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Comment: Re:4 cities... (Score 2) 71

by NotQuiteReal (#47936245) Attached to: Airbnb To Start Collecting Hotel Tax On Rentals In San Francisco
Yes, in Europe, the price stated, is the price you pay, but, at least while shopping via the Internet, it is common to point out that the VAT is included. For example, go to booking.com, select a European city, pick a random hotel and it will give the price - AND - the notation "Included 20% VAT" (London) or "Included 25% VAT" (Copenhagen), "Included: 6% VAT, Not included: € 2 city tax per person per night." (Bruges).

While it is nice to have an all-inclusive price, it is important to be transparent on the amount of taxes being paid. In Europe, just as in the US, taxes vary wildly state-by-state.

Comment: 4 cities... (Score 3, Informative) 71

by NotQuiteReal (#47933689) Attached to: Airbnb To Start Collecting Hotel Tax On Rentals In San Francisco
I live in California, but stayed in hotels in several other states in the last couple of weeks... 14% occupancy tax does seem high, but this is San Francisco, they love taxes up there...

Dallas = Room + 2% DTPID Fee + 7.1% City Tax + 6.1% State Tax
NYC = Room + Sales Tax 8.875% + Occupancy Tax 5.875% + Room Tax $2.00 + Room Unit Tax $1.55
Boston = Room + State Tax 5.7% + City Tax 6% + CCF Tax 2.75%
Philadelphia = Room + Lodging Tax 8.5% + Sales Tax 8%


In Europe they are much more civilized about it -- they just toss in some huge VAT tax (like 20%) and may or may not mention that it is "included" (how thoughtful of them.) In some places there are still more taxes - in Dublin Ireland, my hotel bill had the room fee, with VAT included, but also added "other local taxes and fees" amounting to 9.25% of that...

In general, the observation that taxing visitors is popular is accurate, and accelerating, it seems.

Comment: About 1/2 of 1 percent of their budget (Score 2) 245

by NotQuiteReal (#47894649) Attached to: City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

hopes to save 6 million Euro over five years by switching from Windows XP to Ubuntu Linux in all of its offices. The move will mean installing the open source operating system on 8,300 PCs, which will generate an immediate saving of roughly €300 per machine (almost €2.5m altogether, made up from the cost of Windows and Office licences)

€6,000,000/8,300 = €723 Euro per machine. Subtract 300, up-front (OS/Office) = €85 per year savings, after the licenses.

Let's say the average city employee makes €40,000/year (I have no idea what they make, but assuming one employee per workstation, those workers are about 1/4 of the cities annual budget of €1,266,000,000)

So, the half a day's wage saved (€85) per year isn't a big deal either way - either they are happy with the open source systems and they make out, or they go back to proprietary software and spend a couple of days wages, if needed.

And why does it need to be all or nothing? People should use what makes them most productive... within the support capabilities of the IT staff. Out of 8300 workstations I wouldn't be surprised if a large share of them could get by with basically running a web browser, but for those who need Windows or MacOS to get their work done, so be it.

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