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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Tax

Offshore Tax Dodging Blows a $503M Hole in Arizona’s Budget

As Arizona lawmakers are soon to begin discussing the state budget for the next fiscal year, the Arizona PIRG Education Fund released a new study, The Hidden Cost of Offshore Tax Havens: State Budgets under Pressure from Tax Loophole Abuse, revealing that the State of Arizona lost $503 million due to offshore tax dodging in 2012.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Tax

The Hidden Cost of Offshore Tax Havens

When U.S. corporations and wealthy individuals use offshore tax havens to avoid paying taxes to the federal government, it is an abuse of our tax system. Tax haven abusers benefit from our markets, infrastructure, educated workforce, and security, but they pay next to nothing for these benefits. Ultimately, taxpayers must pick up the tab, either in the form of higher taxes, cuts to public spending priorities, or increased national debt.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Budget

Phoenix Receives a Grade of “D” for Spending Transparency

Phoenix received a grade of “D” for spending transparency, according to a new report released today by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund. The report reviewed how well the thirty largest cities in the U.S. – including Phoenix - publicly provide data about city spending and revenues in an online transparency website.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Budget

Transparency in City Spending

The ability to see how government uses the public purse is fundamental to democracy. Transparency in government spending checks corruption, bolsters public confidence, improves responsiveness, and promotes greater effectiveness and fiscal responsibility. Cities across the country have been moving toward making their checkbooks transparent by creating transparency portals and posting recipient-specific spending data online.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Democracy

Billion-Dollar Democracy

The first presidential election since Citizens United lived up to its hype, with unprecedented outside spending from new sources making headlines. The Arizona PIRG Education Fund and Demos analysis of reports from campaigns, parties, and outside spenders to the Federal Election Commission found that our big money system distorts democracy and creates winners and losers.

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Media Hit | Budget

Arizona Republic: Arizona receives top grade for online transparency about state spending

Arizona is one of seven states to receive a top grade for providing online information about government spending. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund graded Arizona an A- for its OpenBooks website, maintained by the state Department of Administration.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

NEW HEALTH EXCHANGE RULES CAN HELP ARIZONA MOVE FORWARD

The rules released today by the federal Department of Health and Human Services put states in the driver’s seat when it comes to setting up new health benefits exchanges. Exchanges are a centerpiece of the federal health reform law, allowing states to create new competitive marketplaces where individuals and small businesses can get a better deal on coverage. The regulations lay out the minimum standards a state will need to meet in order to run their own exchange, but states will need to make many additional decisions to ensure that their exchange serves consumers’ needs.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Safe Energy

Fukushima: One Year Later, Public Still At Risk

This Sunday marks the one year anniversary of the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima. While Japan continues to deal with the aftermath of one of the worst nuclear accidents in history, the United States is slowly assessing its own nuclear plants.

 

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Budget

Watchdog Group Gives Some Praise, Suggestions for Transparency in Commerce Authority

One year after Governor Jan Brewer signed legislation officially creating the Arizona Commerce Authority, the Arizona PIRG Education Fund examined the transparency and accountability of the Commerce Authority thus far.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

State, Federal Settlement of Robo-Signing Claims With Big Banks Is Important Step

The settlement by the U.S., Attorney General Horne and 48 other state attorneys general with the five biggest mortgage servicers is an important and enforceable first step toward holding the big banks accountable for not only wrecking the economy but using a variety of unfair foreclosure practices to ruin the lives of millions of Americans and, in many cases, taking their homes illegally.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Delivering on the Promise

The recently passed federal health care reform law will make significant changes in how health insurance and health care work for consumers, businesses, and local and state governments, as well as how insurers and providers operate. But whether Americans experience improved care, lower costs and greater access depends largely on what happens next.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Road Work Ahead

Over the last 50 years, America has built roads and bridges at a pace and scale that dwarfs most of the rest of the world. Now, much of that system is showing its age – and as maintenance needs continue to grow, we are falling farther behind.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Tax

Tax Shell Game 2010

The IRS estimates that individuals and corporations currently hold $5 trillion in tax haven countries and asserts that the United States is responsible for a large portion of these assets.  Many corporations operating in the United States funnel money through offshore tax havens in order to avoid paying billions in U.S. taxes. In fact, an independent study found that nearly two-thirds of corporations pay no taxes at all.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Budget

Following the Money 2010

State governments across the country are changing that. At least 32 states currently mandate that residents be able to access an online database of government expenditures with “checkbook-level” detail. Most of these Web sites are also searchable, making it easier for residents to obtain information about government spending. This report evaluates states’ progress toward “Transparency 2.0” – a new standard of comprehensive, one-stop, one-click budget accountability and accessibility.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

The Businesses of Light Rail

Arizonans clearly desire increased and improved public transportation options, as proven by the fact that the public has voted in favor of taxes to support public transportation in the past. Furthermore, since the light rail line began operation, it has consistently achieved higher-than-expected and record-breaking ridership numbers.

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