Budget

News Release | Maryland PIRG | Budget

Baltimore Receives a Grade of “B+” for Spending Transparency

Baltimore received a grade of “B+” for spending transparency, according to a new report released today by Maryland PIRG. The report reviews Baltimore’s progress toward comprehensive, one-stop, one-click budget accountability and accessibility.

 

Report | Maryland PIRG | 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.

 

 

 

News Release | Maryland PIRG | Budget

Small Farmers and Citizens Speak Out Against Agricultural Subsidies in Farm Bill

Small farmers and ordinary citizens across the country are taking a stand against wasteful agricultural subsidies in the federal Farm Bill. With only a few weeks left before they adjourn for the election, reauthorizing or extending the Farm Bill is one of Congress’s top priorities.

Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Budget, Food, Tax

Apples to Twinkies 2012:

At a time when America is facing an obesity epidemic, crushing debt and a weak economy, billions of taxpayer dollars are subsidizing junk food ingredients. In this report, we find that in 2011, over $1.28 billion in taxpayer subsidies went to junk food ingredients, bringing the total to a staggering $18.2 billion since 1995. 

MAD ABOUT THE FARM BILL

By | Jenny Levin
Public Health Advocate

Earlier this month, the House Agricultural Committee passed its version of the Farm Bill with a 35-11 vote.  It was greatly anticipated, as the country needs a fair and common sense bill that cut wasteful spending. In years past, the Farm Bill has given out tens of billions in taxpayer dollars to large, mature agribusinesses, and subsidized commodity crops that are often processed into the junk food ingredients fueling the obesity epidemic.  Between 1995 and 2010 we gave out $260 billion in agricultural subsidies to the country’s largest farming operations. With the expiration of the present Farm Bill coming in September, Congress has an opportunity to end this wasteful corporate welfare.

Ending Subsidies for Big Ag in the Farm Bill

By | Michael Russo
Federal Program Director

Current food policy has disproportionately subsidized the largest agribusinesses, who are already profitable and don’t need taxpayer handouts. And subsidized crops have often been used to produce unhealthy food. The current scheme of agriculture subsidies, including the notorious Direct Payments program, is heavily skewed towards largest agribusinesses, with only 4% of U.S. farmers pocketing 74% of subsidy payments. Directing taxpayer dollars to these mature, profitable businesses enriches them and allows them to prosper at the expense of smaller, unsubsidized farmers, without any benefit to the taxpayers who are footing the bill. 

News Release | Budget

Offshore Tax Havens Cost Average Maryland Taxpayers $459 a Year

With tax day approaching, a new study released by Maryland PIRG found that the average Maryland taxpayer in 2011 would have to shoulder an extra $459 tax burden to make up for revenue lost from corporations and wealthy individuals shifting income to offshore tax havens. The report additionally found that to cover the cost of the corporate abuse of tax havens in 2011, small businesses in Maryland would have to foot a bill of over $2,298 on average.

Picking Up the Tab

Some U.S.-based multinational firms or individuals avoid paying U.S. taxes by transferring their earnings to tax haven countries with minimal or no taxes. These tax haven users benefit from their access to America’s markets, workforce, infrastructure and security; but they pay little or nothing for it—violating the basic fairness of the tax system and forcing other taxpayers to pick up the tab.

News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Budget

New Report: Maryland Receives a “C+” in Annual Report on Transparency of Government Spending

Maryland received a “C+” when it comes to government spending transparency, according to Following the Money 2012: How the States Rank on Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data, the third annual report of its kind by the Maryland Public Interest Research Group (Maryland PIRG).  

Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Budget

Following the Money

The ability to see how government uses the public purse is fundamental to democracy. Transparency in government spending promotes fiscal responsibility, checks corruption, and bolsters public confidence.

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