Hey! We're Gay! We're Married! Let's Move to ... Virginia? (UPDATED)

"Hey, sweetheart, let's move to Virginia and make a life for ourselves there free of intolerance and inequality," said no gay couple ever. Or at least, that's what an effete writer working for a New York publication long-entwined with the city's gay community might assume.

You see, there's an odd geography problem here that our Federalist system produces: Before yesterday's overturning of DOMA, that act's restrictions, coupled with the inconsistent patchwork of anti-discrimination laws state-to-state, would make any gay couple with a brain cell between them stay away from states that, shall we say, didn't have their best interests at heart.

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Former Exec VP Joe Lhota Has Deep Ties to Madison Square Garden's 30-Year Tax Break

In between his roles as Giuliani's "Rat Czar" and the MTA's chairman, mayoral candidate and Republican frontrunner Joe Lhota spent his days at 4 Pennsylvania Plaza. For five years, he was an executive vice president of Cablevision; then, in 2010, he was named the chief administrative officer at Madison Square Garden Co., the "mega-corporation" that runs the world's most famous sports arena, as well as Radio City, the Beacon Theater, the Knicks and the Rangers. There, he was responsible for securing the best gift of all from Albany: a free tax ride for the corporation worth millions.

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Where Do Your Taxes Go? Helpful Pie Charts to Educate You, the Citizen

Categories: Nick Greene, Taxes

After sending in your taxes today, you're probably pretty steamed. You watched your hard-earned cash get sucked away by the government, never to be seen again. But what if we told you it wasn't that bad, and that your money was actually going toward worthwhile causes on both the federal and state levels? What if we supplied colorful pie charts to back this up? What if those charts were clearly titled and attractively presented? Would you change your tune? Oh baby, you are in luck.

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Two More New York Republicans Stand Up To Grover Norquist's Tax Bullying

Two new GOPers are standing up to Conservative lobbyist Grover Norquist and his stubborn "Taxpayer Protection Pledge," and they're both New Yorkers.

Upstate GOP congressmen Richard Hanna and Chris Gibson have both said they will not adhere to the guidelines of Norquist's pledge. Gibson signed the pledge last year when he was a newly elected congressman. Hanna has steered clear of it in the past, and says he won't sign on now.

The two join a growing list of opponents and defectors of Norquist's pledge, including notable Republican members of Congress like Long Island Representative Peter King and senators Lindsey Graham and Saxby Chambliss.

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Grover Norquist Explains Marriage to Rep. Peter King's Wife

Categories: Politics, Taxes
James King
Rep. Peter King
New York Congressman Peter King had the gall to stand up to tax-bully Grover Norquist over the weekend by publicly saying that he doesn't feel as though he's bound by a pledge he first signed 18 years ago stating that he wouldn't support any legislation that raises "the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business."

Norquist responded by taking a shot at King's marriage.

"I hope [King's] wife understands commitments last a little longer than two years or something," Norquist told CNN's Piers Morgan yesterday.

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Rep. Peter King Finds Cojones To Stand Up To Tax Bully Grover Norquist

Categories: Bullies , Taxes
James King
Congressman Peter King
If you don't know who Grover Norquist is, allow us to explain: he's an angry little man who bullies Congressional candidates into signing his "Taxpayer Protection Pledge," which basically is the wannabe lawmakers' promise that he or she won't vote to raise taxes under any circumstances. If a candidate refuses to sign the pledge -- or fails to live up to its requirements once elected to office -- Norquist moves heaven and earth to make sure that person isn't elected (or re-elected) to Congress.

As the founder of the group Americans for Tax Reform, Norquist has become a very powerful player in the Republican Party -- 95-percent of Republicans in Congress have signed his stubborn pledge, and are subject to Norquist's bullying. He's basically the Scut Farkus of the Republican Party.

But Norquist's pledge is losing some of its luster amongst GOPers as the country approaches the so-called "fiscal cliff." And one of those GOP lawmakers standing up to Norquist's bullying is New York's own Congressman Peter King.

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Will The Next Mayoral Race Turn Into a Fight For Taxes On The Wealthy?


With the news that Wall Street profits are projected to hit $15 billion this year, it makes sense that the next Mayoral race in New York City will focus on the issue New York's mega-wealthy (and, if our 'Mitt Loves N.Y.' series was any indication, there are a ton of members in this exclusive income club to work with). Bloomberg is getting ready to pass the torch to his successor and, after brushing off his administration from the Occupy saga/legacy, it's more than apparent that the One Percent is still on everyone's mind. 

This bares the question: how will these successors deal with the populist rage of the day? And what's the chances of this even happening in real-time?

Well, it looks as if any candidate seeks this tax initiative, they will have support from the Capitol. At a rally yesterday afternoon, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver took the affirmative on the 'tax the rich' issue. To a fling of supporters, he told the crowd, 

"We did that in the state while reducing taxes for the middle class. There's no reason the city shouldn't do the same thing if the revenue is necessary. I am not opposed to that at all as long as you make the tax code fairer across the board." 

What Silver is referring to in the beginning is the 'millionaire's tax' passed by the Cuomo's administration at the end of last year; a measure that had the support of about 72 percent of New Yorkers. And, if the City's deficit of $3 billion or so is a gesture towards this 'necessary revenue,' you might have a point, Mr. Speaker. 

So let's see what the prospective Mayoral candidates think:

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New York's Not Exactly "Open for Business": Report


Governor Andrew Cuomo earned a big, fat D in a recent grading of his fiscal policies by the Libertarian Cato Institute.

This, of course, comes as the governor has declared New York "open for business."

Cuomo's D  -- on a scale of A through F -- might have a little bit to do with a different group's ranking New York dead last in terms of how business-friendly its tax policies are.

Of New York's governor -- who is eying a run for the White House in 2016 -- the Institute says the following:

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Big Government Doesn't Like Yoga!

Turn up the steam in that hot yoga session because this controversy is getting hot. That was a terrible pun; I apologize. But seriously, there's a bit of a conflict going on between New York State and the yoga studios. 

About three years ago, Albany threatened to force yoga studio instructors to obtain licenses for their work - most of these instructors consider themselves 'personal trainers' or independent contractors so a license is not technically needed. Well, the yoga studios lobbied against the rule, arguing that obtaining these licenses would run the instructors out of business. Mind you, the yoga business rakes in an estimated $6 billion a year. In the end, the yoga studios were granted an exemption from the taxation. And all was at peace.

Fast forward three years. Once again, the State (and, now, the City as well) is at it again. According to the folks in the yoga industry, three separate agencies are involved: they include the New York State Department of Taxation, the New York City Department of Buildings and the New York State Department of Labor. 

And they're in hot pursuit of the workout's treasure chest.

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Emancipation Day at 150: How Slaves in Washington D.C. Are Helping Procrastinating Taxpayers Today

Lincoln freed the slaves in Washington, D.C. on this date in 1862
Procrastinating taxpayers: wonder why you're getting a couple extra days to file your taxes this year?

April 15 fell on a Sunday this year, so you can thank a Christian for the first extra day, as politicians are so terrified of offending them, they've never liked to do government business on Sundays.

But if you want to know who to thank for Tax Day being tomorrow and not today, April 16, consider thanking Abraham Lincoln.

Or, more aptly, think of thanking one of the more than 3,000 slaves living in the District of Columbia 150 years ago in 1862.

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