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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Tax

Bank of America settlement loophole creates at least $4 billion burden for taxpayers

Taxpayers will shoulder anywhere from $4 to $5.8 billion of today’s $16.65 billion Bank of America settlement with the U.S. Justice Department. The settlement, which releases the bank from charges of alleged illegal activity related to mortgage activities, specifically refuses to stop Bank of America from writing the settlement off as a tax break — which means much of the settlement cost will ultimately be shouldered by U.S. taxpayers.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Bikes, Trains and Less Driving

Arizona, like the rest of America, is experiencing a shift in how people travel. The Driving Boom – a six decade-long period of steady increase in per-capita driving across the United States – is over. Driving miles per person are down especially sharply among Millennials, America’s largest generation that will increasingly dominate transportation trends. Since 2005 Arizonans have been driving fewer miles per person, and they increasingly look to public transportation to get around.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

New Report Documents Transportation Trends in Arizona:

According to new research, Arizona is experiencing a shift in how people travel. Bikes, Trains and Less Driving, a report by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund and St. Luke’s Health Initiatives, found that between 2005-2012 Arizona saw a 10.5 percent decline in annual vehicle miles traveled per capita and Arizonans increasingly look to public transportation to get around.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

FTC Sues Alleged Corporate Wrongdoers Amazon & T-Mobile | Diane E. Brown

In the last few days, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed lawsuits against the wireless company T-Mobile over cramming of "hundreds of millions of dollars" in junk charges on phone bills and the web seller Amazon over "millions of dollars in unauthorized in-app charges incurred by children." What's interesting is not that the companies are alleged to have broken the law, it's that they've refused to settle and forced the FTC into court.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Tax

Study: 70% of Fortune 500 Companies Used Tax Havens in 2013

Tax loopholes encouraged more than 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies – including Avnet and Insight Enterprises in Arizona  – to maintain subsidiaries in offshore tax havens as of 2013, according to “Offshore Shell Games,” released today by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund and Citizens For Tax Justice. Collectively, the companies reported booking nearly $2 trillion offshore for tax purposes, with just 30 companies accounting for 62 percent of the total, or $1.2 trillion.

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Media Hit | Budget

Yuma Sun: Transparency necessary for good governing

Last week, the Arizona Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) gave our state government an A-minus for providing online access to spending data. PIRG, which bills itself as a consumer protection group, surveyed 47 states regarding their financial openness and said Arizona was a leader in the nation.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Budget

Arizona Ranks Near Top of States for Transparency of Government Spending

Arizona continues to be a leading state in government spending transparency, according to an annual report by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund. For the second year in a row, Arizona received an A– in the report based on its official state transparency website, OpenBooks.

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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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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

The Facts About Comparative Effectiveness Research

As Congressional and public debate over health care reform grows more intense, comparative effectiveness research (CER) has emerged as an unlikely flashpoint of controversy. Opponents’ claims that CER results in the rationing of health care or a government takeover are belied by the true nature of such research: it is simply fundamental scientific research of medical treatments aimed at determining the most effective ways to treat sickness and injury.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Arizona and the Stimulus

June 29th, 2009 marks the 120-day deadline for Arizona and the other states to commit at least 50% of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s (ARRA) $26.6 billion in transportation funds. It provides a vantage point to examine how states are using the money, with a particular focus on the $527 million apportioned to Arizona.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Private Roads, Public Costs

Road privatization is a growing issue in the United States as politicians and transportation officials grapple with budget shortfalls. Toll road privatization takes two forms: the lease of existing toll roads to private operators and the construction of new roads by private entities. In both instances, private investors are granted the right to raise and collect toll revenue, a right that can amount to billions of dollars in profits for the shareholders.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Arizona's New Frontier

Over the past few decades, Arizona’s population has skyrocketed. This population growth has not been matched by public transportation investment, and Arizona’s resulting dependence on cars is hurting the state. High and wildly fluctuating gas prices add to Arizonans’ economic woes, traffic congestion wastes valuable time and energy, and our cars and trucks produce pollution that harms Arizonans’ health and contributes to global warming.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Safe Energy

The High Cost of Nuclear Power

Nuclear power is among the most costly approaches to solving America’s energy problems. Per dollar of investment, clean energy solutions -- such as energy efficiency and renewable resources -- deliver far more energy than nuclear power.

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