National Taxpayers Union

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National Taxpayers Union
National Taxpayers Union (logo).png
Formation 1969
Headquarters Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.
Membership 362,000
Budget Revenue: $1,429,878
Expenses: $458,530
(FYE December 2012)[1]
Website www.ntu.org

National Taxpayers Union (NTU) is a politically conservative[2] taxpayers advocacy organization and taxpayers union in the United States, founded in 1969 by James Dale Davidson. NTU advertises that it is the largest and oldest grassroots taxpayer organization in the nation, with 362,000 members nationwide. It is closely affiliated with a non-profit foundation, the National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF). According to the Form 990 returns of NTUF, the NTU and NTUF share staff, facilities, website and board members.[citation needed]

Policy positions[edit]

The National Taxpayers Union has worked to enact constitutional limits on government taxes, spending and debt. The organization also played a role in Federal income tax indexing, so inflation no longer bumps taxpayers into higher brackets. It also worked for the passage of a Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

The NTU favors either a Flat Tax or the FairTax (a national sales tax with rebate) for the United States, as opposed to the current income tax system now in use.[3] The organization argues in favor of the line-item veto for the president. [4] NTU generally opposes crop subsidies by the government (such as for sugar and ethanol).[5] The organization's briefs and policy papers decry the "death tax," (a tax on estates)[6] and supports deregulation.[7] NTU also provides information on "Congressional & Executive Pay/Perks" (e.g., NTU estimates the public pensions payments for Members of Congress),[8] and NTU has called for reforms to deny a publicly funded pension to Members of Congress convicted of a felony.[9]

Legislation[edit]

Opposed[edit]

  • Temporary Debt Limit Extension Act (S. 540; 113th Congress) - a bill that would suspend the United States debt ceiling until March 15, 2015.[10] The National Taxpayers Union opposed this bill and criticised politicians from both parties saying, "this year, as the limit approached, most Democrats refused to discuss the debt problem at all. Republicans opted to stress important, though mostly unrelated policy goals, thus failing to focus on the key issue at hand."[11] NTU expressed the opinion that spending reforms should be dealt with, instead of just increasing the debt limit.[11]

Supported[edit]

  • Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (S. 994; 113th Congress) - a bill that aims to make information on federal expenditures more easily accessible and transparent.[12] The bill would require the U.S. Department of the Treasury to establish common standards for financial data provided by all government agencies and to expand the amount of data that agencies must provide to the government website, USASpending.[12] The NTU urged Representatives to vote in favor of the bill, saying that "this legislation would take an important step toward greater accountability to taxpayers by providing more information on how their hard-earned dollars are spent."[13] The NTU argued that "the DATA Act would bring increased transparency to a system that is too often rife with favoritism, waste, and fraud. As the federal government continues to make heavy demands on the public's paychecks, taxpayers deserve the opportunity to find out more details about how the money they send to Washington is being spent."[13]
  • American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2014 (H.R. 4438; 113th Congress) - a bill that would amend the Internal Revenue Code to modify the calculation method and the rate for the tax credit for qualified research expenses that expired at the end of 2013 and would make that modified credit permanent.[14] NTU "urged" Representatives to vote in favor of the bill because it "would simplify and make permanent the 20 percent tax credit for research and development expenses."[15] The NTU argued that making this tax credit permanent was "an important step toward creating a healthier business climate, providing broad-based relief, and promoting economic growth."[15] The NTU also argued that it was important for the credit to become permanent because major research and development investments often take multiple years to do and it can be difficult to plan them when a tax credit is only going to last for one or two years.[15]

Activities[edit]

Balanced Budget Amendment – NTU has been a proponent for a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) to the Constitution.

Government Spending Transparency - The National Taxpayers Union has been a proponent of the "Google Government" movement. More specifically, the organization calls for the creation of searchable Internet databases that provide information on state government grant and contract expenditures.

NTU is a founding sponsor of www.ShowMeTheSpending.org, a website dedicated to online government spending transparency.

NTU Rates Congress – NTU rates U.S. Representatives and Senators on their congressional votes. NTU Rates Congress includes "every vote that significantly affects taxes, spending, debt, and regulatory burdens on consumers and taxpayers."[16] NTU then assigns weights to the votes, reflecting the importance of each vote's effect on federal spending, when calculating each officials score.

A grade of "A" indicates the organization views the member as a strong supporter of responsible[not specific enough to verify] tax and spending policies. The organization gives these members of Congress the "Taxpayers' Friend Award."

Senator Jim DeMint receives Taxpayers' Friend Award, 2007

Research – NTU writes policy papers on many subjects they view as important to taxpayers. The organization also sends issue briefs to its members throughout the country outlining topics and issues that might be of interest to them.

NoTaxHikers.org – NTU launched www.NoTaxHikers.org in fall 2008. The site asks visitors to pledge not to vote for tax hikers.

Keep The Caps - NTU launched www.KeepTheCaps.com and BillionDollarBaseball.org in fall 2013. The campaign sought to foster grassroots support and pressure Congress to maintain the spending caps created in the Budget Control Act two years prior.

History[edit]

James Dale Davidson began the organization in 1969.

In 1970, Davidson hired A. Earnest Fitzgerald, a United States Air Force analyst, as the president of NTU. In 1978, Grover Norquist, was named executive director; after his departure in 1982, he was replaced by former Maryland State Senate Majority Leader George Snyder.

In 1997, Davidson left NTU; John Berthoud was named president and served until his death in late 2007.

Duane Parde was named president of the organization following the death of Berthoud.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Charity Rating". Charity Navigator.  Also see "GuideStar Summary: National Taxpayers Union". GuideStar.  and "GuideStar Summary: National Taxpayers Union Foundation". GuideStar. 
  2. ^ "Old Trick vs. Blue Dog". Factcheck.org. Annenberg Public Policy Center. June 20, 2014. 
  3. ^ "To Compete in a Global Economy, U.S. Must Discard Backward-Looking Tax Policy, Study Concludes" (Press release). National Taxpayers Union. 2005-09-14. Retrieved 2007-02-26. 
  4. ^ "Taxpayer Group Delivers Reminder to Rushed Senators: "The Line-Item Veto – Don't Leave Town Without It!"" (Press release). National Taxpayers Union. 2006-09-27. Retrieved 2007-02-26. 
  5. ^ "Taxpayer Group Proposes Cures for Congress's Sugar-Subsidy "Sweet Tooth"" (Press release). National Taxpayers Union. 2006-04-25. Retrieved 2007-02-26. 
  6. ^ "Senate Should Seize New Chance to Ditch the Death Tax, Nation’s Largest Taxpayer Group Says" (Press release). National Taxpayers Union. 2006-04-13. Retrieved 2007-02-26. 
  7. ^ "Taxpayer Group Urges Congress to Scuttle Net Neutrality Legislation, Act Instead on Telecom Deregulation" (Press release). National Taxpayers Union. 2006-05-24. Retrieved 2007-02-26. 
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ [2][dead link]
  10. ^ Kasperowicz, Pete (11 February 2014). "House approves clean debt hike". The Hill. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "NTU urges all Senators to vote “NO” on S. 540, the “Temporary Debt Limit Extension Act”". National Taxpayers Union. 12 February 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "CBO - S. 994". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  13. ^ a b "“YES” on S. 994, the Digital Accountability and Transparency (DATA) Act.". National Taxpayers Union. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "CBO - H.R. 4438". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  15. ^ a b c Swift, Nan (7 May 2014). "“YES” on H.R. 4438, the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2014". National Taxpayers Union. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  16. ^ [3][dead link]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°48′21″N 77°02′57″W / 38.8057°N 77.0492°W / 38.8057; -77.0492