I wrote last week the fact that the IRS could easily auto-prepare personal income taxes for American taxpayers. Auto-preparation could would save Americans $2 billion in tax preparation fees per year and 225 million hours per year in time spent preparing our taxes. But tax preparers like TurboTax make big profits off of the current hassle and form an unholy lobbying alliance with anti-tax crusaders like Grover Norquist, who want who want taxes to be as annoying as possible so that people will be more likely to oppose taxes. A great piece in ProPublica does some digging on this scandalous lobby's efforts at an astroturf campaign against a simpler filing system, and reports that a lobbying group linked to Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, is involved in trying to encourage community leaders to write Op-eds and letters to Congress (all of them remarkably similar in content and language), claiming that "return-free filing" would hurt the poor.
Here's another Tax Day chart, via Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. When you factor in the impact of sales taxes, the lowest-income Arkansans pay a larger share of their income in state and local taxes than the super-rich do. Here's their full report on this subject, from October. In related news, also worth checking out their report on income inequality in the state from last February.
The folks at fivethirtyeight.com are celebrating Tax Day with charts and graphs! Above, taxes as a percentage of gross domestic product since 1965. Meanwhile, they also feature charts showing that income individual taxes in the U.S. are about average as a percentage of GDP compared to other nations measured by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), whereas corporate taxes are below average.
Representatives from Women's Action for New Directions (WAND) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), along with other local organizations, will speak on tax and budget fairness at a rally at the Capitol today at noon. The event, part of a series called "Truthful Tuesdays" coincides with the income tax deadline today.
Smart money says the Republican majority will override Gov. Mike Beebe's veto of a tax break on sand used in fracking for gas and oil. It's clearly an unconstitutional measure because it didn't get the two-thirds vote necessary to consider non-fiscal items in a budget session. But it's also bad policy and a sweetheart deal.
News this morning that legislators are proudly touting a new law that will take away college lottery scholarship funding from students who don't take the Smart Core curriculum is somewhat paradoxically paired with this report from Stephens Media:
Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington of Jonesboro said he'd concluded a nearly year-long review of the city of Blytheville's failure to pay $2 millioni n tax withholdings without finding evidence of criminal w
Restaurant owner/chef Mark Abernathy (Loca Luna, Red Door) is up in arms about the proposal pending before the Little Rock City Board of Directors to call an election on issuing $73 million in bonds to pay for a renovation of Robinson Center.
The tween-pop Elvis is coming to Verizon for what is guaranteed to be the most frenzied concert Little Rock sees all year. Now, the Biebs has gotten more than his fair share of criticism since his astronomical ascent from YouTube scrubbery to international megafame, but we're not interested in calling out the omnipresent young pup for his fortunes, deserved or otherwise.
Last week, Rep. Josh Miller, a Republican legislator from Heber Springs, spoke against the private option Medicaid expansion last week. He invoked FDR's New Deal — a "hand up," he said, not a "handout."
The Wish List Foundation, a Pearl Jam nonprofit fan club that hosts events before every one of the band's concerts and lead singer Eddie Vedder's solo shows, is doing a pre-party fundraiser/raffle/auction at Sticky Fingerz on Saturday before the "Voices for Justice Rally" at Robinson.
Perhaps U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin might want to reconsider his earlier decision not to include Republican Rep. Loy Mauch on the list of Republican candidates he'd asked not to use his campaign contributions, having read some of what they'd written.
One day in September 1957, Bill Floyd traveled by bus to Little Rock for an afternoon doctor's appointment, but arrived early enough in the morning to satisfy his curiosity and witness history. Disembarking, he asked a man on a downtown street corner for directions to Central High School, site of violent protests over the Little Rock School Board's decision to enforce the U.S. Supreme Court's 1954 order to desegregate public schools.