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12Oaks's avatar

What has been proposed to be taxed that made you say "What kind of crap tax could they try to come up with next?"?

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17 Answers

2CDenzy's avatar


We fixed that one though.

bkcunningham's avatar

The federal government taxes “illegal payments, bribes and kickbacks” and these are “classified as a trade or business expense under section 162 of the Internal Revenue Code”,,id=180962,00.html

ETpro's avatar

Ha! A toilet-paper tax is a bit hillarous, but truth told, cities do have to fund sewer projects, and this is a sort of “consumption” tax on doing so. I recognize we have to pay for the things government provides and that we find so convenient about modern life. We could dial our tax system back to what we had in the 18th century and just pretend roads never crumble or gt pot holes, and no new ones will ever need to be built. We could pretend that nuclear energy doesn’t sxist, so we need no Nuclear Regulatory Agency or defenses against nuclear weapons. We could pretend all sorts of things are just like they were 200 years ago—or that we would be perfectly happy with the government services delivered back then. But of course, pretending doesn’t affect reality, does it?

What I dislike is taxes aimed at the poorest or least able to pay—regressive taxation aimed at transferring wealth from the poor and middle class to millionaires and billionaires. That irks me. It leaves me wondering just how rich somebody has to get before they can spare even a dime for anybody else.

zenvelo's avatar

San Francisco tried to add a 5% sales tax on all stock transactions in the city, based on the full value of the shares traded. So to break even on a stock investment, you’d have to have the stock go up 5% before you could make a profit. It showed a fundamental ignorance on how the market works.

YARNLADY's avatar

California is proposing taxing items purchased on the computer, no matter where they come from, if they are shipped into the state.

ETpro's avatar

@zenvelo Definitely a bad idea. And that brings out another pet peeve in taxation. I dislike taxes that pick on a single segment when there is no connection with the tax and a specific service that only users of that taxed item need. Gasoline taxes make sense. They tax all users of our roads and help maintain and build roads. Same goes for the toilet paper tax linked in the Question Details. It sounds silly, but it does tax consumption of a product to provide a government service that is vital and is tied to use of that product. The stock transaction tax instead just targets one segment of society with no connection to any government service only they require. That’s discriminatory taxation.

zenvelo's avatar

@YARNLADY That tax already exists, it’s the state sales tax. California has not been able to collect it from entities that do not have a physical presence in the state. Retailers with a physical presence feel it is a competitive issue, since they are at a 9% disadvantage. Also, California has taken a substantial hit on sales tax collection with so much commerce diverted to online retailers.

bobbinhood's avatar

@ETpro The way you’re talking about this makes me wonder if you think everyone that uses toilet paper also uses the sewer? Everybody that lives out in the country has to pay for and maintain their own septic systems. It seems like city sewers should be funded by a tax that is restricted to city dwellers. Otherwise, country people have to pay for their own septic system and for the system used in the city.

bobbinhood's avatar

Personally, I think the death tax is absurd.

Your question prompted me to do a bit of research and see what I could find. I found that the following are all taxed in different places:
naming your baby a name that had never been used (Sweeden)
playing card (Alabama)
beards (Russia)
illegal drug possession (11 states)
profit from illegal drug dealing (I think that’s the whole U.S.)
nudity (Utah)
bribes received (U.S.)
property you have stolen (U.S.)

This one’s my favorite: cow flatulence (Ireland, Denmark, and other EU nations)

source 1
source 2

Michael_Huntington's avatar

The “fat tax”

ETpro's avatar

@bobbinhood Since it was a city tax, not state or federal, I would expect that those living outside the city don’t pay it.

@bobbinhood That is actually an estate tax, and it is meant to prevent massive generational wealth from building up in a handful of families, leaveing little or nothing for the vast majority of people in the country. The greed-0driven billionaires like the Koch Brothers and Rupert Burdoch funded PR firms to come up tith that “death tax” slogan to avarage people against it so they could further loot the middle class.

It only applies to estates in excess of $10,000,000 currently. And right now, the wealthiest 400 families in the USA own more financial wealth than the bottom 50% of us—155,000,000. But they have to fund think tanks and PR firms to dupe the majority into voting to let them gather FAR more. Do we really want to make America a banana repoblic just to satisfy a few incredibly billionaires? The Koch brothers made $9 billion dollars last year, but that’s not nearly enough for them. They want it all.

bobbinhood's avatar

@ETpro Perhaps those outside the city wouldn’t pay it, but usually those people have to go into the city to do their shopping if they don’t want to pay the exorbitant prices at the corner store. I’ve never spent time around Omaha, so it might be a bit different there, but the idea still makes me uneasy.

You’ve made it clear that I need to research the estate tax a bit more. Everything I’ve heard makes it sound like it applies to virtually everyone/everything, and like it ruins family farms and small businesses. Even if that’s not the case, I’m not much for forced redistribution of wealth, but I’m also not sure I understand the consequences of that position in this case. Like I said, I need to study. Thank you for your response. I appreciate being made to think and reevaluate.

12Oaks's avatar

Personally, I’m against any tax where the purpose is to prevent wealth or to punish the wealthy for daring to be wealthy.

ETpro's avatar

@bobbinhood Go figure. I live in downtown Boston, and to get cheap toilet paper I have to drive out to the suburbs to a WalMart of to the Costco. There are no discount chains in the city. Land’s too expensive for the sprawling store and parking needed. I suppose there is some fairness for those who drive into a city to save on toilet paper. They occasionally leave a load while they are there. :-)

@12Oaks I certainly did not advocate preventing wealth or punishing anyone for their success. What I said is preventing generational wealth from growing ever larger in a small number of hands. Every country that sets its tax structure in a regressive fashion and does not employ an estate tax ends up shortly being a banana republic. I can’t conceive why any rational American would want the nation to become a banana republic unless they are greedy, amoral and already so wealthy they know they will end up one of the rulling elite if only they can loot the 99% who are poorer then them.

Trojans40's avatar

Taxes on paying your taxes.

ETpro's avatar

@Trojans40 Call it whatever you like. We either have to pay for the services we want from government, or run up massive debt in which case we must not only pay for the services, but the interest on the debt.

Nullo's avatar

A lot of Europe has some kind of television tax. Also called a license, which I find considerably more amusing. License to drive, license to kill, license… to watch television. The idea is to fund public television, which kinda sucks if you don’t watch public television.

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