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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

Overdrafts continue to hit students hard on campus

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report shining a spotlight on contracts between banks and colleges to promote debit cards on campus.  Students continue to get hit hard with overdraft fees attached to their campus bank accounts. According to the report, nearly one in ten consumers in the population with student accounts incurred 10 or more  overdrafts per year, paying, on average, $196 in overdraft fees alone. Below is a detailed analysis by US. PIRG's Chris Lindstrom, who championed the protections that the CFPB is reporting on. This report is one more example of why we need a strong CFPB. 

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Blog Post | Solid Waste

Testimony in favor of Banning Plastic Bags in Boston | Janet Domenitz

MASSPIRG urges Boston City Council to support the bag ban. Single use plastic bags are the shameful hallmark of a society that has become over dependent on things we don’t need. Nothing we use for five minutes should end up polluting our environment for hundreds of years.

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Blog Post | Antibiotics

Another (yes, another) reason to stop overusing antibiotics | Matt Wellington

Researchers from The Ohio State University published a report today about the discovery of E-coli bacteria resistant to the antibiotic carbapenem in an Ohio swine facility. Uh oh.

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News Release | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND | Tax

OFFSHORE TAX HAVENS COST AVERAGE MA SMALL BUSINESS $5,845 A YEAR

Small business in Massachusetts would have to shoulder an extra $5,845 in taxes to make up for the revenue lost due to the abuse of offshore tax havens by multinational corporations, according to a new report by MASSPIRG Education Fund. 

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Report | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND | Tax

Picking Up the Tab

As a new administration takes office and the possibility of tax reform again enters the national conversation, the report highlights how it’s small domestic businesses and ordinary Americans that have to shoulder the burden of multinational tax avoidance.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Who Pays For Roads?

Many Americans believe that drivers pay the full cost of the roads they use through gas taxes and other user fees. That has never been true, and it is less true now than at any other point in modern times. Today, general taxes paid by all tax- payers cover nearly as much of the cost of building and maintaining highways as the gas tax and other fees paid by drivers.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

MA Coalition for GMO labeling cheers Vermont court decision

Today, a coalition of consumer, community, farming and public health organizations working to pass a GMO food labeling law cheered a decision by the United States District Court for the District of Vermont upholding the nation’s first GMO labeling law. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Tax

Lawmakers Call for Closing Off Shore Tax Haven Loophole

As Tax Day approaches tomorrow, it’s a good time to be reminded of how ordinary taxpayers and specifically small businesses pick up the tab for offshore tax loopholes used by many large multinational corporations. MASSPIRG was joined today by Representatives Josh Cutler (D-Duxbury) and Lenny Mirra (R-West Newbury), Senator Mark Montigny (D-NewBedford) and Massachusetts Fair Share to release a new study by the MASSPIRG Education Fund revealing that the average Massachusetts small business owner would have to pay an extra $4,031 in state and federal taxes to make up for the money lost in 2014 due to offshore tax haven abuse by large multinational corporations and to call for the passage of a state bill to close one of the loopholes.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Public Health

Some Good, Some Bad in Obama Administration Plan to Protect Antibiotics

Tomorrow the National Task Force for Combatting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria will release a five-year action plan to tackle the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.  The plan will take several positive steps but largely miss an opportunity to call for critical reforms on antibiotic use on livestock.

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News Release | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND | Budget, Tax

Massachusetts Receives "A" in Annual Report on Transparency of Government Spending

Massachusetts received an ‘A’ when it comes to government spending transparency.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Tetstimony on Private Passenger Motor Vehicle Insurance Rates | Deirdre Cummings

For the first time in over 30 years, insurance companies will be allowed to use discriminatory factors in selling auto insurance. While banning some of the most obviously unfair factors, the proposed regulations permit insurers to use many other factors that could harm low-income and minority drivers, including factors that act as proxies for the very factors that are banned. In order to protect against discrimination and to ensure that driving record is the primary factor insurers use in setting premiums and in underwriting, it is necessary to list expressly all the rating and underwriting factors that may be used by insurers.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Testimony in Opposition to the "assigned risk plan" and in favor of permanently rescinding the adopted regulation | Deirdre Cummings

In addition, the Governor’s “study group” on auto insurance which issued a report on March 15, 2007, of which I was a participant, recommended that the assigned risk plan not be adopted until further review and evaluation of the new CAR rules aimed at improving the system. Specifically, the commission recommended, “ the Commissioner should delay implementing any assigned risk plan until able to meaningfully evaluate the results of the 2006 redistribution of exclusive (producers) agents and subsequent revisions to the Commonwealth Automobile Reinsurers rules.”

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

Testimony in favor of Combined Reporting Legislation | Phineas Baxandall

In-state businesses are playing on an uneven field, competing against multi-state companies that use high-priced, sophisticated accountants and complex transactions with subsidiaries to avoid paying Massachusetts taxes. While currently legal, some multi-state businesses can shift their Massachusetts profits to out-of-state subsidiaries to avoid paying taxes here; while businesses located only in Massachusetts cannot take advantage of these loopholes or other tax shell games.

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Blog Post

Testiomony Before the Coprorate Tax Commsiion in Favor of Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes | Phineas Baxandall

Businesses should thrive based on their efficiency and innovation, not their opportunities for ‘creative’ tax accounting and tax avoidance.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Testimony in Favor of Fixed and Established Auto-Insurance Rates | Deirdre Cummings

MASSPIRG strongly supports the continued fixed and established rating process for 2008 because at this point it will better protect Massachusetts drivers than a “deregulated” or competitive process.

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