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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 19, 2011 7:47 AM. The previous post in this blog was Have a great weekend. The next post in this blog is Once a year, whether it needs it or not. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Shhhhhh!

Don't tell our local politicians about this.

Comments (16)

Thanks for pointing this out to them Jack........

We fought Randy Leonard on this tax back in the mid 00s. But like a bad penny and the convention center hotel spending binge proposal, the cell phone tax most likely will find a renewed effort locally at some point. There's no limit to tax schemes, especially among Democrat politicians adicted to accelerated public spending. Hear about the TriMet & city of Portland new (no cars allowed) bridge? It is supposedly going to have an embedded scheme whereby passing bicycles will create a music chime of sorts. Don't think Portland (milwaukee) light rail is not a boondoggle? I rest my case. When Bama talks about investments, you've got to say to yourself: gag me with a spoon.

A better fix for all these tax schemes is to give government a set percentage of GDP(to be shared among the various levels). Government can tax anywhich way to Sunday, as long as not eggregiously discriminatory, but they only get to use this fixed percentage of national income and not a penny more. It would also give government more incentive to grow the economy, as a slowing in national income would hurt its bottom line.

would also give government more incentive to grow the economy, as a slowing in national income would hurt its bottom line.

Gov gets a lot of revenue from fuel and tobacco taxes but paradoxically discourages increased use. On the other hand, as things stand now, they simply look for other fees (taxes) because they can. For example, they're now looking at mileage fees for electric/hybrid vehicles because "they don't pay their fair share".

Cities and states have taxed landlines for decades. Now that technology is shifting to wireless, landline taxes are declining. Wireless taxes aren't so much a new tax as they are a replacement tax to respond to technology.

If you are philosophically opposed to taxes of any kind, you'll obviously oppose this one. If you believe that government plays a legitimate role and funds (some) important services, there isn't much to get excited about with wireless taxes -- although they may encourage people to drop landline services so they aren't taxed twice.

The tobacco tax is government hypocrisy at its worst -- discouraging use while reaping profits from same.

Or would that be fuel taxes, the lottery and legalized gambling? Guess there's plenty of hypocrisy going on.

Whatever the case, the cornerstone of "progressivism" has always been growing the government's bottom line by shrinking yours. Your ruling class will decide how much of your money you will be allowed to keep.

Suspect that their "think tanks" have already had workshops to explore every possibility to the "nth degree" available to extract more money from the people.

They have known about this for a while... This is from a 2009 City audit:

"OCCFM staff estimate the potential revenue from expanding the utility tax to cover all telecommunications providers at a consistent rate would be approximately $13 million per year."

http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?a=243738&c=49566

Why they haven't done anything to make this tax equitable is the real mystery. Unless they don't need $13 million a year directly into the general fund. Makes it hard to support the PPS mega-bond!

Perhaps someone knows whether OR's unemployment insurance coffers have been rendered inadequate?

"'Trust Fund Reserves Inadequate,' federal auditors said in a 1988 report.

It's clear now the warnings were pretty much ignored. Instead, states kept whittling away at the trust funds, mostly by cutting unemployment insurance taxes at the behest of the business community. The low balances hastened insolvency when the recession hit, leading about 30 states to borrow $41.5 billion from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits to their growing population of jobless."
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_broken_budgets_a_warning_ignored

"think tanks" or "stink tanks?"

The tobacco tax is government hypocrisy at its worst -- discouraging use while reaping profits from same.

This statement reflects a curious view of tax policy. I guess the logical extension of this argument would be to subsidize tobacco use just to make darn sure we are not encouraging it.

Taxing things to discourage them makes sense. The resulting revenue is what you might call an intended consequence. It gives the taxing authority a conflict of interest, which is not at all the same thing as hypocrisy.

And another thing. Taxes are not "profits". They're taxes.

Taxing things to discourage them makes sense. The resulting revenue is what you might call an intended consequence. It gives the taxing authority a conflict of interest, which is not at all the same thing as hypocrisy.

Of course determining whether the taxes are actually in place to discourage the taxed "thing" is a bit difficult in reality. The sport of mirage management, so well-practiced by our betters in the public sector, leaves little but smoke in its trail.

Parsing conflict of interest as "...not at all the same thing..." as hypocrisy, in this context, is perilously close to one or the other, don't you think?

I wonder if the Lottery is quite so removed from hypocrisy.

I wonder if the Lottery is quite so removed from hypocrisy.

I'd say, not so much. Tobacco taxes don't cause smoking. In fact, they are effective in discouraging it. State sponsored gambling, on the other hand, promotes vice and addiction, making it necessary--at least optically--for the state to devote some of the proceeds to gambling addiction treatment. At the same time, the state also markets the gambling. That's hypocrisy.

Logical Response:

"The State of Oregon has demonstrated a commitment to low taxes on wireless telecommunications to encourage growth of the industry and to spread wireless communication and Internet access. This positions our state as an opportunity for wireless carriers to consider locating their offices here in Oregon to benefit from the low taxes and business friendly climate to grow your business."

The Response that will happen:

"The fact that Oregon ranks low on wireless taxes represents an opportunity to raise revenue to promote the adoption of broadband wireless Internet connectivity to schools across our state. By creating a 10% tax on wireless communications, this would raise $XX million that would benefit children by linking schools with high speed internet, enabling them to take classes never before available and to succeed as young learners in this very competitive era."

wireless carriers to consider locating their offices here in Oregon to benefit from the low taxes and business friendly climate to grow your business."

How would this low tax do that? It's applied to your cell phone bill where you live, no matter where the carrier's offices are.

Can someone tell me what specific expenses a cell phone tax needs to cover? I always thought the tax on land line phone service was to cover the telephone lines and other infrastructure provided by public agencies. As far as I know the cell companies own most of their own cell towers.


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