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Comment: 4 cities... (Score 2) 52

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: Re:Worse than it seems. (Score 1) 191

by khallow (#47933419) Attached to: Obama Presses Leaders To Speed Ebola Response

Sadly, I think that if it happened now, we would be in a situation where people staying home would end up causing them to loose their home due to a lack of income, and any calls to help those people would be met by Neo-Con hate.

I guess you ought to leave the thinking to grown ups. So why would "neo-cons" want to foreclose on a zillion underwater (in the sense that the debt owed is more than the price the home can be sold for) home loans? That turns a temporary shutdown of the loan repayment revenue stream into a large permanent loss. They haven't bankrupted themselves enough that month?

Comment: Re:Tax? (Score 1) 309

by ScentCone (#47932777) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

If there's a company with a plant, they probably also need protection from the fire department. Shouldn't they pay for this?

Yes, and most cases such services are paid through property taxes. If the company owns the plant and its grounds, they pay substantial property taxes. If they lease the property, the property's owner does (and passes those costs along in the lease).

We're not talking about property taxes, we're talking about income taxes.

Comment: Re:Won't solve the real issue. (Score 1) 62

by khallow (#47931857) Attached to: Funding Tech For Government, Instead of Tech For Industry

If people don't fleece him enough and he actually turns out to be successful, that just means the make-jobs program worked.

Again, that's not what he's doing. Public funding is potentially a huge profitable gravy train. This has little to do with creating jobs except incidentally. The only people who would be fleeced are taxpayers, which is already rather easy to do.

Further, while I haven't brought it up before in this discussion, what is supposed to be the benefit to just "creating jobs"? Hiring people for make-work means that they aren't available for more productive work.

Comment: Re:Not the only strategy (Score 1) 309

by ScentCone (#47923931) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance
Right. Just the other day the Motley Fool published effective tax rates. That takes into account not just federal taxes but aveerage state/provincial tales and other tax-related burdens that actually get paid in real life by actual companies doing actual business in all the countries they list. The effective rate for businesses in the US is 40%. The second highest, behind only the UAE.

Comment: Re:I hate to be this guy... (Score 1) 176

Well, you have a plan? Because right now, taking over the bad countries and making them good countries that don't starve their citizens doesn't seem to work. I suppose we could create a dependent, exponentially growing dependent class of people who need our continued munificence to survive. But last I checked our resources weren't similarly exponentially growing over the rest of eternity.

Or I suppose we could just kill the starving people. But that's not in the spirit of the thing.

Ultimately, it's going to be those starving people who have to help themselves. And they are, depending on location. The developing world is in a far better state than it was in 1950, which seems to be a low point for what was at the time, the Third World.

Comment: Re:Won't solve the real issue. (Score 1) 62

by khallow (#47922215) Attached to: Funding Tech For Government, Instead of Tech For Industry

What he is trying to do is make jobs.

Ugh, that's a terrible characterization especially he actually has a valid business model, invest in start ups whose business model is doing highly profitable services for government. It's not about "making" jobs, but hoovering up public funding for profit.

I think the spin about returning tech to government is an attempt to evade the opposition to government expenditures. It may also be an attempt to portray the VC fund he represents as being one of a few players in that sector, even though it probably isn't IMHO.

"I have money. Do this job and you can have some of it. I don't care how valuable this job actually is. I just want to see people doing this job"

That's not what he's doing. It's a standard VC fund with the expectation of profit. They just happen to specialize in start ups providing government services.

If you were accurate, he'd be fleeced in short order (your last sentence in other words) and life would move on, but with one significantly poorer and wiser entrepreneur.

Comment: Re:Tax? (Score 1) 309

by ScentCone (#47921321) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

Yes but at a lower rate. Investment income is taxed lower than standard wages.

Right. Usually, that's because:

1) We want people to risk their money making investments to start and grow businesses. That creates economic activity, which is taxed.

2) If the person risking their money on such an investment loses it (as most do - most new businesses fail), they do NOT get to write that loss off on their own income taxes. It's just gone, goodbye. 3) The lower rates only apply if you let the investment site for a good long time. Those who throw money in and yank it back up pay a much higher rate.

businesses and the people who profit from them

Employees ARE people who profit from a business. In fact employees account for the vast majority of the outbound cash that most businesses spend. And its taxed at normal payroll rates. And the taxes levied on the money those people are getting out of the company are a big part of what pays for the public infrastructure that they (as the people who are making money daily in the business) use. Why do you think that city, county, state, and federal programs to encourage business presence and growth aren't hesitant to wave, for some period of time, taxes charged directly to the business? It's because the net result of establishing that business in place and keeping it there is MUCH MORE TAX REVENUE - from all of the other activity and employment that results.

Comment: Re:Tax? (Score 2) 309

by ScentCone (#47920657) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

Companies use infrastructure to deliver goods to their customers ... Companies benefit from local education systems to provide knowledgable people (arguably).

But the company doesn't do anything with the money except spend it on growing the company, or in compensation to employees and investors. When those investors or employees take money home from the company, it's taxed. And if those same people take that already taxed money and invest it that or another company, and it makes money, they get taxed again.

The company doesn't benefit from services and education, etc., the people WHO TAKE HOME THE MONEY do (at which point it's taxed). They other group that benefits are company's customers, who spend money (on which they've already paid other taxes) to buy goods or services from that company. And that means nothing until, again, somebody takes it home as pay (taxed) or dividends (taxed) or cashed out stocks (taxed).

The company's actual profits shouldn't be taxed because all that money does is sit there until somebody either spends it on the company as reinvestment (which isn't taxed anyway), or it gets turned over to somebody designated to receive it - at which point it IS taxed as income.

Comment: Re:Not the only strategy (Score 4, Insightful) 309

by ScentCone (#47920477) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

It's a race to the bottom, my friend. You don't out-compete countries with less than a few million inhabitants and no significant social programs.

You mean, like Canada? It has a 26% rate, compared the US's 40% rate. Yeah, third-world hell holes like Canada always whore around with those low numbers, right?

Comment: Not the only strategy (Score 5, Insightful) 309

by ScentCone (#47920055) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance
There are other ways to generate more tax revenue from business operations in the US: quit making elsewhere so much more attractive. The US has the second highest effective business tax burden in the world (second only to the United Arab Emerates, which mostly taxes foreign oil operations). Gee, I wonder why businesses born in the US look to mitigate that in whatever ways the law allows. If the law no longer allows it, there will simply be more companies actually moving, entirely, to places with a lower burden. Then the government will still miss the revenue, and they'll miss all the tax revenue they're already getting on the income taxes levied on and other economic activity generated by all of the company's current domestic employees, partners, vendors, service providers, etc.

"Just think of a computer as hardware you can program." -- Nigel de la Tierre