A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

How Much Is the Mandate Tax?

On Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Managing Editor Lori Robertson explains how much individuals will pay if they refuse to have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The minimum tax will be $695 per person, but no more than $2,085 per family in 2016. But that amount can be higher, depending on the taxpayer’s income.
For more on the health care law’s mandate penalty, see our June 28 Ask FactCheck, “How Much Is the Obamacare ‘Tax’?“

How Much Is the Obamacare ‘Tax’?

Q: How much will the “tax” penalty be for going without health insurance?

A: The minimum assessment will be $695 per person (but no more than $2,085 per family) in 2016, when fully phased in. The amount can be higher depending on income. But there are exemptions for low-income persons and others.

Health Care Law and W-2 Forms

Q: Does the new health care law require workers to pay income tax on the value of employer-provided health insurance?
A: No. The value will appear on employees’ W-2 forms for information purposes, but will not be considered taxable income.

Privately Owned Gun Tax?

Q: Would Senate bill 2099 put a yearly $50 tax on each privately owned firearm?
A: There is no such bill. A chain e-mail containing bogus claims refers to a bill that died more than eight years ago.

Rahm Emanuel Property Taxes

Q: Does Rahm Emanuel pay property taxes?
A: The president’s chief of staff does pay taxes on his home. Failed attempts to find his records are the fault of shoddy research.

Spread the Tax Hooey!

Summary

Republicans are misrepresenting Obama's tax proposals right down to the bitter end. New radio ads from the McCain campaign and a TV spot from the pro-Republican group Let Freedom Ring are targeting voters nationwide with some of the same tax deceptions we've been hearing all fall, rolled in a bundle and flung through the airwaves. One of the radio ads features Hank Williams Jr., the other Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. But new packaging doesn't make the charges any less false. 

Right Change Is Wrong

Summary

A conservative group called RightChange.com has spent $3 million running ads that largely criticize Obama and his tax plans. They’re false: 

Two ads say Obama would tax "small businesses" at a rate of "62 percent." He wouldn’t. That number is an inflated estimate of the very top tax rate, and it doesn’t represent what Obama has proposed.
That false figure includes an increased Social Security tax rate that Obama doesn’t support, plus the state income tax rate paid by people making more than a million dollars a year in California.

Obama’s Celebrity Cred

Summary

McCain's new ad claims that Obama "says he'll raise taxes on electricity." That's false. Obama says no such thing.
McCain relies on a single quote from Obama who once – and only once so far as we can find – suggested taxing "dirty energy," including coal and natural gas. That was in response to a reporter's suggestion that a tax on wind power could fund education. Obama isn't proposing any new tax on electricity or "dirty energy"