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Taxes On Cell Phones Hit All-Time High 171

adeelarshad82 writes "As a breakdown of the top ten states with the highest and lowest taxes shows, the wireless consumers in Nebraska, Washington, and New York pay more than 20 percent of their wireless bills in taxes and fees, mostly due to the proliferation of archaic or duplicated surcharges. Experts from KSE Partners spent five years monitoring the federal, state, and local taxes imposed on wireless consumers. According to their analysis, wireless taxes grew three times faster than the retail sales rate between 2007 and 2010. The reason behind this is that legislators and Congressmen are targeting the wireless industry for tax money to relieve the burden from more recession-starved industries. In fact, a few states even tax wireless consumers for non wireless-related projects; for instance, Utah funds its poison-control centers with a poison-control surcharge found on wireless bills, and in 2009 Wisconsin imposed a police and fire protection fee to subsidize local departments."

Officials Use Google Earth To Find Unlicensed Pools Screenshot-sm 650

Officials in Riverhead, New York are using Google Earth to root out the owners of unlicensed pools. So far they've found 250 illegal pools and collected $75,000 in fines and fees. Of course not everyone thinks that a city should be spending time looking at aerial pictures of backyards. from the article: "Lillie Coney, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, DC, said Google Earth was promoted as an aid to curious travelers but has become a tool for cash-hungry local governments. 'The technology is going so far ahead of what people think is possible, and there is too little discussion about community norms,' she said."

GPS-Based System For Driving Tax Being Field Tested 891

An anonymous reader writes "Apparently, since gas consumption is going down and fuel efficient cars are becoming more popular, the government is looking into a new form of taxation to create revenue for transportation projects. This new system is a 'by-the-mile tax,' requiring GPS in cars so it can track the mileage. Once a month, the data gets uploaded to a billing center and you are conveniently charged for how much you drove. 'A federal commission, after a two-year study, concluded earlier this year that the road tax was the "best path forward" to keep revenues flowing to highway and transportation projects, and could be an important new tool to help manage traffic and relieve congestion. ... The commission pegged 2020 as the year for the federal fuel tax, currently 18.5 cents a gallon, to be phased out and replaced by a road tax. One estimate of a road tax that would cover the current federal and state fuel taxes is 1 to 2 cents per mile for cars and light trucks.'"

Creative Capitalism Gets Microsoft $528M Tax Break 545

NewsCloud writes "Microsoft makes products in Washington but records software sales to PC makers and high-volume customers through an operation in Nevada, where there is no corporate tax. So Washington has missed out on more than half a billion in taxes; revenue it could use for badly needed infrastructure needs — such as the needed replacement of the 520 bridge which connects Seattle ... to Microsoft. Reported by Slashdot in 2004, the numbers have increased with the company's growth to approx. $76M in savings last year alone. The author questions the legality of the practice given Microsoft's 35,500+ employees and 11.2 million square feet of real estate in Washington state."

The gent who wakes up and finds himself a success hasn't been asleep.