Daily Archives: April 15, 2010

Happy Tax Day: Tax Day rhetoric aside, Americans’ bills are lower

Happy Tax Day everyone,
 
Dispite what the Tea Partiers and others may want you to believe the tax burden on our fellow americans is not as high as we may all seem to think according to the following article posted at Yahoo Finance:
 
WASHINGTON (AP) — You wouldn't know it by the Tax Day rhetoric, but Americans are paying lower taxes this year, even with increases passed by many states to balance their budgets. Don't expect it to last.

Congress cut individuals' federal taxes for this year by about $173 billion shortly after President Barack Obama took office, dwarfing the $28.6 billion in increases by states.

In the next few years, however, many can expect to pay more. Some future increases were enacted as part of Obama's health care overhaul. And former President George W. Bush's tax cuts expire in January. Obama and the Democrats want to renew only some of them, thus raising taxes for individuals making more than $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000.

As this year's April 15 federal deadline passes, the debate about future tax increases has Republicans in Congress and conservatives across the country portraying Democrats as tax-and-spend liberals even before any new levies are approved. The discussion also is helping frame the congressional elections this fall.

"The fact is in the past year we have had more tax cuts than almost anytime in our nation's history," said Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn. "It's something that people don't realize because of the false rhetoric that is spread throughout this Congress."

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said conservatives didn't see any need to wait before protesting.

"I thought that we were going to have to wait until the tax increases started to see popular unhappiness," Norquist said at a Capitol Hill forum Wednesday. "Last year, people started reacting, the tea parties started organizing, in reaction to spending too much. They didn't wait for the tax increases to come."

The massive economic recovery package enacted last year included about $300 billion in tax cuts over 10 years. About $232 billion was in cuts for individuals, nearly all in the first two years.

The most generous was Obama's Making Work Pay credit, which gives individuals up to $400 and couples up to $800 for 2009 and 2010. The $1,000 child tax credit was expanded to more families, and the working poor can qualify for as much as $5,657 from the Earned Income Tax Credit.

There were also credits for qualified families who buy new homes or make energy improvements to existing ones, as well as tax breaks to help pay college tuition or buy new cars.

"From investing in small business to buying a home or making it energy efficient, to sending your children to college to buying a car, these tax cuts are helping families and businesses across the country," said Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-Mo.

At the same time, many states raised taxes last year because they are required by state constitutions to balance their budgets, even during a recession. In all, states increased personal income taxes by $11.4 billion, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. They increased sales taxes by $7.2 billion and business taxes by $2 billion.

States also increased a number of other taxes, including levies on alcohol, motor vehicles and tobacco, for an additional $8 billion.

The biggest tax increase in the health care overhaul is limited to individuals making more than $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000, though other increases would hit lower income taxpayers.

For the first time, the Medicare payroll tax would be applied to investment income, beginning in 2013. A new 3.8 percent tax would be imposed on interest, dividends, capital gains and other investment income for individuals making more than $200,000 a year and couples making more than $250,000.

The bill also would increase the Medicare payroll tax by 0.9 percentage point to 2.35 percent on wages above $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly.

"We know the tax man cometh, and over the next few years, boy, will he be coming with a vengeance," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Here’s An FYI On That Call For Change On The Middletown Board Of Ed.

Below is the text of another email that is circulating around that was written by Middletown resident Kathy Noah. This email is a direct counter to the anonymous letter posted by someone calling themselves ” Jersey Strong” that was making the email circuit tour and was posted on another out of town, local blog that has been known for its right-wing views:

Yikes! People like this scare me!

I did a little checking into this group/person. The word around town is that the 3 guys running are fairly well tied to some of the people on the Middletown Town Council. I don’t have a big problem with that, except I hear that the Town Council is looking to have more say over the Board of Ed. I don’t think people should be voting in less qualified people just so it will make life easier for the Town Council. I think we should be voting on the best qualified person for the job. I guess using the word “job” is not right considering it is not a paid position.

This person/group who wrote this seems to think that the Middletown Board of Ed should be breaking the union. This is a very big fight, and it would need to be addressed at the state level. When the contract with the teachers was negotiated it was considered to be fair and comparable with other local teacher’s union contract. The BOE did request that the teachers consider taking a pay freeze, the the local union leadership did not allow the teachers to take that vote. The union does have the right to work out their contract as written. I do think you will see some changes in the upcoming contract negotiations.

The idea that “you don’t like how life is, so let’s bring in all new people” is just crazy. The fact that our Real Estate taxes are tied to the quality of the education that our children receive is another broken system. This is not something that the BOE or the Town Council can fix. It must be dealt with in Trenton. We need people who are smart and dedicated, and they must have the children’s needs at heart. I think the people on the BOE work very hard to do that. I question the dedication of some of the gentleman this person is recommending. Mascone did not show to the 1st Candidate Forum, nor did he even have the courtesy to respond that he would not be attending. Brand also did not attend the forum, but he sent a very long statement that did not really say much. Hard to know what you are really getting with them.

They also seem very concerned with the number of Administrators that the district has. They do plan to cut 7 (15%) with the proposed budget! These people have big job descriptions including curriculum, state testing, staff oversight & evaluations, student discipline, security, oversight of sports & clubs, etc. I am sure years ago you expected 1 vice principle to handle all the discipline for 1,500 students, and security was not a big issue. Times have changed. In a corporation of 1,500 employees, 10,000 daily guests/students and 17 buildings how many managers and Vice-Presidents would you expect to have?

One of the only things I do agree with them on is nobody wants their taxes going up. Unfortunately, New Jersey is in a fiscal crisis, and Governor Christie has forced large cuts everywhere. He decreased state aid to our school alone by 34%, and some schools lost all state funding. We all pay a lot of income tax to the State of NJ, so I personally have a hard time understanding how this is fair. Considering these drastic cuts the Board of Ed did their best to come up with the proposed budget.

Voting down the school budget on April 20th will still mean Middletown will lose 72.5 teachers positions, 7 Administrators, 20 Para professionals, etc.

If this budget fails, these cuts will still happen and even more will be cut. That means more teacher cuts and larger class sizes. Most likely all Middle School sports and clubs will be eliminated. Maybe the Freshman teams will be lost too. To stay on a sport you cannot miss too many days of school & you must keep your grades up. Not all kids are the perfect academic student by nature. We need ways to keep them interested in going to school and learning.

APRIL 20th VOTE YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4 PM – 9 PM

7 Comments

Filed under Gov. Chris Christie, Middletown Board of Education, School Board elections, Taxes