Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Tax ‘Creativity’ In California

June 10, 2009

Unions in California are doing their best to see that the state replaces Massachusetts (nicknamed “Taxachusetts”) as the place best known for taxes.

The Golden State is in dire financial straits, and even though voters there sent a loud-and-clear message that they don’t want new or higher taxes, that’s exactly what the American Federation of State County Municipal Employees is urging lawmakers to impose.

The list of proposed taxes is comical enough that Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, a Republican Senate candidate for the U.S. Senate in next year’s race, repackaged it online into a petition against “31 Flavors Of New Taxes For California!

AFSCME wants to raise money by imposing new or higher taxes on sales, services, income, gas, alcohol, property, businesses, software, research, stocks and much more. Read the whole list — and be thankful if you don’t live in California.

[Cross-posted at The Enlightened Redneck]

North Carolina Plans Mileage Tax

December 18, 2008

Give politicians enough time and they’ll find 100 different ways to tax each and every good and service in the American economy. North Carolina’s call for a mileage tax based on how far people drive is the latest proof. The mileage tax would be an add-on to the regular gas tax.

The Tax Maker

November 24, 2008

Most people know Arnold Schwarzenegger as “The Terminator” from his days in Hollywood, but by the time he leaves office as governor of California, he may be remembered instead as “The Tax Maker.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Schwarzenegger appears ready to follow the hypocritical lead of supposedly anti-tax Republicans in the state by tripling the fees for vehicle registration. The man he replaced as governor, Gray Davis, supported the same idea and was removed from office.

But Schwarzenegger doesn’t want to stop there. He wants to impose a Fido fee on pets, too, by applying the Golden State’s sales and use tax to veterinary services. Those taxes also would be added to appliance and furniture repair, vehicle repair, and golf.

If you live in California, you’ll be lucky to see any good or service free of new or heavier taxation when The Tax Maker leaves office. Maybe Aunt Virginia ain’t so bad after all.

(Hat tip to Michelle Malkin)

I’d Rather Live In Russia

November 19, 2008

The 22-year-old winner of the World Series of Poker has a rude tax awakening before him when he returns home to Denmark.

Of the nearly $9.2 million he won, he will have to pay 73 percent in taxes and will get to keep a mere $2.5 million for all of his hard gambling. The second-place finisher, a Russian, won $5.8 million but will net more than $5 million after he pays taxes.

I don’t gamble, but if I did, I’d rather live in Russia than Denmark. Russia’s flat tax lets rich people keep more of their money. Who’d have thunk it?

Yet another reason to support a flat tax in America. (Hat tip, Club For Growth)

UPDATE: Also via The Club For Growth, you can see a rundown of the tax bite for all of the winners at Taxable Talk, plus commentary on the sin taxes against gambling at Card Player.

About That Gas-Tax ‘Holiday’

May 5, 2008

Proposals to give Americans a break from gasoline taxes this summer — and perhaps to offset it with a “windfall profits tax” on oil companies — are being roundly criticized by economic experts and pundits across the country. Here’s a selection for your reading pleasure:

Charlotte Observer: “This is flimflam work. The plan can only hope to provide small and limited relief. … This is still sleight-of-hand chicanery. Sen. Barack Obama … is right to oppose it. So should the rest of us. What’s needed is a president with a practical energy policy, not one who’s prone to pander.”

The Chicago Tribune: “[A] three-month break is too brief to elicit much response from refiners. They would more likely pocket the difference, leaving motorists no better off.”

Christian Science Monitor: “The tax break would add to the federal deficit. Gas-tax revenues normally go to the Highway Trust Fund, which is used to maintain and improve the highway and public transit systems.”

Dallas Morning News: “The McCain-Clinton ‘gas-tax holiday’ would be celebrated most fervently in the corporate offices of oil companies and in Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and the other oil-producing nations. Your 18-cent ‘discount’? That would degrade and probably disappear faster than you could say ‘supply and demand.'”

Houston Chronicle: “What we have is a supply problem. It just seems strange to me that the people who scream the loudest about our dependence on foreign oil, Sen. Clinton and Speaker Pelosi among them, are the very ones who do everything they can to suppress production from domestic sources with repressive restrictions on offshore drilling and the building of new refineries.”

The Mercury News: “For politicians to gain any real traction, they should bring something beyond a say-anything-for-a-vote pipe dream to the table. Be bold and call for a permanent end to the federal fuel tax.”

Miami Herald: “The tax holiday — give-away, to call it by its real name — is a classic Washington palliative. It creates the illusion that the politicians are making the problem go away when, instead, they are actually making the problem worse. … [I]t does nothing to cure the underlying problem, which consists of an addiction to cheap gasoline coupled with wasteful habits like driving gas-guzzlers instead of gas-savers.”

— The Star Tribune in Minnesota: “The gas tax holiday is an empty political gesture that makes little sense. It wouldn’t put enough in consumers’ pockets to stimulate a sluggish economy. It wouldn’t solve the underlying problems that are sending gas prices soaring toward $4. And, by artificially stimulating demand, many energy experts believe it could send pump prices even higher when the gas tax kicks back in.”

Tax Policy Blog: “ExxonMobil’s recent announcement of first quarter profits of $10.9 billion has prompted the predictable political demagoguery about “obscene” profits and the need for a new windfall profits tax. … If reporters were to dig just a bit deeper into the company’s earnings statement they would find that Exxon — like all the major domestic oil companies — directly pays or remits a staggering amount of taxes to governments both here and abroad.”

The Wall Street Journal: “We tried this windfall profits scheme in 1980. It backfired. The Congressional Research Service found in a 1990 analysis that the tax reduced domestic oil production by 3 percent to 6 percent and increased oil imports from OPEC by 8 percent to 16 percent.”

Get Your Taxes Out Of The Gutter

May 4, 2008

The gutter guys made their semi-annual trip to our house last month. The bill for their dirty work came in the mail a few days ago, and I was thrilled to see that no taxes are charged. We’ll pay $150 to Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning and nothing to Aunt Virginia. Woo-hoo!

The bill confirms my speculation earlier this year that services, unlike sales, aren’t taxed — at least not in Virginia. I’m sure the bureaucrats will get around to that idea eventually, but it’s nice to know that not every penny we spend is taxed.

That’s great to know because my wife took our three kids for haircuts this week. The tab was $54.96 (including $15 for the exorbitant tips that my generous wife likes to pay). Aunt Virginia got squat!