Friday, September 05, 2003

Richard A. Epstein: "Classical, Liberal, Rational" writes in the Wall Street Journal

Please note that Richard lumps zoning in with minimum wages and "progressive" taxation as one of the evils of the modern "welfare" state. He does not go into it, but actually zoning and land-use planning in general (ruled over by soviet-style committees of busybodies quite reminiscent of the neighborhood soviet goon-squads depicted in Dr. Zhivago which aroze to divvy up the spoils in post revolution Russia) is one of the more corrupting institutions in modern day America, pitting land owner against land owner in a race to use the political means of coercion and violence to trump the marketplace.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Proponents of tax plan raise more than opponents:

What big companies what to raise taxes in Alabama?: "Big contributions to the Alabama Partnership for Progress included: $800,000 from the Business Council of Alabama lobbying organization; $250,000 from Anheuser Busch; $250,000 from the Drummond Co.; $200,000 from EBSCO Industries; $150,000 from BellSouth; $100,000 from Protective Life Insurance Co.; and $100,000 from Birmingham businessman Phillip McWane."
State Allows Growing Trend of Eating At Home

WASHINGTON, DC - After much heated debate on the house floor, legislation was passed today to allow a growing number of families to cook meals for their families in their homes. The children must have annual physical examinations to assure proper growth and weight gain. Attempts to require weekly meal plans and monthly kitchen inspections were voted down.

A spokesperson from the National Association of Nutritionists (NANs) condemns this decision. "These children are being denied the rich socialization and diversity that is an essential part of the eating process. Without the proper nutritional background, it is impossible for the average person to feed their own children. We, as child advocates, see this as a step backwards and speak out for the sake of the children who cannot speak for themselves."


There is a lot of discussion and question about what will and what will not be taxed under the new tax proposed by Governor Riley on 'services and repairs.' It is so unclear that a provision was added in the legislation directing the department of revenue to issue regulations on or before October 1, 2003 providing guidance for the services tax - after the vote. Most of what you hear is about automobile repairs. No one has been able to clearly define what will be subject to the new tax but generally here is my best guess.

A tax on services, repairs, and installation will be due on any tangible property where you paid sales tax on the purchase of the property. That means that if you paid sales tax on the purchase you will pay sales tax for any subsequent service, repair, or installation costs for/to that purchased item. This will include but not be limited to:

Vehicle repairs of every kind - tune ups, air conditioners, transmissions, oil changes, radiator flushes, wheel balancing and rotation, brakes, or just about any kind of service or repair to an automobile;

Motorcycles - similar repairs and services to automobiles;

Farmers; repairs to farm implements used in the farming business - (this is a gray area and might be at a lower rate and could mean that on some of the larger equipment where the repair bill can be tremendous, the farmer will probably attempt to make the repairs in-house instead of taking to the regular repair provider);

Household equipment - lawnmowers, riding mowers, chain saws, trimmers, brush cutters, pressure washers, etc.

Appliances - cook stoves, ovens, window air conditioners, bathroom and kitchen plumbing fixtures - maybe?; washing machines, dryers;

Electronic Equipment - TVs, Video players and recorders, computers and all related computer equipment, stereos, telephones, etc.;

...and the list can go on and on.

The state portion of the tax will be 4%. There will be a windfall to cities and counties because they will be authorized to collect this new tax at the local level. In many cities a total of 8% to 10% will be charged. Local governments will also see a windfall in property taxes. So not all of the new taxes will go to state government. Could this be why you see elected officials endorsing the plan? And - that money will go unearmarked to city and county budgets to be spent as the local politicians want!

In addition, there will be an increase in state tax on the purchase of automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, mobile homes...

There will be an increase in the state tax when you purchase your tag each year...

There will be an increase on all tobacco products...

There will be a new tax on all lubricating oils...

And have you noticed that many of the business organizations supporting this measure are the same ones who were proponents of constitutional reform? When is the last time you heard anything about constitutional reform? It appears that it just turned into "tax" reform in the form of tax increases. These are the same people who talk about the negatives of the "regressive" sales tax, and now an additional "regressive" tax is being proposed in the form of this "services" tax? Whatever ones view is on constitutional reform, and I for one like the fact that the present constitution at least forces a vote on many tax increases, well

...either way be sure to vote NO on this tax increase - AND REMEMBER EVERY VOTE IS IMPORTANT!

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Thou shalt pay more taxes
Doug Bandow

WASHINGTON - It has long been said that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Today, religion plays that role. At least it does for Gov. Bob Riley of Alabama, who is pushing a massive tax hike in the name of God.