strategy to help fund his trillions of dollars in proposed new federal spending that includes several tax hikes. Despite this, a bipartisan coalition in the U.S. House and Senate have agreed to a basic framework for Biden’s proposed infrastructure plan, but one element has been the theme of the negotiations among Republicans: no new taxes.

The GOP pushback against raising taxes, though, puts more pressure on the Biden administration to find ways to fund his agenda. Aside from Biden’s controversial tax hike proposals, the president also has proposed adding $80 billion in funding to the IRS so it can increase audits of corporations.

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Georgia Long-Term Care Facilities Face Financial Hardship from Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a financial toll on Georgia’s long-term care facilities, officials said.

Devon Barill, communications director for the Georgia Health Care Association and Georgia Center for Assisted Living (GHCA/GCAL), said the facilities have faced increased expenses and revenue losses from caring for the state’s most vulnerable population.

While COVID-19 can lead to severe complications in older people and those with underlying issues, the congregated facilities are often home to the elderly and people who require supportive care.

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Michigan House Passes Bipartisan Budget, Including Historic Increases in Education Spending

Jason Wentworth

Although she thinks it’s only a “start,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer applauded the bipartisan budget passed Thursday night by the Michigan House of Representatives.

The House voted to pass the budget before the July 1 deadline, and includes the governor’s proposal to implement the largest increase in K-12 public school spending in the state’s history. Whitmer’s office claims the $16.7 billion in school expenditures will “close the gap between the lowest- and highest-funded school districts for the first time since the goal was introduced in 1994.”

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Arizona Gains 66,000 New Taxpayers, Mostly from California

Phoenix, Arizona cityscape

Taxpayers are coming to Arizona from other states by the tens of thousands and bringing billions of dollars in annual earnings with them. 

The Internal Revenue Service released its annual migration statistics, a record of address changes by filers and their dependents between tax years. The data released in late May reflects changes from the 2018-2019 tax years, which symbolize moves that occurred between 2017 and 2018. Nationwide, 8 million people relocated to either another state or county. 

Arizona gained 218,736 new taxpayers in that time. Having lost 152,769, that’s a net gain of 65,967 exemptions from one tax year to the next. That’s nearly 1,000 more than the previous tax year.

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IRS: California Shrank by 165K Taxpayers, $8.8 Billion in Gross Income

Aerial shot of a California suburb

California residents of all ages and incomes are leaving for more tax friendly climates, and they’re taking billions of dollars in annual income with them.

The Internal Revenue Service recently released its latest taxpayer migration figures from tax years 2018 and 2019. They reflect migratory taxpayers who had filed in a different state or county between 2017 and 2018, of which 8 million did in that timespan.

California, the nation’s most-populous state, lost more tax filers and dependents on net than any other state.

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Most Americans with Children to Receive Monthly Federal Payments Starting in July

Man with two children

Millions of American families will receive hundreds of dollars in regular federal payments beginning next month, the Internal Revenue Service said Monday.

The IRS announced July 15 as the start date for monthly child tax credit payments that would affect the vast majority of Americans with children.

“Eligible families will receive a payment of up to $300 per month for each child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each child age 6 and above,” the IRS said in a statement.

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Hawley Cites ‘Culture War’ in Proposal for Monthly Payments to Families with Children

Josh Hawley

Rising Republican star U.S. Rep. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is sponsoring a new measure that would give unprecedented tax cuts to parents with children, and now he is saying his bill is on the front line of the nation’s “culture war.”

The plan in question would give a fully refundable tax credit of $12,000 for married parents and $6,000 for single parents who have children under the age of 13.

“Starting a family and raising children should not be a privilege only reserved for the wealthy,” Hawley said. “Millions of working people want to start a family and would like to care for their children at home, but current policies do not respect these preferences. American families should be supported, no matter how they choose to care for their kids.”

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House Republicans Offer Tax Cuts, School Funding Change in New Ohio Budget Proposal

Group of young students

Ohio House Republicans announced Tuesday they want to put the focus on funding the state’s schools and tax breaks.

The House Finance Committee accepted a substitute bill containing the House GOP’s version of a new two-year state budget, which also includes COVID-19 relief help for small businesses and more oversight of state spending.

“This is a thoughtful, structurally balanced and comprehensive budget plan that funds Ohio’s priorities and invests in Ohio’s future,” said Finance Committee Chair Rep. Scott Oelslager, R-North Canton.

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Ohio Legislature Passes Transportation Budget with Additional Allocations

The Ohio Senate approved more than $8 billion it hopes will spur both economic development and job growth while tackling the state’s transportation needs over the next two years.

The state’s proposed transportation budget passed the Senate unanimously Thursday with some adjustments made by the Senate, including additional money for public transportation, local road projects and emergency road repair. It also requires the Ohio Department of Transportation to reopen currently decommissioned weigh stations to serve as overnight parking areas for commercial truckers.

“This transportation budget makes critical investments in Ohio’s communities and local infrastructure,” said Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima. “I am confident House Bill 74 will improve roads and infrastructure that Ohioans use every day and will enhance Ohio’s economy and promote job growth.”

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Tennessee’s November Revenue Exceeds Budget Estimate by $129M

Tennessee tax revenue exceeded the state’s budget estimate by $129.5 million in November, continuing a four-month streak of positive revenue after declines in April, May and June.

The Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration said overall state revenue in November was $1.1 billion – nearly 2% more than a year ago. In the first four months of the fiscal year, tax revenue collections exceeded budgeted estimates by $576 million.

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Tennessee’s Year-to-Date Budget Surplus is Up to $447 Million

Three months into the 2020-2021 fiscal year, Tennessee’s actual revenues have exceeded the budget to create a $447 million surplus.

The surplus represents revenues that are 13 percent over and above the budgeted revenues through October and the fourth month in a row of budget surpluses.

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State Rep. Bruce Griffey’s Says His Bill to Tax Out-of-Country Wire Transfers Will Solve State’s COVID-19 Revenue Shortfall

State Representative Bruce Griffey sponsored a bill that he says will solve Tennessee’s revenue shortfall caused by the shutdown associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a May 19 letter to the editor (embedded below), Griffey offers, “How To Solve Tennessee’s COVID 19 (a.k.a. Chinese virus) Budget Problem.”

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Tennessee State Revenue Report Shows Surplus of $138.8 Million in September

  The report of Tennessee state revenues for September at $1.6 billion resulted in a budget surplus of $138.8 million. Revenue for the month of September 2019, as indicated in the report, is $138.7 million more than September 2018, reflecting a 9.75 percent year-over-year growth rate. On an accrual basis,…

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Tennessee Has Surplus Revenue of $28.8 Million in August, First Month of 2020 Fiscal Year and Governor Bill Lee’s Budget

Commissioner of the Department of Finance Administration, Stuart McWhorter, reported last week that Tennessee revenues for August were $28.8 million more than the budgeted estimates.

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With One Month Remaining in the Fiscal Year, Tennessee’s Budget Surplus Is Now Up To $649 Million

  Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Stuart McWhorter announced Wednesday that Tennessee’s June revenues were $92.5 million more than the state budgeted for the month, resulting in a total budget surplus of $649.2 million with just one month remaining in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The state’s revenue collections of…

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North Carolina Economic Report Highlights $150 Million Revenue Surplus, ‘Solid Employment and Wage Growth’

In the most recent N.C. Consensus Revenue Forecast, the Tarheel state boasts a revenue surplus of $150 million as well as “solid employment and wage growth.” “Results for the public and private sector are what really matter,” State House Speaker Tim Moore (R-District 111) said in a statement. “People are…

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