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Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

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Old 04-09-08, 03:11 PM   #1
mrpayroll
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California Bill Seeks To Tax Downloads

http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/20...-tax-downloads

Quote:
By Mike Sachoff - Wed, 04/09/2008 - 12:18pm.

Faces opposition

California Assemblyman Charles Calderon (D-City of Industry) wants to impose a sales tax on music and movies downloaded from the Internet in order to ease the states budget shortfall.

Calderon's proposal would raise the cost of an iTunes download from 99 cents to $1.07. He believes the Board of Equalization should update a 75-year-old law that authorizes sales-tax collections on tangible personal property. Music and movies downloaded off the Internet are not considered tangible goods.

"The notion of taxing tangible, physical property is really an industrial-era construct when we made widgets and sold widgets," Calderon said Friday. "Now it's not about widgets, it's about information, and selling information and moving information."

His proposal is being criticized by Republicans who are against any tax increases to solve the states $8 billion shortfall. "One of the growing parts of our economy, tech online and Internet, is something we should encourage without having these types of taxes," Assemblyman Guy Houston, R-Livermore told the Mercury News.

The Board of Equalization says state and local revenues would increase by about $114 million a year, while Calderon's estimate, which would include pornography downloads, is around $500 million.

His bill, AB 1956, goes before a tax and revenue committee hearing April 14, but some members of the Board of Equalization, the regional commission that administers the state's tax programs, have said they are opposed to the bill.

If the board were to redefine downloads as tangible property, transactions would be subjected to an automatic tax not authorized by the Legislature, which could lead to a legal challenge according to board member Michelle Steel.

"When you charge these taxes, all these e-commerces are going to move outside of California," predicted Steel, a Republican from Orange County. "California is the high-tech state; why would you want to kick them out?"

$114 or $500 million isn't going to come close to helping the $8B budget shortfall.

Chris
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Old 04-09-08, 03:14 PM   #2
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Huh? Am I the only one who already pays taxes on iTunes downloads?

Not that I really use iTunes much these days.
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Old 04-09-08, 03:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger
Huh? Am I the only one who already pays taxes on iTunes downloads?

Not that I really use iTunes much these days.
Sucker!

Chris
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Old 04-09-08, 03:58 PM   #4
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So typical of govt. No amount is ever enough.
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Old 04-09-08, 04:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mrpayroll
Sucker!

Chris
Yeah, I know, the state even had a budget surprlus and wanted to spend it away. La sucks. I can't wait to move to Florida - at least there's no income tax there.
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Old 04-09-08, 04:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bhk
So typical of govt. No amount is ever enough.
Just for you. See this one before?


http://www.coxandforkum.com/archives/2003_11.html
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Old 04-09-08, 05:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ranger
Yeah, I know, the state even had a budget surprlus and wanted to spend it away. La sucks. I can't wait to move to Florida - at least there's no income tax there.
But then you'd have to worry about this.

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Old 04-09-08, 05:22 PM   #8
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I'm surprised California hasn't been taxing this already.
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Old 04-09-08, 08:29 PM   #9
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http://www.charlotte.com/breaking_ne...ry/571180.html
Quote:
Posted on Tue, Apr. 08, 2008
15% hike in water rate approved
JULIA OLIVER
It's official, Charlotte-Mecklenburg water and sewer customers: Your rates will go up because you conserved.
Charlotte City Council approved an unusually steep water and sewer rate hike Monday -- double the normal annual increase -- to make up for lower water sales in recent months, as the region has stopped lawn watering.

The vote was 7-3, and several council members in support of the motion complained that they had little choice. They said the utility department should have warned them earlier of a revenue crisis brought on by the area's record drought.

"We're in a box, and it distresses me," said Republican councilman John Lassiter. "I feel like there should have been a lot more disclosure to this council prior to 30 days ago."

Republican Warren Cooksey joined Lassiter in supporting the increase, which was first proposed in March. Democrats Susan Burgess, Anthony Foxx, Michael Barnes, Nancy Carter and James Mitchell also voted for it.

Republicans Andy Dulin and Edwin Peacock and Democrat Warren Turner voted against the rate increase. Democrat Patsy Kinsey was absent.

The rate change is scheduled to happen in two stages: a 15 percent increase beginning May 1 to make up for this fiscal year's shortfall, followed by a slight drop July 1 for the coming fiscal year.

The average user's monthly bill -- for about 6,000 gallons, according to department calculations -- will go from the current $40 to $45.96, through the end of June. It will then decrease to $45.60 until June 2009. Officials believe water restrictions will be further relaxed in February, increasing revenues.

Though that month-to-month increase may sound manageable, the overall effect is striking: It equals more than a 7 percent city property tax hike on a $200,000 home.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities, which serves about 250,000 customers across the county, requested the higher rates to fend off an expected $50 million shortfall through the end of fiscal 2009. Since lawn irrigation was banned in September, the department has seen revenues drop far below normal, officials said. Another factor has been the building slowdown, which has reduced new connection fees.

Utility Director Doug Bean's initial request to the City Council was for a 16 percent increase in rates. Bean said that without the rate hike, the department's bond rating could suffer, which would cost millions of dollars in interest.

The council delayed a vote on the issue March 24, asking for cost-cutting possibilities and more information.

Then last week, Charlotte began allowing once-a-week lawn watering, and Bean reduced his request. The limited irrigation is expected to bring in about $6 million through the end of the next fiscal year, Bean said.

Council members' discussion of water rates and conservation measures Monday lasted nearly two hours. Several members asked pointed questions of Bean, including Mayor Pat McCrory, who suggested car-washing should be allowed under the revised water restrictions.

Bean said he and other experts didn't think such a revision would send the right signal about conservation.

"So it was a public relations logic, not a logic based on science," McCrory shot back.

Peacock questioned the utility's argument that the increase was needed to preserve a top bond rating. He said the agencies setting the rating should be more forgiving in light of a record, "act of god" drought.

"We haven't done anything wrong. We've done everything right," Peacock said. "Do we not have the mercy to go to the rating agencies and explain to them that we are not doing anything to rock the apple cart?"

Finance Director Greg Gaskins said that would have no impact.

On the other hand, Burgess recounted opening her water bill to discover that the amount of water she used had gone down.

"It is possible to have a decrease," she said. "If we're all conscientious, it doesn't have to be terrible news."

Lassiter said the council should take a closer look at the overall utility budget in coming weeks. With rates going up on the heels of customer conservation, he said: "Everybody's a little sensitive. And we need to step back and look at, what is the way we are operating?"

The council voted unanimously to examine certain aspects of the utility -- including the way it decides what to build and how to pay for capital projects -- during ongoing city budget discussions.
This is what these people get for conserving like good citizens just like the govt. told them to. Instead of getting a break, they get screwed because governments think that all the money a person earns by rights belong to the govt. It's up to the govt. to decide how much they let you keep. If you think it's too little, shut up, that money is the govt's.
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Old 04-09-08, 08:34 PM   #10
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^^^That's exactly why I don't recycle much.

And Charles Calderon is a dumbass.
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Old 04-11-08, 07:34 AM   #11
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This thread makes Baby Ahnold cry.

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Old 04-12-08, 08:59 PM   #12
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New York looks like their Amazon purchases will be taxed.
http://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/...n+New+York.htm
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Old 04-12-08, 09:23 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ranger
New York looks like their Amazon purchases will be taxed.
http://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/...n+New+York.htm
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Old 04-12-08, 09:31 PM   #14
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I'm pretty sure California already taxes iTunes downloads as the Apple Corporation is headquarted in California and have numerous physical retail presences in the state, so the article is incorrect in regards to iTunes.
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Old 05-02-08, 11:54 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
Still some hope. Found this at slashdot.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/0...ref=technology

Quote:
Amazon Sues New York State to Void Sales Tax Rules

By Saul Hansell

Before the ink on the bill has even dried, Amazon.com has filed a suit challenging New York State’s new law that forces online retailers to collect sales taxes on shipments to state residents.

On Friday, Amazon filed a complaint in New York Supreme Court in New York City, objecting to the law. The provision is meant to contribute about $50 million to the $122 billion budget that was passed by the state legislature April 9 and signed by Gov. David A. Paterson last week.

The issue isn’t whether people should pay taxes when they buy goods from out-of-state sellers like Amazon, which is based in Seattle. For decades, New York and other states have required their residents to pay use tax — equivalent to sales tax — on out-of-state purchases for which sales tax wasn’t collected.

The question is whether the vendors must collect those taxes on behalf of the state. Generally, only those companies that have a physical presence, like an office or store, in the state of the purchase are required to collect the taxes.

The new law is based on a novel definition of what constitutes a presence in the state: It includes any Web site based in the state that earns a referral fee for sending customers to an online retailer. Amazon has hundreds of thousands of affiliates—from big publishers to tiny blogs—that feature links to its products. It says thousands of those have given an address in New York State, although it does not verify the addresses.

The state law says that if even one of those affiliates is in New York, Amazon must collect sales tax on everything sold in the state, even if it is not sold through the affiliate. This is an extension of an existing rule that companies that employ independent agents or representatives to solicit business must collect sales taxes for the state.

Amazon’s suit challenges the constitutionality of this interpretation and seeks a declaratory judgment that it is invalid. (Wired magazine posted a copy of the complaint here.)

Amazon’s complaint argues that the statue is “overly broad and vague.” It is impossible, Amazon wrote, for it to determine which of its affiliates are actually in New York State.

Amazon says that its affiliates are not agents but simply sites on which it places advertising. The commissions it pays the sites are simply one method of paying for those ads, it argued.

The online retailer further asserted that the new rules violated the equal protection clause of the constitution because it specifically targeted Amazon. “It was carefully crafted to increase state tax revenues by forcing Amazon to collect sales and use taxes,” the complaint says, noting that “state officials have described the statute as the ‘Amazon Tax.’ “

Tom Bergin, a spokesman for the New York State Department of Taxation, said that department would not comment on the suit until it filed a formal reply with the court. The state’s defense will be coordinated by the New York attorney general’s office.
Go Amazon!
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Old 05-02-08, 11:58 AM   #16
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Yeah, I read that on Gothamist this morning. I think Amazon has a good case. The referral thing and singling out Amazon are both bullshit.

How about lowering the sales tax instead, New York?
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Old 05-02-08, 12:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
How about lowering the sales tax instead, New York?
I'm sorry, that doesn't make any sense.
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Old 05-02-08, 12:07 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
I'm sorry, that doesn't make any sense.
People buy things on Amazon to avoid sales tax. Things like DVDs, which aren't very expensive. If the sales tax was at a more reasonable rate, people might not do this as often.
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Old 05-02-08, 12:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
People buy things on Amazon to avoid sales tax. Things like DVDs, which aren't very expensive. If the sales tax was at a more reasonable rate, people might not do this as often.
My point was that expecting a state like NY to lower its sales tax, while reasonable, is also nonsensical.
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Old 05-02-08, 12:15 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
My point was that expecting a state like NY to lower its sales tax, while reasonable, is also nonsensical.
Oh. Well, yeah.
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Old 05-02-08, 12:19 PM   #21
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Californina has built more than 20 new prison facilities since the mid 1980s, when they had built less than 10 in the entire state history prior.

They're currently in the midst of a $15 BILLION reform for increased space and improved penal healthcare.

That's on top of the $10-15 Billion or so already being spent annually for the 170,000+ inmates.

I wonder how they could save some money?
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Old 05-02-08, 12:21 PM   #22
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I wonder how they could save some money?
Ship the huge number of illegal aliens in prison back to their home countries?
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Old 05-02-08, 12:49 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by bhk
So typical of govt. No amount is ever enough.
But...what if it's for the children?! Don't you care about the children?
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Old 05-02-08, 12:50 PM   #24
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Amazon should refuse to sell to anyone in NY while that law is in effect. Let the citizens of that state put pressure on their representatives.
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Old 05-02-08, 01:33 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by sracer
Amazon should refuse to sell to anyone in NY while that law is in effect. Let the citizens of that state put pressure on their representatives.
That makes no sense. Amazon isn't going to walk away from all that revenue.
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