Archive for the ‘Property’ Category

The United States Of Sales Taxes

November 17, 2008
How much do you pay in sales taxes? The Tax Foundation has the answer.

How much do you pay in sales taxes?

Joseph Henchman of the Tax Foundation created this helpful map of the states with the highest and lowest sales taxes (hat tip to The Club For Growth):

You might think I would be grateful that my family lives in Virginia, but as a Virginian, I know we pay a higher price in property taxes and income taxes. Aunt Virginia and her political kin will get their pound of flesh one way or another.

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Take Me Out To The Tax Park

October 13, 2008

Via The Club For Growth, I learned this bit of tax news from Chicago:

Chicago sports fans, movie mavens, concertgoers and theater patrons will pay more to attend live events — and so will those who park their cars in garages and surface lots — under a $25 million revenue package tied to Mayor Daley’s 2009 budget.

Daley tied his own hands by promising to close a massive budget gap without raising property taxes on the heels of last year’s record $83.4 million increase.

But he didn’t promise to hold the line on all other taxes and fees.Today, aldermen were told that the city’s two-tiered amusement tax would be going up — from 4 [percent] to 5 percent for mid-sized venues and from 8 [percent] to 9 percent for large sporting venues.

Just another reminder that liberals will always find a way to raise some tax, or make up a new one, even when they promise to hold the line or cut others.

A Rush Of New Taxes For Limbaugh

July 3, 2008

Jealous liberal journalists who long to be richer than Rush Limbaugh have been falling all over themselves to criticize their conservative nemesis and the undisputed champion of talk radio the past couple of days.

Why? Because he just negotiated a contract renewal with Premiere Radio Networks, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Radio, that reportedly will net him $400 million over eight years, including a nine-figure signing bonus.

Why that’s a problem is beyond me. If Premiere didn’t think Limbaugh was worth it based on past performance, the company wouldn’t have made the deal. It’s the free market at work, and every liberal who is whining about the deal would take all that money and then some if offered it for doing their jobs.

Besides, every liberal should be celebrating the rush of taxes that will flow into government coffers thanks to Limbaugh.

The numbers are staggering any way you look at it. I asked Peter Sepp, vice president for policy and communications at the National Taxpayers Union, to guesstimate Limbaugh’s tax bite from his new contract. With the obvious caveat that “there are a whole lot of variables both in the structure of his compensation package and the strategies he employs that would affect the actual tax burden,” Sepp predicted that Limbaugh will pay anywhere from one-third to 40 percent of his compensation to the government in taxes.

I’ll do the math for you: That’s $132 million to $160 million in taxes! And Sepp said the bite would be far worse if Limbaugh lived somewhere other than Florida, which has no state income tax and light business taxes. If he lived in California, the Golden Treasury State, he would have added up to 10 percent more ($40 million) to the tax tab.

That’s not counting all of the sales, property, gas and other taxes Limbaugh will be paying every time he spends a million dimes. And his penchant for cigars and other “sins” means he’ll be on the hook for even more.

Here’s the way all the liberals in the media and government should be looking at Limbaugh’s contract: He’s a one-man economic stimulus machine. Just imagine how many more pork projects will be funded over the next eight years because Rush Limbaugh got a hefty raise.

A Century Of Tax Mischief

May 5, 2008

My Dad forwarded to me an e-mail that included this gem about all of the taxes conceived in the minds of politicians over the past century (the impact of several of them on just our family has been chronicled on this blog):

Accounts receivable tax
Building permit tax
CDL license tax
Cigarette tax
Corporate income tax
Dog license tax
Federal income tax
Federal unemployment tax
Fishing license tax
Food license tax
Fuel permit tax
Gasoline tax
Hunting license tax
Inheritance tax
Inventory tax
IRS interest charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor tax
Luxury tax
Marriage license tax
Medicare tax
Property tax
Real-estate tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security tax
Road usage tax (truckers)
Sales taxes
Recreational vehicle tax
School tax
State income tax
State unemployment tax
Telephone taxes
— Federal excise
— Universal service fee
— Federal, state and local surcharges
— Minimum-usage surcharge
— Taxes on recurring and non-recurring phone charges
— State and local phone taxes
— Telephone-usage charge tax
Utility tax
Vehicle registration tax
Vehicle sales tax
Watercraft registration tax
Well permit tax
Workers compensation tax

The kicker to the e-mail: “Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids. What happened? Can you spell ‘politicians?'”

Prince William And Her Paupers

April 5, 2008

Property values here in Northern Virginia have been declining dramatically for the past two years. The Washington Post recently described Prince William County “as the epicenter of the region’s foreclosure trouble” and Manassas/Manassas Park as “a volcano.”

The silver lining to the housing woes, if you can call it that, is that as property values decline, tax bills plummet right along with them. A couple of months ago, we were thrilled to learn that we had overpaid into the tax escrow account for our mortgage and to receive a refund.

But bureaucrats don’t tolerate revenue declines for long — and they don’t typically address them by cuts to spending. Higher tax rates are the inevitable result.

Odds are good that property owners in Prince William will be hit with a jump in rates soon.

The Tax Hiker Of Chicago

April 4, 2008

If you’re Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, you can’t get just one tax hike and not want more and more. The addiction is too strong … can’t … fight … it:

Four months after pushing through the largest property tax increase in Chicago history, Mayor Daley warned homeowners and businesses on Wednesday to brace for yet another tax hit for the Chicago Public Schools.

Daley said the Board of Education needs $180 million in new state funding “to invest in new programs students need” or the only option will be to raise property taxes.

Eleven times in the last 13 years, Daley has given the Board of Education the green light to raise property taxes to the maximum allowed by the cap. The increase was $55 million in each of the last two years.

On Wednesday, the mayor warned of another tax-to-the-max school budget — even after $90 million in additional spending cuts — unless Gov. [Rod] Blagojevich sweetens the pot.

Why is it again that they keep electing Daleys in Chicago?

Taking A Stand In Taxachusetts

April 2, 2008

As reported by The Boston Globe:

Faced with a sagging economy, voters in three of four towns were in no mood yesterday to approve property tax increases.

Voters in the blue-collar towns of Holbrook and Chelmsford along with well-to-do Harvard all rejected property tax hikes.

Don’t let “voter fatigue” keep you from taking further stands against fees increases for services like trash collection and after-school activities.

I Always Vote ‘No’ On Tax Initiatives

March 27, 2008

So should the voters of Shrewsbury, Mass.

Stand firm. Don’t let the bureaucrats browbeat you into higher taxes by throwing ballot initiative after ballot initiative at you until you finally cave:

Even though they have rejected every request for a Proposition 2-1/2 override put before them, Shrewsbury voters will again be asked to approve a $1.5 million proposal that would eliminate some school fees and potentially save jobs.

The call for the tax increase is slated for the May 6 town ballot.

Last May, a $5 million override was narrowly rejected, 5,568 to 5,160, in an election that drew 52 percent of Shrewsbury’s registered voters. In 2004 and 2005, overrides were rejected by large margins. The town has never approved raising taxes by overriding Proposition 2-1/2, a state law that limits annual increases to 2.5 percent of a community’s total tax levy.

The Tough Sell Of Tax Hikes

March 16, 2008

This article is about the current fiscal realities in Massachusetts municipalities, but let’s hope it’s the harbinger of a nationwide anti-tax trend — and not just for property taxes but for every tax scheme politicians and bureaucrats conceive in their twisted minds:

As homeowners across the region struggle to balance their checkbooks, municipal leaders are leery of asking them to shoulder higher tax bills to help balance their communities’ finances, especially in cities and towns where proposed increases were resoundingly defeated last year.

The resistance to taxes also is apparent in nearby Maine:

The Legislature is in the process of reviewing some tough cuts proposed by Governor John Baldacci to fill a $190 million hole in the budget. The temptation to raise taxes, however, appears to be a non-starter in the Senate, where several Democrats are joining with their Republican colleagues and saying “no.”

Can you say anti-tax revolution?!!!

The Tax Hikers Of Evanston

February 29, 2008

The good people of Evanston, Ill., awoke to some bad news yesterday:

The Evanston City Council voted 8-1 Wednesday to raise its portion of Evanston’s property taxes by 7.02 percent, an amount Ald. Ann Rainey (8th) said was the highest in the more than 20 years she has been involved in Evanston politics.

Oh, and remind me never to move near the city but get a job within it:

Some of the changes voted on by the council Wednesday night include an $80 vehicle registration fee increase for non-residents who wish to park in Evanston.

Field Of Tax-Cut Dreams

February 14, 2008

Oh, to live in Iowa, specifically Burlington, Iowa, where Councilman Tim Scott shared this bit of tax news Tuesday: “The folks of Burlington all across the board should see a reduction in their property taxes.”

Contrast that with Taxachussetts, where House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi thinks a tax cut is a good idea as long as you replace it with another tax increase. Isn’t that kind of like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

‘These Taxes Are A Killer’

January 27, 2008

That’s what Mendon, Mass., resident Russ Gregoire said upon opening his third-quarter property tax bill. He voted against the increases that have increased taxes in Mendon 10.27 percent. Taxation with representation certainly hasn’t been kind to him.

The Upside Of A Down Housing Market

January 26, 2008

I used to think that buying a home was a smart financial move because mortgage payments didn’t increase every year like rent. Silly me, I left the greedy government out of the home-ownership equation.

Ever since we bought our first home in 1997, our mortgage payment has increased every year because of property taxes. As our property increased in value, the taxes pegged to that value did as well. That reality has been a serious pain in our family budget the past few years because of skyrocketing property assessments in Northern Virginia.

These days the housing market is in the tank. That’s never a good thing, but there is an upside to it: lower taxes. We were pleasantly surprised to receive a hefty rebate from our escrow account yesterday.

The government is sure to get a slice eventually, though. We can either splurge by spending our windfall — and paying sales taxes. Or we can dump it into a savings account — and pay taxes a year from now on the interest we earn.

The Property Tax Grab

January 17, 2008

There was a time when the U.S. government gave land to people. These days, local governments use land as another excuse to grab money from the people’s wallets.

I know because we received our latest mortgage statement this week, and it includes the year-to-date taxes paid for all of 2007. The total: $4,363.92.

Ouch!

The good news is that Uncle Sam currently offers a tax write-off for property taxes. But I’d just as leave have the money to spend on the many home repairs we can’t afford because the government makes us pay so much for the privilege of home ownership.