Showing posts with label taxes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label taxes. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Virginia Election 2010

Today's election will decide the next Congressman for Virginia's 2nd District, as well as Town Council positions for the localities of Parksley and Wachapreague in Accomack County.

In addition to these elections, there will be three referendums in both counties regarding amendments to the Commonwealth of Virginia's Constitution. The referendum's all regard taxation.

In Accomack County, there will a meal's tax referendum which was initiated by Supervisor Wanda Thornton. If the referendum passes, it will add a 4% tax to the purchase of prepared food from businesses not in incorporated towns. This tax already exists for prepared food purchased in incorporated towns.

Please be sure to take the time and vote today.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

United Kingdom Proposes All Paychecks Go To State First

The UK's tax collection agency is putting forth a proposal that all employers send employee paychecks to the government, after which the government would deduct what it deems as the appropriate tax and pay the employees by bank transfer.

The proposal by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) stresses the need for employers to provide real-time information to the government so that it can monitor all payments and make a better assessment of whether the correct tax is being paid.

Currently employers withhold tax and pay the government, providing information at the end of the year, a system know as Pay as You Earn (PAYE). There is no option for those employees to refuse withholding and individually file a tax return at the end of the year.

If the real-time information plan works, it further proposes that employers hand over employee salaries to the government first.

"The next step could be to use (real-time) information as the basis for centralizing the calculation and deduction of tax," HMRC said in a July discussion paper.

HMRC described the plan as "radical" as it would be a huge change from the current system that has been largely unchanged for 66 years.

Even though the centralized deductions proposal would provide much-needed oversight, there are some major concerns, George Bull, head of Tax at Baker Tilly, told

"If HMRC has direct access to employees' bank accounts and makes a mistake, people are going to feel very exposed and vulnerable," Bull said.

And the chance of widespread mistakes could be high, according to Bull. HMRC does not have a good track record of handling large computer systems and has suffered high-profile errors with data, he said.

The system would be massive in terms of data management, larger than a recent attempt to centralize the National Health Service's data, which was later scrapped, Bull said.

If there's a mistake and the HMRC collects too much money, the difficulty of getting it back could be high with repayments of tax taking weeks or months, he said.

"There has to be some very clear understanding of how quickly repayments were made if there was a mistake," Bull said.

HMRC estimated the potential savings to employers from the introduction of the concept would be about £500 million ($780 million).

But the cost of implementing the new system would be "phenomenal," Bull pointed out.

"It's very clear that the system does need to be modernized… It's outdated, it's outmoded," Emma Boon, campaigner manager at the Tax Payers' Alliance, told

Boon said that the Tax Payers' Alliance was in favor of simplifying tax collection, but stressed that a new complex computer system would add infrastructure and administration costs at a time when the government is trying to reduce spending.

There is a further concern, according to Bull. The centralized storage of so much data poises a security risk as the system may be open to cyber crime.

As well as security issues, there's a huge issue of transparency, according to Boon.

Boon also questioned HMCR's ability to handle to the role effectively.

The Institute of Directors (IoD), a UK organization created to promote the business agenda of directors and entreprenuers, said in a press release it had major concerns about the proposal to allow employees' pay to be paid directly to HMRC.

The IoD said the shift to a real-time, centralized system could be positive as long as the burden on employers was not increased. But it added that the idea of wages being processed by HMRC was "completely unacceptable."

“This document contains a lot of good ideas. But the idea that HMRC should be trusted with the gross pay of employees is not one of them," Richard Baron, Head of Taxation at the IoD, said in the release.

A spokesperson for Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne was not immediately available for comment.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Privatizing Virginia's Liquor Stores

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell yesterday unveiled his plan to privatize Virginia's state-run liquor empire. It's a big business. Residents drank a healthy $322 million worth of distilled spirits last year, pouring $115 million in net profit into Richmond's coffers. Wresting this bottle from state lawmakers would represent a significant victory for Mr. McDonnell, but it comes at a cost to consumers.

Each of the commonwealth's 332 government-operated stores is highly lucrative, averaging $335,000 in annual profit. That's not surprising, considering the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has armed agents ready to put potential competitors behind bars. If the state ran grocery stores and fast food under the same monopoly conditions, these also would bring in tidy sums. Government has no legitimate reason for involvement in any of these private enterprises.

To fix this problem, Mr. McDonnell would sell the ABC stores and distribution warehouses, auctioning off 1,000 licenses to the private vendors, convenience stores and supermarkets willing to take over the business. Given the demonstrated profit margins, it won't be hard to find buyers.

The difficulty comes in considering what to do about the $226 million in alcohol taxes these stores collect. There's a markup of 69 percent to 79 percent on each bottle, which is then taxed 20 percent at the wholesale level and once more at 5 percent at the retail level. According to Tax Foundation data, that averages out to $20.13 per gallon of spirits - the third highest levy in the nation. By comparison, the same tax in the District and Maryland is a mere $1.50. Not surprisingly, many of the District's liquor stores report that Virginians account for half of their sales. Rather than go cold turkey, Mr. McDonnell proposes to rearrange the way taxes are collected so that the cash flow remains roughly the same after privatization, contrary to some early news reports.

"There is no tax increase, period," said Stacey Johnson, a spokesman for the governor, to The Washington Times. "Under this proposed privatization plan, it will keep the ongoing revenue to the state equivalent to what it is in the current monopoly setup."

It's unfortunate that the General Assembly's big spenders will stay sloshed with alcohol taxes that ought to be reduced or eliminated, not maintained at their current sky-high levels. Worse, the sale of ABC stores, warehouses and licenses would generate about $468 million in upfront cash that would be deposited in the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank. Like the federal infrastructure bank proposed this week by President Obama, this newly formed state government entity would subsidize public-private transportation partnerships, such as the controversial scheme to turn Interstate 95/395 into a toll road. In theory, such projects allow private companies to relieve Richmond of the significant burden of maintaining an expensive highway. It sounds great until you realize the burden shifts to a public hit with tolls plus the cost of all the subsidies that would be doled out to the well-connected firms landing such contracts.

It would be a far more palatable plan if Mr. McDonnell were to proceed with the sale of the stores without the tolling boondoggle. Earlier this year, the Virginia chapter of Americans for Prosperity released a 140-page plan for the Old Dominion that outlined how the legislature could save billions by not spending like a drunken sailor (no offense to drunken sailors). By dumping wasteful programs like the $5 billion Dulles Metro extension, there would be no need for tolls or booze taxes.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Meals Tax Referendum On November Ballots For Accomack County Voters

At their monthly meeting Wednesday night, the Accomack County Board of Supervisors voted to put a meals tax referendum on the November ballots.

The measure, which was initiated by Supervisor Wanda Thornton at an earlier meeting, would put a 4 cent tax increase on all prepared food sold in restaurants which are not located in incorporated towns. In Accomack County, most incorporated towns already have a meals tax on prepared food. Northampton County has the meals tax on all prepared food in the County.

The money raised by the tax will be used to supplement costs of education within the county, according to Supervisors. The ultimate decision lies to the taxpayers and voters this November.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Get in shape or pay a price.

Senate proposals put premium on healthy living

Bills could put workers under pressure to lose weight, stop smoking

Get in shape or pay a price.

That's a message more Americans could hear if the health care reform bills passed by the Senate Finance and Health committees become law.

By more than doubling the maximum rewards and penalties that companies can apply to employees who flunk medical evaluations, the bills could put workers under intense financial pressure to lose weight, stop smoking or even lower their cholesterol.

The initiative, largely eclipsed in the health care debate, builds on a trend that is already in play among some corporations and that more workers will see in the packages they bring home during this month's open enrollment. Some employers offer lower premiums to people who complete personal health assessments; others offer only limited benefit packages to smokers.

The current legislative effort takes the trend a step further. It is backed by major employer groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. It is opposed by labor unions and groups devoted to combating serious illnesses, such as the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, and the American Diabetes Association.

Read More HERE

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pocomoke leaves positions open to absorb state cuts

The Pocomoke mayor and Council voted Monday night to approve a cut of more than one-quarter of a million dollars in the 2009-2010 budget to absorb the effects of revenue reductions from the state.

City Manager Russell W. Blake reported that the state was cutting $221,522, mostly in highway user revenues, from the funds that would normally have been sent to Pocomoke City. The balance was cut from aid for police protection. Blake said that this was the largest cut the state, which is slashing its own budget as tax revenues fall short, had ever imposed on Pocomoke City.

Blake said that there were also items not included in the budget, such as the $10,000 reward for the arrests of the arsonists in the Public Works fire, $20,000 in costs related to a well project, and $12,000 for the purchase of the Fleming lot on Market Street.

To meet this shortfall, he proposed savings of $262,277 in unspent capital outlay and in not filling employment positions. There would be no layoffs or furloughs of personnel already working for the city.

The budget would also continue to include funds for a part-time downtown coordinator and the pigging of the water lines in the Pocomoke Heights area.

Treatment plant proposals
The council reviewed a proposal for contract administration for the sewage treatment plant ENR upgrade project. The only one that was submitted was from George, Miles and Buhr. Blake suggested that the council proceed to negotiate with the firm, a move that was given the okay by the council.

Proposed policies
The state of Maryland had asked the council to submit a policy giving guidelines for borrowing by the town. Blake said that this is not a problem for Pocomoke City, since the town had incurred very little debt. The policy, which was passed by the council, calls for the debt not to exceed 3 percent of the operating fund or one percent of the assessed valuation of property in the city limits.

The state is also requiring revisions in the stormwater management ordinance. The council is expecting to hear a recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Commission at a future meeting. The deadline for a draft ordinance is Nov. 11.

In a hearing concerning a repair or demolish order for the former truck stop property on Route 13 south, William Hudson, one of the property owners, appeared to comment about the order. He said that the building had been closed, but he questioned the short amount of time to demolish the building if that action was needed.

Mayor Michael A. McDermott said even though the building might have been secured, it was "obviously an abandoned building."

Hudson said he would need more time, about six months, if the building had to be demolished. He added that he would take care of covering up the graffiti that is presently on the building.

The town decided to give him 60 days to remove the graffiti and secure the building and would review the matter in six months concerning any other actions.

Ron Sawyer, a Pocomoke resident, appeared before the council to discuss the policy on removal of abandoned cars. He had received a notice about a vehicle on his property and had removed it. He thought the policy was a good one, but that it was not being handled fairly. He has seen a number of other abandoned vehicles throughout the town.

McDermott said that a lot of the action in this area was complaint-driven. He also requested Sawyer's help in reporting any vehicles he has seen.

Under other business, the council passed an ordinance declaring a number of items, mostly cars, as surplus so they could be disposed of and they approved the Fair Board's plan to reimburse horse owners who had come to this year's races at the fair. The races were rained out.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Silencing Talk Radio in the Name of Diversity

The Orwellian Fairness Doctrine is behind us for good; too many realize that stifling political dissent on the airwaves is anything but fair. But that doesn't mean our moonbat rulers have suddenly acquired respect for freedom of speech . As with many of our liberties, the First Amendment will now be attacked under the banner of diversity:

Mark Lloyd, newly appointed Chief Diversity Officer of the Federal Communications Commission, has called for making private pay licensing fees equal to their total operating costs to allow public broadcasting outlets to spend the same on their operations as the private companies do.

You don't have to re-read that, you got it right the first time, private companies WILL be paying for the (liberal) air time of public broadcasting.

Private companies need to make profits. Therefore they will carry programming people want to hear: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, etc. In addition to economically breaking the kneecaps of these companies, Lloyd wants to funnel their money into public broadcasting, which is financed coercively and therefore couldn't care less what people want to hear.

Like all liberal bureaucrats, Lloyd is as authoritarian as he is greedy:

"Federal and regional broadcast operations and local stations should be funded at levels commensurate with or above those spending levels at which commercial operations are funded," Lloyd wrote. "This funding should come from license fees charged to commercial broadcasters. Funding should not come from congressional appropriations. Sponsorship should be prohibited at all public broadcasters."
Along with this money, Lloyd would regulate much of the programming on these stations to make sure they focused on "diverse views" and government activities.

"Diverse views" refers to the entire spectrum from left-wing propaganda to more left-wing propaganda. How many El Rushbos has NPR produced?

In addition to "diversity," tyrannical bureaucrats will also use "localism" to stifle speech that undermines their rule.

"Local public broadcasters and regional and national communications operations should be required to encourage and broadcast diverse views and programs," wrote Lloyd. "These programs should include coverage of all local, state and federal government meetings, as well as daily news and public issues programming."

Don't live in South Florida? Then Rush isn't local. You get to listen to the local water board meeting instead.

Lloyd also believes in diversity of ownership, which would mean denying broadcast licenses to Caucasians based on their race.

Once we allow government to become massively too large, it's only a matter of time before the wrong people get behind the wheel and steer our republic over the cliff into totalitarianism. This is happening before our eyes.

Obama Wants You to Work For Your Own Tax Money

The leftist Messiah is hiring and paying people to protest against the majority with their own money. I mean it's obvious that anyone that can do this is NOT working or they'd be at work. How ironic is it that hussein is paying people to protest the protesters and of course only the protesters that are against obamacare.

If these folks are not employed they are obviously living off your tax dollars in some way shape or form be that welfare, unemployment, or SSI. How do you like paying these folks twice while they get everything free?

Astroturf Is Cheap But Not Free

Out of work? No problem, Comrade Obama et al. are hiring. The pay is probably about the same as McDonald's, but you get the added satisfaction of helping to create the impression that Dear Leader has public support for his radical agenda.

As an added benefit, any taxes you pay will probably come back to you in future paychecks.