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Taxpayers Tab

Taxpayers Tab Issue #10

March 30, 2011


Vol. 2 Issue 10 March 30, 2011


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Most Expensive Bill of the Week

The Bill: H.R. 646, A bill to authorize the appropriation of funds to be used to recruit, hire, and train 100,000 new classroom paraprofessionals in order to improve educational achievement for children

Annualized Cost: $1 billion ($5 billion over five years)

Congressman Jose Serrano (NY-16) introduced H.R. 646 to decrease the ratio of students to staff in public elementary and secondary school classrooms. The bill would fund the hiring of 100,000 new paraprofessionals for state and local education agencies. Often referred to as aides, paraprofessionals are special-education workers who support teachers but are not licensed to teach. They can offer one-on-one instruction for students as well as administrative support.

In order to increase significantly the number of paraprofessionals, H.R. 646 would provide school districts with money to recruit, hire, train, and fund professional development efforts for new teaching assistants. In the event a district has already achieved a target ratio range of between 3 and 18 students to one instructor, they may use the funds to equalize the ratio even more or assist paraprofessionals in becoming licensed teachers.

According to the text of the bill, $1 billion would be spent each fiscal year between 2012 and 2016.

Least Expensive Bill of the Week

The Bill: S. 164, Withholding Tax Relief Act of 2011

Annualized Savings: -$39 billion (first year savings)

The Withholding Tax Relief Act would repeal a three percent withholding tax that was scheduled to take effect in 2012. The tax would be levied on vendors and contractors who provide goods and services to federal, state, and local governments. The tax was enacted in 2005.

To offset the projected revenue loss, Senator Scott Brown's (MA) bill would rescind $39 billion in federal funds not already obligated for specific purposes. The cuts would be made from discretionary funds excluding the Departments of Defense or Veterans Affairs. The rescission would result in $39 billion less of federal spending.

S. 164 includes provisions included in two other bills. Senator David Vitter's (LA) S. 89 and Congressman Wally Herger's (CA-2) H.R. 674 would also repeal the withholding provision. As the two bills only address revenues, there would be no new federal spending associated with their passage.

Most Friended

The Bill: H.R. 998/S. 555, Student Non-Discrimination Act of 2011

Annualized Cost: No Cost

Number of Cosponsors: 103 Congressmen and 30 Senators

To help protect public school students of all sexual orientations and gender identities, Congressman Jared Polis (CO-2) and Senator Al Franken (MN) introduced the Student Non-Discrimination Act. The bill would prohibit harassment, retaliation, and general discrimination in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

Implementing H.R. 998 or S. 555 would not result in any significant new federal spending. The anti-discrimination mandate would follow laws already in place for gender and ethnic equality.

Cosponsors include 102 Democrats and one Republican in the House. In Senate, all 30 cosponsors caucus with the Democratic Party.

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The Wildcard

The Bill: S. 253, A bill to establish a commission to ensure a suitable observance of the centennial of World War I, and to designate memorials to the service of men and women of the United States in World War I

Annualized Cost: $1 million ($5 million over five years)

After the death of Frank Buckles, America's last surviving World War I veteran, Senator John Rockefeller (WV) re-introduced S. 253 to create a 24-member commission to plan commemorative ceremonies for the 100 year anniversary of World War I.

The two WWI memorials in Kansas City, Missouri, and Washington, D.C. would also be rededicated as national memorials.

Based on the text of the Frank Buckles World War I Memorial Act (introduced by Congressman Ted Poe (TX-2)), NTUF estimates that the commission and rededications would cost $5 million over the next five years.

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Issue 9 - Mar. 24

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About NTUF

The National Taxpayers Union Foundation is a research and educational organization dedicated solely to helping citizens of all generations understand how tax policies, spending programs, and regulations at all levels affect them now and in the future. Through NTUF's timely information, analysis, and commentary, we're empowering citizens to actively engage in the fiscal policy debate and hold public officials accountable every day.

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This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to aid or hinder the passage of any legislation or as a comment on any Member's fitness to serve.



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