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Thread: The Remittance Fee in Oklahoma, Georgia, and in the U.S. Congress

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  1. #1
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    The Remittance Fee in Oklahoma, Georgia, and in the U.S. Congress

    The Remittance Fee in Oklahoma, Georgia, and in the U.S. Congress

    David North on January 3, 2018

    It's time to take a new look at a nearly totally ignored potential source of governmental revenue — taken mostly from illegal aliens and drug dealers — to see how three different jurisdictions are handling the issue. Potentially it could bring in well over $2 billion a year for the federal and/or state governments, and not one penny would be paid by law-abiding residents.

    Sounds like a winner, right? But Chamber of Commerce types have fought it successfully, except in Oklahoma, where there is such an arrangement.

    What I have in mind is a 2 percent withholding fee on wire transfers out of the nation, i.e., on cash transfers that would include illegal aliens' remittances to their homelands, some drug trades, and some legitimate, non-corporate money transactions. There would be no charge on corporate transfers. Note that we are proposing a fee, not a tax. The concept is that it is a withholding, a credit against one's income tax, and thus costs nothing to law-abiding, tax-paying people.

    In fact, Oklahoma tax authorities tell us, most of the fees are not reported on state income tax filings, and thus the moneys collected are a de facto tax on otherwise untaxed income. Chamber of Commerce objections relate not only to a knee-jerk reaction to new taxes of any kind, but also to the rational (if objectionable) fear that taxing the income of illegals in any way will push up pressure on the wages paid to those workers, and thus would reduce the profits of businessmen using illegal alien workers. (That is the presumed C of C rationale, not its public position.)
    So, how is this issue playing out in Oklahoma, in Georgia, and with the federal government?

    Oklahoma. This is the only state in the nation with a wire-transfer fee, as we have reported earlier, and the state's most recent annual tax report (for fiscal year 2016-2017) showed that the wire transfer fee brought in $12,873,864. Oklahoma has a 1 percent fee.

    While both business interests and the Government of Mexico (in an open manner, unlike Russian interventions in our politics) objected to the bill, it was adopted by the state legislature, and is no longer the subject of controversy. The annual collections increase each year by about 10 percent. It stands as a model for the rest of the nation.

    Georgia. There is before this state's legislature, as there may be elsewhere (but unknown to us), a bill (HR 66) to replicate the Oklahoma system at the 2 percent level. It was introduced by a member of the Republican majority in the State House of Representatives, State Rep. Jeff Jones (Brunswick).

    Since, according to a report by the Pew Research Center, there are about 375,000 illegal aliens in that state, as opposed to an estimated 95,000 in Oklahoma, that would suggest a four-to-one ratio in this source of state income; but the Georgia rate would be 2 percent, not 1 percent, so the estimate is that — all else being equal — Georgia's fee income would be eight times that of Oklahoma, or a minimum of $100 million a year. And that estimate ignores the factor of Atlanta's reputed role as a major hub of drug distribution; this creates a hard-to-estimate but sizeable illicit economy often involving wire transfers of funds.

    Meanwhile, controversy abounds in Georgia on how to extend a budget-stretching pay hike for state police officers to local law enforcement personnel. Studies have shown that many of them are so badly paid that they received food stamps. One bill passed, just for giving raises to the state police, will cost $80 million. The proposed wire transfer fee would cover those costs and more.

    HR 66, however, has not even been given a hearing by a legislative committee, as the Chamber digs in its heels; but at least the possibility of such a bill is being discussed in the state's legislature.

    Federal. The GOP-controlled Congress just missed a golden opportunity to install such a program at the federal level; the recently passed tax bill would have provided a logical vehicle for a federal wire-transfer fee. Such a provision, at 2 percent, would presumably generate well over $2 billion a year for the U.S. Treasury. Oklahoma, with fewer than 1 percent of the nation's illegals, and with a 1 percent fee, provides more than $12 million annually; this would suggest (admittedly an extrapolation from a small base) that the feds could collect more than 200 times as much money, or well over $2.4 billion a year.

    Inserting such a provision in the hastily assembled tax bill would have been an easy way to secure passage of a wire transfer fee, but that opportunity was lost.
    Judy likes this.
    Jeremiah 29:11 - It is written, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

  2. #2
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    Comment at Link.

    Jeff Jones State Representative at GA House of Representative D 167

    As the author and sponsor of GA's HB-66, which proposes to assess a fully refundable fee for out-of-state cash wire transfers, the legislation is expected to raise upwards of $100 million for the State of GA. Any person who files a GA tax return is entitled to receive a 100% refund of the fee, including all legal immigrants. The legislation is clearly intended to target our state's massive underground economy including drug dealers, gamblers, those people who are paid in cash and those involved in the sex trade industry, all of whom are trying to hide their cash. Immigrants, legal or illegal, can receive 100% of the fee back as a refund when filing their GA State Income Tax Return. Under current US law, illegal aliens can legally apply for and receive an ITIN (individual taxpayer identification number) that can they can use to file a GA tax return and receive a 100% refund of the fee,

    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 01-08-2018 at 12:42 AM.
    Jeremiah 29:11 - It is written, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

  3. #3
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    No, you don't want a remittance fee. I've been thinking about this and it will actually work in the opposite direction. Remittance fees will cause the government to see the fees as a source of income that comes from illegal aliens. That may be why Senator Lankford from Oklahoma wants a DACA Amnesty, his home state profits from illegal immigration from its remittance fees. We don't want that. Mexico will pay for the wall through trade fees or direct payments as a condition of trade, not illegal immigration. Trump will get Mexico to pay for the wall, they are the reason we need it, and he'll make sure they pay one way or another. Another problem with the remittance fees is it punishes Americans who send money overseas, we don't want that either, and also legal immigrants who come here with the full expectation of being able to send their money home just as our people send their money back to the US when they're working in another country, we don't want that jeopardized either.

    Trump is right to take his time on a plan for the payments on the wall, because it should be part of trade fee discussions, not income from illegal activity like illegal immigration remittances. That money is money laundering and should be treated and prosecuted as money laundering.

    We want to deport all illegal aliens so they aren't here to send remittances to begin with.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    Make it a "Federal Deportation Tax"

    100% goes into the Federal Deportation Fund and cannot be touched for anything else!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    I prefer to charge Mexico for it out of our trade negotiations. For many many years, maybe centuries, the common law rule on fencing is both sides pay half the cost, this is how farmers have operated for as long as I can remember. They control their side of the border, we control our side and a barrier cost is usually split because it benefits both sides. In Mexico's case, they don't control their side, they deliberately sanction drug cartels who control the border and sponsor illegal immigration and illegal trafficking into the US, so they're responsible for their side that's violating our national law, whether by their own citizens or those from other countries they let cross the border into our country. Mexico could stop all this illegal migration into the US on a dime if they wanted to.
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