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03 March 2009

more funnies(stolen forward, author unk)

Hold on to Your Wallet ...
In the midst of this economic meltdown, federal, state and local governments are all scrambling to find ways to generate more revenue and close their budget shortfalls -- and fast. Unfortunately, one way they tend to do this is by raising taxes and fees.
Personal finance experts Ken and Daria Dolan of Dolans.com tell you to get ready for an onslaught of new taxes coming your way soon. Click through our gallery to see what you may expect, if these pass.
"Sin" TaxesSo-called "sin" taxes are on the hit list for many state and local governments, raising taxes on everything from cigarettes to alcohol. New York is even toying with an 18% tax on non-diet soda, dubbed an "obesity tax," capable of raising $400 million a year. If the governor of Wisconsin has his way, cigarette taxes will go up 75 cents a pack! The increase will generate $300 million for the state over two years. In Massachusetts, the governor is considering a new 5 percent sales tax on beer. This and other "wellness" taxes could cost taxpayers as much as $150 million each year!
AutomobileAmericans have long had a love affair with their cars, but the cost of that romance is about to go up.
Although California scrapped plans to increase its fuel tax by 12 cents, Massachusetts is moving ahead with a 19-cent increase. If you fill up a 16-gallon tank three times a month, you’ll pay an additional $110 per year. Other states are also considering an increase.
Entertainment Taxes
Even though some are calling it the "iPod tax," the new "digital download tax" actually covers all downloaded entertainment (music, movies, and games).
More than a dozen states have already embraced the tax, which generally uses the same rate as a state’s sales tax. The cost to Wisconsin residents alone? Over $11 million during the next two years. New York is also looking at a new 8 percent tax that would apply to ALL forms of entertainment--including ski lift tickets and lessons.
Mobile Phones and
Cable/Satellite TV
Your cell phone and cable (or satellite) bills have probably already been going up without fail, but they’re about to go up even more. States find it very easy to extract more money from these services for three simple reasons: First, people are addicted. It’s very hard for people to give up their cell phone or favorite cable shows. Second, someone other than the government handles the billing and collects the money. Third, most people don’t pay much attention to the tax line item on your bill.
Personal Care & Services
The cost of "looking good" is about to go up, too... with some state governments thinking about making a number of services subject to their state's sales tax. Examples include beauty salon services, haircuts, and gym memberships. In some states, certain types of clothing are currently free of sales tax. As governments try to raise more money, though, look for these exemptions to disappear, too.
Car Rental Taxes
If you thought the taxes on rental cars were already outrageous, you ain't seen nothin' yet. In Colorado, they're looking at implementing a $2-a-day tax on car rentals. And, in Wisconsin, there was talk of bumping up the tax from its current $2 level to--hold on to your hat--$15 per day!
Car rental taxes are an easy target for increased taxes because many cars are rented by business travelers or consumers being reimbursed by an insurance company. Needless to say, the car rental companies are opposed.
License and User Fees
All of these new taxes are, unfortunately, just the tip of the iceberg. The real fun begins when you look at all of the other smaller license and user fees that many towns, cities, counties and states charge. Take, for example, Connecticut, which has considered doubling the cost of a fishing license — from $20 to $40. Or the state’s proposed $30 charge to fish in Long Island Sound (for which there is currently no charge whatsoever)! Or consider Huntingon, West Virginia, which is thinking about increasing its city user fee from $2 a week to $3, which would add up to an extra $1.6
Property Tax Increases
Thanks to revenue shortfalls, local governments across the U.S. are raising property-tax rates. And unfortunately, we’re probably going to see more and more of this. A typical case in point: In the Northampton area of Pennsylvania, property taxes are proposed to go up 4%, adding over $80 million in revenue for salaries, textbooks and other fixed items. This will also be the 10th year in a row that residents will have their property taxes increased. Read any and all notices from your tax assessor’s office closely!
New "Punitive" Penalties
Though it's not a "tax," here’s another example of higher fees coming your way. Part of California's budget "solution" is a 20 percent penalty for under-estimating your state income taxes. We're not talking about tax evasion here, just about a simple tax error--and the penalty has a no-excuse policy to boot! But cha-CHING! That's an automatic $1.6 billion in new revenues for the state. Good for government, bad for businesses and hard-working taxpayers like us. How Much Will It All Cost?
If all of New York's new taxes and fees are approved, one group of Republican Senators calculates that the averagecost to a New York household would be over $3,000 per year. That's certainly a lot of cash out of your pocket and into the government's. Thankfully, not all of these taxes will pass, but there is little doubt that you can expect more federal, state, and local taxes and fees that will separate you from your money, one dollar at a time.

1 comment:

western mass. man said...

Kinda puts the damper on Obaminations stimulus package. Screw the $13.00 I will see in my paycheck, just send it to Deval.