Archive for the ‘Use Taxes’ Category

Taxing The Convention Crowd

August 14, 2008

Municipalities in the Twin Cities region of Minnesota know an opportunity to tax when they see one. The Republican convention will be held there in a few weeks, and some visitors in the area for the quadrennial political party will be paying more to experience the festivities.

I’ll be among them. I received a “special press” credential to cover the convention for I’ll also be covering it for my day job as the executive producer of

So today I received this e-mail tax warning from the Republican Party:

The Minnesota Department of Revenue recently issued a tax change that will affect your hotel stay. Beginning July 1, 2008, the Minneapolis metropolitan area counties of Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, and Washington imposed a 0.25% transit sales and use tax, which will be used to fund the area’s transit system including light rail, commuter rail and bus rapid transit. Due to this change, the tax rate listed on your hotel confirmation may not be accurate. Please refer to your hotel folio upon your arrival or departure for the accurate tax rate that will be applied to your stay.

Thanks, Minnesota.


Paying For The Privilege Of Potholes

February 18, 2008

Reader Brian e-mails:

I was wondering if you were familiar with or know of those who have been burnt by the privilege of titling and licensing a car in West Virginia. When coming into WV from another state, you are required to pay 5 percent of the market value of your car in order to pay the licensing fees that allow you the honor of navigating the most treacherous roads in America.

When [my wife] Debra purchased her first car in Pennsylvania, not knowing the law in WV, she paid the sales tax for PA. Two weeks later when she moved to WV and went to get WV tags for her car, she was welcomed with a $500 privilege tax. Another fine example of money for nothing!

Yep, that sounds like something the bureaucrats in my home state would do.

I’ll bet it’s their attempt at collecting “use taxes,” those nasty penalties imposed on people (but rarely collected) who shop for tobacco and other goods across state borders because taxes are lower. That’s why so many brick-and-mortar store owners hate the Internet these days.