Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Taxes, taxes everywhere

A friend sent me this last night, adding, "Your governor must be pissing himself happy over this one." I haven't seen this discussed in the blogosphere.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- A telecommuter who lives out of state while working by computer for a New York employer must pay New York tax on his full income, the state's highest court ruled Tuesday in a case that could have wide implications in the growing practice.

The Court of Appeals said that computer programmer Thomas Huckaby who lives in Nashville, Tenn., owed New York income tax for his full salary, not just the time he spent working at his employer's New York offices.

Huckaby paid tax on about 25 percent of his income over two years for the time he spent working in New York state. But the court upheld a state tax department ruling that all his income should be taxed. That amounts to $4,387 plus interest. However, the ruling could lead to much greater income for the state as it is applied to the growing field of telecommuting.
The money-grubbing state just can't keep its hands off your paycheck, can it?

New York Gov. George Pataki can go to hell, as far as I'm concerned. I thought Guiliani would be a fine successor if no other good candidate ran -- until I saw Giuliani's commercial this morning on Fox News, drumming up support for the bad idea called the West Side Stadium. Sorry, he permanently lost my vote when I saw his pro-stadium commercial this morning on Fox News. I just can't support someone who thinks throwing $600 million into a sports stadium will "jump-start" the local economy. Read my lips, Rudy: that's $600 million you're taking from people. Ever read Bastiat, Rudy? You might create jobs with that $600 million, but that's $600 million less that would have been spent elsewhere. And believe me, if the free market saw potential in investing $600 million there, major investors would have done it long ago. The fact that the Jets have to get government funding shows that private investors aren't too sure it'll be profitable.

Come to think of it, if I can find "What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen" in a little pamphlet, I'll send a copy to him at his consulting office.

I don't know where NY Attorney General Elliot Spitzer stands on the stadium, but he can't be worse than Pataki when it comes to taxing and spending. The New York Post today had a great name for Pataki (Republican), Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (a Democrat) and Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno (Republican): the Axis of Taxes. I myself call Pataki, Silver and Bruno the Taxing Triumvirate. Taxing not only in dipping their hands into every paycheck, but in how they vex us taxpayers.

Their latest conspiracy is to boost the Metro Transit Authority's share of the sales tax. My personal belief is that any government money to support the MTA is wrong: like any private business, it should be supported strictly from the sale of its products. If that means subway and train fares jumping 50%, so be it. (This goes for the U.S. Postal Service, too. It should receive zero funding and instead derive revenue strictly from its postage and services.) It's the fair thing to do, because I find it morally reprehensible to tax everyone for something that not everyone uses. I've been taking the Metro-North railroad into Manhattan lately, then riding the subway to get here and there, so I'm finally getting something out of all the taxes I've been paying. But why should I and others who infrequently use the MTA help subsidize it for regular train-goers and subway riders?

Meanwhile, ultra-liberal Fernando Ferrer opposes the West Side Stadium. In the 2001 NYC mayoral race, Democrat-turned-Republican Mike Bloomberg was still obvious as a liberal. It's just that Ferrer was too liberal to be elected, even in New York City. Still, a liberal's liberal like Ferrer daring to question the spending of $600 million in tax dollars, while Republican superstars like Giuliani think the stadium will pay for itself?

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