Category Archives: Taxes

Another 2020 contender: Bill de Blasio says “There’s plenty of money in NYC, it’s just in the wrong hands”

The mantra of every elite socialist and ill-informed, government-educated proggie.

From NY Post: Burnishing his progressive credentials, Mayor Bill de Blasio portrayed himself as a protector of the working class on Thursday — while proposing a redistribution of wealth — in his sixth State of the City address.

“Brothers and sisters, there’s plenty of money in the world. There’s plenty of money in this city. It’s just in the wrong hands,” said de Blasio, who owns two homes and collects $258,750 a year as mayor.

“You haven’t been paid what you deserve for all the hard work. You haven’t been given the time you deserve. You’re not living the life you deserve. And here is the cold, hard truth: It’s no accident. It’s an agenda,” he continued, blaming Republican presidential administrations from Reagan to Trump.

The mayor proposed initiatives to level the playing field between the haves and have-nots — such as seizing buildings from bad landlords, expanding the Department of Consumer Affairs to include “worker protection” and offering medical care to 300,000 illegal aliens.

But critics pointed out the mayor’s corporate handouts.

“I thought there was something a little contradictory when he talks about having a city with a whole lot of money where workers don’t get their fair share and how we’re going to start to be more fair and more equitable,” Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said.

“The irony there is that you’re giving $3 billion away to Amazon [in city and state subsidies],” Diaz continued, adding that he supports the online retail giant’s plans to build a headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, but not the financial incentives offered to it.

Hizzoner also promised to confiscate land from scofflaw landlords and turn the seized properties over to nonprofits under a newly created Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants.

“When the city’s worst landlords cheat their tenants, we will take their buildings away from them,” he said in the 67-minute speech at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space on the Upper West Side.

“If fines and penalties don’t cut it, we will seize buildings and put them into the hands of a nonprofit that will treat tenants with the respect they deserve.”

The details were not announced, but the plan is modeled on the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Third Party Transfer program, which forecloses on properties that have fallen into serious disrepair or are behind on taxes.

It was one of many mayoral ideas that recycled existing programs or proposals de Blasio couldn’t push through during his first five years at City Hall.

The Department of Consumer Affairs will be renamed the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection to help freelancers and contract workers get paid quicker while enforcing paid-sick-leave laws and worker vacation requirements. Such activities already largely fall under its purview.

He also re-upped a 2016 proposal to create a public retirement system for the 2 million New Yorkers who do not have employer-sponsored savings programs. The plan stalled three years ago due to federal rule changes, but the city is taking another stab at it now that Oregon got one up and running and Seattle is moving in that direction, city officials said.

The city’s version would require employers to either offer retirement to all employees or auto-enroll them in a city-run retirement system.

De Blasio also pledged to expand pre-K for 3-year-olds to 20,000 by 2019 instead of 19,000 by 2021, while also extending a program that gives free vision checks and glasses to 5- and 6-year-old schoolchildren.

The city expects about 33,000 kids to get the glasses, supplied free by the eyeglass-making company Warby Parker.
The mayor, whose own eye has shifted outside New York as he seeks to raise his national profile, plugged his previously announced plan to expand the city’s MetroPlus public health care system as proof that New York is a progressive bastion battling a regressive national current.

“This country has spent decades taking from working people and giving to the 1 percent. This city has spent the last five years doing it the other way around,” he said.

He also took shots at Albany over the state of the city’s subways, although his gripes may have fallen on dead ears.
“I am not listening to it right now,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo told WNYC on Thursday. “I’m in Albany.”

DCG

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Armed woman takes out thug at Chicago bus stop

From Fox News: A 25-year-old woman with a concealed carry license shot and killed the man trying to rob her at gunpoint near a Chicago bus station Tuesday morning, police said — noting she needed just a single shot to take down the would-be robber.

The unidentified woman was at the bus stop in Chicago’s Fernwood neighborhood just after 6 a.m. when the man, identified as 19-year-old Laavion Goings, pulled a gun and attempted to rob her, WLS reported. Surveillance video from a nearby convenience store showed the woman waiting at the stop and Goings approaching her and aiming his gun, officials said.

The woman, however, was prepared. She pulled out her own weapon and shot Goings in the neck before fleeing the area to seek help.

Police found Goings about a block away. He was taken to a hospital where he later died.

“It’s tragic that he did die, but the lady had to do what she had to do,” Bianca Daniel, who lives near the shooting scene, told WLS. “She’s on a bus stop, probably going to work, you know, and she has to encounter that early in the morning. I’m kind of proud that, like, that’s what she did because she stuck up for herself.”

Another neighbor said: “I’m glad that she had concealed carry and good aim, because there is so much going on in these streets.”

The woman, who suffered minor injuries during the incident, is not expected to face charges.

DCG

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California lawmaker proposes automatic, opt-in electronic receipts for retail transactions

The lawmaker who proposed this new bill, Assemblyman Phil Ting (pictured above) from San Francisco, is a big-time gun control advocate. What a great way to monitor/track those who purchase ammunition – even if you do so with cash – than a database of email addresses or phone numbers required for electronic receipts? Those gun-grabbers are sneaky folks…

This bill may be under the guise of protecting the environment yet I wouldn’t trust any demorat to not use this as a backdoor entry into some form of gun control.

As reported by SF Chronicle: A bill before the California Legislature aims to make paper receipts a thing of the past.

Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, on Monday filed AB161, which proposes to automatically opt-in customers for electronic receipts in any retail transaction, including at stores, restaurants and anywhere a company issues paper receipts, unless a customer asks otherwise. He said it would be a first for the country.

“This is an easy solution — instead of making paper receipts the default, let’s make electronic receipts the default,” Ting said at a news conference Tuesday. “These receipts also have (bisphenol A), a chemical that is harmful to our environment and to our health.”

Businesses found not to be in compliance with the law, if it passes, will be given two warnings before getting fined $25 a day for each day it’s in violation, but fines will be capped at $300 annually. It would take effect on Jan. 1, 2022.

The move toward more digital receipts could benefit Bay Area companies like Square, Poynt, and Clover, whose terminals make it easy to text or email proof of purchases. A law change like this could motivate more companies to use such checkout technology. Data from Square shows that its sellers already send more than 10 million digital receipts each month, a figure cited by the bill. Square, Poynt and Clover did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

On the environmental front, a report in May by Green America, a consumer advocacy group in Washington D.C., found that 10 million trees and 21 billion gallons of water in America are used to create paper receipts. Green America is a backer of the bill. Plus, paper receipts aren’t effectively recyclable, proponents of the bill say.

“For many years a lot of forms of paper that weren’t truly recyclable, all of that ended up in a bale of mixed paper that got shipped to China,” said Nick Lapis, director of advocacy at Californians Against Waste, which is backing the bill.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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Washington state governor proposes state-run healthcare system

Seems the proggies received the same memo (see my previous two posts).

Residents in Washington state already have “access to affordable health care” via free and low cost clinics. In my search of seven counties throughout Washington (out of 39 total counties) I came across 159 clinics. That fact won’t stop the TDS-infected governor from implementing another bureaucratic/big government program.

As reported by MyNorthwest.com: Governor Jay Inslee introduced Cascade Care Tuesday morning, a plan to provide a state-run healthcare system akin to “Medicare for all.”

“We believe it is a just thing to do for all of our citizens to have access to affordable health care,” Inslee said at a press conference Tuesday. “…Today I am pleased to announce that we will be proposing a public option in the State of Washington, to take yet another significant step in the goal of universal coverage in the State of Washington.”

Inslee announced his proposal flanked by a variety of lawmakers at the King County Downtown Seattle Public Health Clinic Tuesday morning. He was joined by King County Executive Dow Constantine, State Rep. Eileen Cody, State Sen. David Frockt, State Senator Karen Keiser, and the state’s Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.

According to Inslee, the proposed Cascade Care bill will direct the state’s healthcare authority to provide coverage across Washington by contracting with one or more healthcare carriers. That coverage will begin in 2021.

That coverage will be available to anyone in the individual market. It will also set reimbursement rates consistent with Medicare. Using the service will be voluntary and patients will spend no more than 10 percent of their income on premiums.

Officials said Tuesday that it will cost the state $500,000 to set up the new system and accept bids from carriers. Costs beyond that weren’t specified.

Sen. Keiser noted that Washington once had an “incredibly popular” basic healthcare program between the late 1980s until the Great Recession. Implementing the Affordable Care Act eventually became a priority instead of restarting that program. “We have done this before, and we can do it again,” she said. “….Now it’s time to come back to the public option and include it in our array of healthcare services.”

Inslee, and other lawmakers present, pointed a finger of blame at the Trump administration, saying that it has worked to remove healthcare protections provided by the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Inslee said that there are 14 counties in the state that are on the verge of losing healthcare coverage altogether.

“We are on the knife’s edge,” Inslee said. “And we need to give a solid foundation of support to every county and every citizen in the State of Washington because that is a moral imperative.”

The governor also noted the work that has already been done to provide healthcare in Washington over the past few years, primarily through the state’s exchange: More than 800,000 Washingtonians have gained access to healthcare; Provided coverage to 30,000 cancer survivors in the state; and Provided 90,000 people with substance abuse treatment.

“But we need to take the next step,” Inslee said. “That’s why I’m glad we have put the dollars in my proposed budget that will allow us to set up this public option in the State of Washington.”

DCG

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De Blasio touts $100M plan to provide “free” healthcare for all NYC residents (including illegal aliens)

Proggies sure do love giving away your hard-earned dollars to illegal aliens.

From NY Post: The 600,000 New Yorkers who don’t have any type of health coverage will be getting access to medical care under a program being announced Tuesday by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Previewing the plan on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program, the mayor said it would cost about $100 million at full scale and ensure that all residents — including illegal immigrants — can see a doctor when they need to.

“This has never been done before in this country in this kind of way,” de Blasio said. “We are going to guarantee health care for New Yorkers who need it.”

De Blasio said he believes the program will pay for itself because fewer residents would have to rely on costly emergency room visits to get treatment. “We’re already paying an exorbitant amount to provide health care in the wrong way — and to wait until people are really sick,” de Blasio said.

He also said the program known as “NYC Care” is going to “revolutionize” health care because “people now, they are going to the emergency room — that is the default health care provider for so many people in this country. It is the worst [kind] of health care.

Besides primary care, NYC Care will include maternity care, mental health care and other health services.

DCG

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CA Gov. Newsom pushes new health care plan to help illegal aliens

Elections have con$equences.

From Fox News: Shortly after he took office on Monday, California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom unearthed an unprecedented new health care agenda for his state, aimed at offering dramatically more benefits to illegal immigrants and protecting the embattled Affordable Care Act, which a federal judge recently struck down as unconstitutional.

The sweeping proposal appeared destined to push California — already one of the nation’s most liberal states — even further to the left, as progressive Democrats there won a veto-proof supermajority in the state legislature in November and control all statewide offices.

“People’s lives, freedom, security, the water we drink, the air we breathe — they all hang in the balance,” Newsom, 51, told supporters Monday in a tent outside the state Capitol building, as he discussed his plans to address issues from homelessness to criminal justice and the environment. “The country is watching us, the world is watching us. The future depends on us, and we will seize this moment.”

Newsom unveiled his new health-care plan hours after a protester interrupted his swearing-in ceremony to protest the murder of police Cpl. Ronil Singh shortly after Christmas Day. The suspect in Singh’s killing is an illegal immigrant with several prior arrests, and Republicans have charged that so-called “sanctuary state” policies, like the ones Newsom has championed, contributed to the murder by prohibiting state police from cooperating with federal immigration officials.

As one of his first orders of business, Newsom — who also on Monday requested that the Trump administration cooperate in the state’s efforts to convert to a single-payer system, even as he bashed the White House as corrupt and immoral — declared his intent to reinstate the ObamaCare individual mandate at the state level.

The mandate forces individuals to purchase health care coverage or pay a fee that the Supreme Court described in 2012 as a “tax,” rather than a “penalty” that would have run afoul of Congress’ authority under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Last month, though, a federal judge in Texas ruled the individual mandate no longer was a constitutional exercise of Congress’ taxing power because Republicans had passed legislation eliminating the tax entirely — a move, the judge said, that rendered the entire health-care law unworkable.

As that ruling works its way to what analysts say will be an inevitable Supreme Court showdown, Newsom said he would reimpose it in order to subsidize state health care.

Medi-Cal, the state’s health insurance program, now will let illegal immigrants remain on the rolls until they are 26, according to Newsom’s new agenda. The previous age cutoff was 19, as The Sacramento Bee reported.

Additionally, Newsom announced he would sign an executive order dramatically expanding the state’s Department of Health Care Services authority to negotiate drug prices, in the hopes of lowering prescription drug costs.
In his inaugural remarks, Newsom hinted that he intended to abandon the relative fiscal restraint that marked the most recent tenure of his predecessor, Jerry Brown, from 2011 to 2019. Brown sometimes rebuked progressive efforts to spend big on various social programs.

“For eight years, California has built a foundation of rock,” Newsom said. “Our job now is not to rest on that foundation. It is to build our house upon it.”

Newsom added that California will not have “one house for the rich and one for the poor, or one for the native-born and one for the rest.”

In a statement, the California Immigrant Policy Center backed Newsom’s agenda.

“Making sure healthcare is affordable and accessible for every Californian, including undocumented community members whom the federal government has unjustly shut out of care, is essential to reaching that vision for our future,” the organization said. “Today’s announcement is an historic step on the road toward health justice (First time I’ve heard of “health justice.” Liberals always love to distort language.) for all.”

Read the whole story here.

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I’m shocked! Study finds that nearly 100 percent of Seattle’s soda tax is passed on to consumers

The Seattle Times reports: Nearly 100 percent of Seattle’s new tax on the distribution of sweetened beverages has been passed on to consumers through higher in-store prices, a new report estimates.

But some taxed beverages have increased in price more than others and some stores have increased their prices more than others, according to the report by University of Washington researchers that City Council members are set to discuss Wednesday.

Sodas have increased in price more than sugar-sweetened juices and bottled coffee drinks, and smaller stores have increased their prices more than supermarkets, the report indicates.

Additionally, some smaller stores have increased their prices even for beverages not subject to the tax, such as diet sodas.

We don’t know why, but they did see something similar in Berkeley,” the California city that adopted a tax before Seattle, said research-team leader Jesse Jones-Smith, an associate professor of health services and epidemiology.

Seattle’s tax of 1.75 cents per fluid ounce, which took effect in January 2018, is charged to distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages. But the distributors can pass the tax on to stores and the stores can pass the tax on to consumers.

When the City Council approved the tax in 2017, many proponents said the goal was to decrease consumption of unhealthful beverages by driving up prices, while others supported the policy because they said it would raise money for healthful-eating and education programs.

Foes said the tax would disproportionately hurt people with low incomes. Some store owners and consumers opposed the measure, along with unionized beverage-industry workers.

The city collected nearly $17 million in the first nine months of the tax, surpassing its initial expectations, and officials now are counting on the money to keep rolling in, with substantial annual declines no longer anticipated.

Read the whole story here.

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Mom pens powerful letter after son killed by illegal alien in Tennessee car crash

The Knoxville Fire Captain’s 22-year-old son, Pierce Corcoran, was killed by an illegal alien in a car accident before New Year’s Eve. The unlicensed illegal alien swerved into traffic causing a head-on car crash. The illegal alien is now charged with criminally negligent homicide and driving without a license or insurance.

Pierce’s mom penned the following, from justiceforpiercecorcoran.com:

“A Mother’s Message:

Pierce Corcoran was only 22 years old when he was killed by an illegal immigrant in a car crash on December 29th, 2018.

Pierce Corcoran, born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. A responsible, hardworking and loving son, brother and grandson. Pierce’s life is to be remembered and celebrated for his relationship with his Heavenly Father, his love for others, and his determination to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Was he perfect? No, but he was taught to care about others and his impact on them. He was taught and practiced personal responsibility throughout his life. He was compassionate towards others, others whom might look differently than he or whom might speak differently than he.

As we mourn our precious son and try to honor his memory, we are also faced with the fact that there is much discussion surrounding his tragic death.

For us, there are two issues: safety and responsibility. As it pertains to safety, we are not the first, nor will we be the last to lose a loved one on a road known to many as dangerous. This is something we feel must be addressed. As it pertains to responsibility, we as parents taught all three of our children to be responsible for their actions. We discussed with them their need to maintain their vehicles and always have their license, registration and insurance up to date.

Everyone is well aware that the 44 year old man involved in our 22 year old’s death did not practice this same responsibility and has not done so for 14 years. Yes, it was an accident and yes, it could have been anyone.

It’s not about where this man came from–it’s the fact that he takes no personal responsibility for his actions. Not only in the financial sense, but no responsibility at all. He will most likely face very little jail time when all is said and done. He believes he should remain in our country illegally. Not only that, but we provide his counsel to fight for his rights.

We are all aware, as a family, that nothing will bring Pierce back, but don’t tell me my son, who lived in this country and followed its rules, doesn’t deserve better. For God’s sake, out of respect for the men and women who fought and fight to make this country such a desirable place to live, DO THE RIGHT THING and come here legally and become a responsible citizen.”

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Strict gun-controlled California: Fourth man killed in five-hour span in Oakland

Something proggies will never understand: You can never make enough laws to guarantee good behavior from people who are willing to break the law.

As reported by SF Chronicle: A man was killed early Saturday in the Highland neighborhood of East Oakland, less than five hours after three men were fatally shot across the city.

The man, who was not immediately identified, was found on 90th Avenue near International Boulevard around 1:20 a.m., police said. Officers were notified of the shooting through ShotSpotter, the gunshot detection device.

Paramedics transported the victim to a nearby hospital, where he died.

The shooting came after a triple homicide in West Oakland just before 9 p.m. Friday, which police called a “deliberate” attack. The victims were a 29-year-old and 31-year-old from Oakland and a 21-year-old from Vallejo. Officials did not release their names.

The West Oakland homicides occurred at a Torrance bowling alley. The shooting was the result after a “brawl” broke out and the shooters remain at large.

Police are being “mum” on the details, such as whether or not the incident was gang related. They aren’t even releasing descriptions of the suspects, which I’m sure they have (via verbal statements and video).

Odd considering that California has no tolerance for gun violence they wouldn’t want to describe and catch the perps of this triple homicide. I wonder why…

DCG

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NY Black & Puerto Rican lawmakers’ nonprofit organization failed to pay school taxes

Al Sharpton approved.

From NY Post: Share this: A nonprofit run by state lawmakers that spent $1 million on annual scholarship-fundraising galas over two years but gave zilch to needy minority students also failed to pay school taxes on its Albany building, The Post has learned.

The New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, which puts on a lavish three-day “Caucus Weekend” of parties and workshops in Albany every February, owes $12,275.07 in unpaid Albany school taxes for 2016 and 2018, according to public documents. The figure includes $1,747 in accumulated interest.

The group, founded by minority Assembly members in 1985, bought the three-story townhouse on South Swan Street for $200,000 in 1994, public records show. The group uses the first floor as an office, and rented out the rest of the building for $3,400 in the 2016-2017 tax year, federal filings show. The property is located just minutes from the state Capitol.

On Thursday a woman showed up to staff the charity’s office at 12:45 pm and shooed a Post reporter away when he began asking questions. “There’s no one here to talk to,” she said, slamming the door and letting out an exasperated, “Lord, have mercy!”

One former lawmaker who was a member of the association said she had never been to the building but was told it was the group’s “party house.”

Powerbrokers like former Mayor David Dinkins and ex-state Comptroller Carl McCall sit on the group’s board — but refused to comment and did not return messages, respectively.

Meanwhile, The Post obtained federal tax documents that confirmed the association gave out no grants in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 fiscal years.

In the latest tax form available, on the line specifying “grants and similar amounts paid” the group wrote “0” for fiscal 2016. On another page, where grants were to be listed for the four fiscal years, the last two fiscal years were left blank.

The group insisted that scholarships had been given out in 2016 and 2017 but refused to provide The Post any cancelled checks or the full names of scholarship recipients. Instead, it handed over a single sheet of paper listing a total of $20,950 doled out to 34 students listed by first name in 2016. It listed $5,250 for 13 students ID’d by first name for 2017.

But the sheet of paper was not part of the federal tax filing and the totals were not reflected on the return. The leadership refused to address The Post’s questions about these inconsistencies.

Donors are not happy about the vanishing student grants. “Money raised for children’s scholarships should go for scholarships,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, which has sponsored the group’s events.

Corporate sponsors and unions, including AT&T, Verizon, ConEd and New York State United Teachers, pay up to $50,000 for a “Plantinum Package” for the weekend. It includes tickets to workshops and speeches, but also cocktail parties and concerts where they rub elbows with Albany’s political elite.

The weekend ends with a lavish dinner that is supposed to raise funds for scholarships for minority youth. “I just sign the checks they give me to sign,” said Westchester Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, the organization’s longtime treasurer, when quizzed about the missing scholarships. “We have a lot of bills associated with the events.”

While students went without scholarships for the last two fiscal years, the group spent an accumulated $1,058,973 in expenses.

In fiscal tax year 2016-2017 it spent a total of $518,222, including $283,526 on fundraising, $100,750 on “management,” $39,639 on office expenses, according to its most recent filing to the IRS, which the group’s chairwoman, Brooklyn Assemblywoman Latrice Walker, made available to The Post last week following multiple requests.
Walker became chair of the organization in October 2017, taking over from Queens Assemblywoman Michele Titus, who headed the group between 2015 and 2017.

A spokeswoman for Walker, who is running for Public Advocate, said that she has already “eliminated superfluous expenses and cut spending” at the nonprofit. She also hired a new executive director and is requiring that the group submit to annual audits, the spokeswoman said.

After The Post expose last week, state Attorney General Letitia James said she was “troubled” by the findings.

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