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Thread: Looking Forward to Reading This One

  1. #21
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    Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
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    Nashville, Tennessee
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman View Post
    And yet there are thousands of different schemes; sales taxes are become just another political toy for politicians and their activist allies.

    I've lost the argument for now, but the fairest we can be, when it comes to such a regressive tax, is to minimize it. Prohibit it on the 'net, greatly reduce it on the bricks & mortar places.
    Don't get me wrong: I'm all for cutting sales taxes. Bear ye in mind that I'm writing this from one of the highest sales tax locales in the country (the trade-off for having no state income tax).

    I just have a problem with picking winners and losers via the tax structure. Until relatively recently, we didn't do that around here. Pretty much everything was equally taxed (newspapers got an exemption, presumably because of First Amendment grounds, but little else; there was once a cap on the total sales tax for any single item, but that was dropped in the '80s). Then we wound up with a surplus one year and the legislature decided to lower the tax on "food" and "medicine" and some other things, but it's laughably unevenly-applied, and it has created all sorts of silly loopholes. A heat-it-up-when-you-get-home pizza at Kroger is taxed as "food" at the lower rate, but a heat-it-up-when-you-get-home sandwich, literally side-by-side with the pizza, made by the same Kroger deli, is taxed at the higher rate and isn't "food" because it's "prepared." They are literally the same thing: bread, pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, and some spices, and both were designed to be heated in the oven when one is at home, but they are taxed differently.

    This also means that OTC aspirin is taxed at the lower "medicine" rate, but prescription potassium supplements that I had to take prior to my first hip surgery were taxed at the higher rate because that was not considered "medicine" even though I had to have a pharmacist fill the Rx.

    The list goes on and on. The problem is just as I first stated: it is utterly impossible to define these things in such a fashion as to accurately tax them accordingly. If someone takes orthotricycline to manage menstruation, they are using that as medicine, but if they take it for the sole purpose of not getting pregnant, there's a valid argument that it's not being used as medicine in the traditional sense. So how do you tax it? Same goes for sildanifil: if you're taking it to control a heart condition, then clearly it's medicine, but if you're taking it so that you can get a woody, then it's not truly a medical use, at least in my opinion. So how do you tax it? AA batteries are taxed at the "regular" rate, but what if I'm using them in a blood pressure monitor that is necessary for my health? Isn't that a medical use and therefore they should be taxed at the "medicine" rate? But I might just as well be using those same batteries in my remote control.

    It doesn't take a great deal of imagination to see the myrad problems caused here. The only correct answer is to tax everything at the same rate no matter what it is or what it's purpose for the consumer. Keep that rate as low as possible, but make it equal across the board.
    Leftists have unquestionably demonstrated their hatred for due process, and Democrats have undeniably obstructed justice for, and thoroughly victim-shamed and smeared, Karen Monahan.

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  3. #22
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    Friday, November 1st, 2013
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    Toys for pols.

    Y'know, this wouldn't be possible in the olde days, before cash registers were loaded with software.

  4. #23
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    Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    It's going to be a big deal for small internet businesses, though, if they have to figure out state and local taxes for every customer that buys a product from them.

    My understanding is that there is accounting software that already has all this information, so perhaps it will not amount to much at all. We'll see.
    Yeah, it's not a big deal now. Quickbooks, Stone Edge, and CCH have had easy solutions for years and now there's a whole bunch of cheap software just for this.

    It's a pretty big deal for medium-size retailers who gain a distinct pricing edge by avoiding state sales tax but that's not an issue for the overall economy.
    "What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer."


    Time will tell.

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