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Taxes

The Takeaway

GE and The New York Times Battle Over Tax Story

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

General Electric is fighting back against a report by The New York Times that the company did not pay any federal taxes last year. GE called the allegations, "inaccurate," and "grossly oversimplified," and said that it did pay almost $2.7 billion in cash income taxes in 2010, and in excess of $1 billion in payroll, state and local sales and property taxes. Who's telling the truth? Louise Story, Wall Street and finance reporter for the Times, says the $2.7 billion in taxes is a global figure, which includes other countries than the U.S. And the $1 billion in state taxes paid isn't relevant, because the Times story was about GE not paying federal taxes. She also explains that GE has been fighting back against the Times' report via Twitter. They aren't disputing the facts of the story, but trying to send out their own message.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

How You Do Your Taxes

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tobie Stanger, senior editor for Consumer Reports Money, discusses whether you should do your taxes yourself or hire a preparer and whether to file electronically or by paper.

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The Takeaway

GE's Tax Return: $3.2 Billion

Friday, March 25, 2011

Companies are using every loophole they can find to get a tax benefit — and it turns out they are doing it well. According to The New York Times, General Electric made $14.2 billion in profit last year, $5.1 billion of which came from its operations in the United States. But it turns out that not only did G.E. not pay any money in taxes, instead raking in another $3.2 billion in tax benefits.

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Transportation Nation

Should EV Owners Pay a Gas Tax Anyway?

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

(Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation) Washington State is looking to levy a special tax on eco-conscious car owners. Road maintenance is typically funded by a gas tax, both federal and local. So the prospect of a growing number of electric cars that wouldn't use gas at all is putting a little worry in the Washington state legislature.

The proposed tax would be $100 a year per electric car. According to The Seattle Times, Mary Margaret Haugen, the lead sponsor of the plan, said, "Electric cars will be driving on the highways right along with all the other cars. One of our biggest issues is preservation and maintenance of our existing highways. We believe they should be paying their fair share."

At an average of $12,000 miles per year and average fuel efficiency, The Times calculates that the average gas-consuming driver pays about $200 a year in gas tax.

Is this just fairness in public finance? Or disincentive for purchasing cleaner cars?

(Via Inhabitat.)

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WNYC News

Financial 411: Revising the Nation's Tax Code

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

President Barack Obama said he wants to simplify corporate taxes. On today's Financial 411, we'll talk about why streamlining the tax code is easier said than done.

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It's A Free Country ®

Obama's New Stance on Competitiveness and Regulation

Monday, January 24, 2011

There's few groups in America that are less hostile to the free market in many cases than large business interests and that misunderstanding creates a convenient way to push for more regulation when people have a certain resistance to big business. But in fact it doesn't comport with reality. Big business loves regulation because big businesss have big compliance departments that allows them to deal with regulatory barriers to entry and the small businesses which are competing with them do not have that.

Jerry Bowyer, author of the Free Market Capitalist's Survival Guide, on The Brian Lehrer Show

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It's A Free Country ®

Cuomo Talks Rebuilding Empire at State of the State Address

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

In his first State of the State address on Wednesday afternoon, Govenor Andrew Cuomo laid out his plans for reorganizing New York state government, closing the $10 billion budget deficit, and acting on a host of progressive social issues.

He said streamlining government and taking on the deficit go hand in hand. "This is not just a budget exercise," Cuomo said. "This is a fundamental realignment for the state. You can't make up these savings over this period of time through a cutting or trimming exercise. We need to reorganize government agencies and redesign our approach, because the old way wasn't working anyway."

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It's A Free Country ®

Cuomo and New York's Business

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Business spends plenty of money focused on narrow industry interests. Same with organizaed labor and other special interest groups, they tend to focus narrowly. The challenge Cuomo will lay out today in his message is, "Okay, enough with your narrow interests. The whole place is falling apart. There is no more resource. The state can't support any of you unless we fix what's going on, unless we figure out how to grow our economy in a constructive way, get control of the taxes and that we grow our tax base by building our economy, not simply by raising taxes."

Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City

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It's A Free Country ®

First Impressions: Cuomo and the State Senate

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

We’re spending about a billion dollars a week on Medicaid, so when you have a 10 billion dollar deficit, anyone who thinks we’re going to somehow walk away from this problem without touching Medicaid is divorcing themselves from reality.

John J. Flanagan, Republican State Senator from Suffolk County

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It's A Free Blog

Snow Plows: The Government Bailout We Can All Get Behind

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A massive snowstorm is coming! Twenty inches of snow will blanket our city!  Did we remember to pay our private snow-clearing insurance to plow our street?!

That last exclamation wasn’t heard in the commotion and clamor leading up to NYC’s latest Snowpocalypse. We don’t need to pay for private companies to open up our roadways because we – like many Americans – rely on local government to handle the job. 

That’s right: we depend on, and are largely served by, Big Government Snow Plows. Or, as The Tea Party and its friends at Fox News may call it: “Government Takeover of the Snow Removal Industry."

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Year-End Personal Finance

Monday, December 20, 2010

Need to get your personal finances in order? CPA and host of "Greenberg News" on WNJC 1360 AM in Philadelphia, Brian Greenberg takes your tax questions.

Read More and Join The Conversation at It's A Free Country

It's A Free Country ®

The Year's Almost Over - Get Your Free Tax Advice

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wondering how the new tax laws will affect you? Need to get your personal finances in order? CPA and host of "Greenberg News" on WNJC 1360 AM in Philadelphia, Brian Greenberg is taking tax questions. 

According to Greenberg, most people won't see much of a change in their tax bills on April 15, 2011—the "new" law is really a continuation of what's been going on for the past two years. 

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Tax Cut Bill Has Mass Transit Tax Break, and Airline Bag Fees Reap Billions

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tucked into the tax cut bill is a provision that would allow thousands of transit riders to save hundreds of dollars a year on their commuting costs.  And it could have a financial ripple effect. (Marketplace)

Airline bag fees brought in $4.3 billion this year. (USA Today)

NYC Transit considers taking entire subway lines out of service for equipment and maintenance. (New York Daily News)

Pennsylvania's Port Authority gets $45 million in emergency funding to postpone record-breaking Port Authority service cuts. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Right now if people charge their electric cars slowly, the grid can handle it. "But people will want faster charging, which will require bigger transformers and heavy-duty power outlets that deliver 240 volts. And running the grid will get more complicated." (NPR)

Snowplow drivers are working around the clock to keep roads passable in the Twin Cities. Snow day! (Minnesota Public Radio; slideshow)

Jet Blue was fined $600,000 by the US DOT for violating rules protecting disabled passengers, as well as failing to disclose code share information. (Washington Post)

The Asian Development Bank has approved a $1.1 billion finance package for two major transportation projects that will help ease traffic gridlock in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. (AP via NPR)

When is carpooling like a the end of a big group dinner? Which Bay Area commuter will reach for their wallet first when the toll booth/check comes? Video below! (Oakland North)

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WQXR News

Ireland Releases Budget Plan to Reduce Deficit

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ireland has released a new budget plan, designed to save the country billions of dollars over the next four years. Details of the plan come days after the country applied for a multi-billion dollar rescue loan from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

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It's A Free Country ®

A Dozen New Govs Will Follow Christie's 'No Taxes' Lead

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

WNYC

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is a hard act to follow. He was elected on a platform of ridding his state of an almost $11 billion deficit, and promised to do it without raising a cent in taxes. His hardliner attitude has earned him accolades and anger and a dozen of the 37 newly elected and reelected governors took lessons from him on the campaign trail.

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The Takeaway

Kennedy, Reagan, Bush, Obama: A History of the Tax Cut

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Bush-era tax cuts will be high on the agenda when the lame duck Congress reconvenes today. The cuts are scheduled to expire next year, but Republicans are pushing for the extension of both the "middle class" breaks, as well as those for couples earning more than $250,000 a year. They cite the huge budget deficit and a shaky economy as reasons to keep the cuts. Similar arguments led to prior historic tax cuts, from two politicians of different eras, parties and temperaments: John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.

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The Takeaway

A Bipartisan Deficit Proposal both Democrats and Republicans will Hate

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Government spending, according to some conventional wisdom, is out of control. That battle cry rallied many politicians during the mid-term elections, helped elect Tea Party and conservative Republican candidates, while putting Democrats on the defensive over the deficit. But now that elections are over, do politicians have the stomach for real change? Yesterday, the co-chairs of President Obama's non-binding fiscal commission on deficit reduction released a draft plan to curb spending ... but the plan met with general dismay in Washington. Why? 

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The Takeaway

After Elections, More Compromise Between White House, Congress?

Monday, November 08, 2010

Although President Obama didn’t exactly eat humble pie after the Republicans won the House in last week’s mid-term elections, it does seem like he’s starting to lean towards making some big compromises with members of the GOP in the coming months.

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It's A Free Country ®

Where They Stand: There's A Democratic and Republican Way to be Attorney General

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's A Free Country and The Brian Lehrer Show bring you the fall election series 30 Issues in 30 Days. We will explore one issue every day until election day - issues of relevance to the NY, NJ and CT elections and the national midterm congressional races. This week, we'll be looking into whether there is a Democratic and a Republican way to be state comptroller.

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WNYC News

New York State Tax Revenue Increases, But Not Enough

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The economy is recovering, but New York state's fiscal condition is not. 

According to the state comptroller's office, New York has collected more taxes compared to year ago, but not enough to meet this year's budget projections.  Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said state tax collections will have to grow nearly 12 percent in the second half of the fiscal year to meet those expectations. 

 

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