Tag Archives: Kentucky

What’ll They Tax Next?

Some states have already slapped taxes on blueberries, illegal drugs and fur clothing. But as budget shortfalls grow, state legislators are looking for even more devious ways to steal your money.

A Little Off the Top

In an attempt to balance their budgets, states like Michigan and Nebraska are considering taxing a haircut, by extending the state sales tax to include personal grooming services.

“These states are expanding the services they’re taxing, and a haircut is considered personal grooming and can be seen as a luxury item,” said Kim Rueben, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute. “And while you might not think a haircut is a luxury item, you could always do it cheaper or at home.”

Pulling a Tax Out of a Hat

Lawmakers in Maine are going after children’s entertainment to make a little extra money for the state.

A bill proposing a 5% state tax on a slew of things, including comedians, clowns, jugglers, ventriloquists, petting zoos, paintball and even haunted hay rides will be voted on this summer and would go into effect in January 2011.

But purveyors of such services are afraid their profits will disappear. Angelique Steelgrave, who works with her husband as a full-time magician, said that this tax will have a huge impact on small entertainment businesses like hers.

“We hate the idea,” she said. “Not a lot of businesses these days have the luxury of raising prices 5%, and in a lot of cases, this could be a serious amount of money we would either have to charge clients or eat ourselves.”

Up, Up and Away

Kentucky is looking to raise $350 to $400 million a year by taxing high-end services such as limousine and hot air balloon rides, golf green fees, private landscaping, armored car services and professional laundry services.

But opponents of the bill are concerned it will stifle some small businesses.

“I know there’s very little I can do about it, but any tax is going to have a negative impact and I’m almost certain we will lose customers,” said Brian Beazly, owner of Louisville-based Balloon Odyssey, which offers rides ranging from $195 to $375.

Hair of the Dog

A tax on pet grooming and horse training accompany a long list of other odd levies lawmakers in Michigan (again) have proposed to bridge the state’s budget deficit. Plumbing, fur storage, beauty parlors, funeral services, diaper services, massages, bowling, coin-operated video games, meat slaughtering, movie tickets, zoos and pest control are also on the state’s hit list.

“We’re having a hard enough time since our service is a luxury and not a necessity — this is not the time to do something like this,” said Linda Knobelsdorf, the owner of a small pet grooming company in Michigan.

A Real Stretch

Missouri’s long-standing tax on yoga has come under fire in recent months after the state decided to re-enforce the levy despite opposition to a tax on what many yoga enthusiasts view as a spiritual practice.

Yoga is currently classified as a recreational service in Missouri and is taxed along with athletic events like Cardinal games and fitness club memberships.

But yoga studio owners and their customers argue that it’s part of a religion rather than a recreational activity.

“I understand the state needs money, but if anyone takes a minute to look at this, they will see that it’s just the wrong thing to do,” said Ken McRae, owner of alleyCat Yoga. “This is against the law. You cannot tax a religion, and by every definition, yoga is a religion.”

Trying to Play Cupid

Searching for your soul mate? Don’t go to Nebraska to find a date — the state might charge you for it.

In addition to a tax on the use of dating services, a whole slew of other odd services were in the running, including scooter and motorcycle repairs, shoe shines, reflexology, massages, tree trimming, taxidermy, fur storage, detective services, garment alterations, dance studios and armored car services. Getting your gun or camera repaired would have also cost you more.

That free breakfast at Holiday Inn Might not be free much longer.

In Tennessee, the General Assembly is considering applying the state’s sales tax to complimentary meals provided at hotels as part of its “sale for resale” initiative, which would tax items included as part of a service.

Customers would receive their free breakfast, but might be surprised to see a tax charge added onto their bill, if that hotel decides to pass along the cost.

Opponents of the tax argue that meals could actually end up being double-taxed, according to the Tax Foundation, since the cost of providing them is usually taken into account when a hotel determines its room rates, which are already subject to the state’s sales tax.

Rebellion In America Heats Up As 5th State Exempts Guns

One Man’s Thoughts Has Moved To

http://www.patriotthoughts.com

You can read this article at:

http://www.patriotthoughts.com/2010/03/25/rebellion-in-america-heats-up-as-5th-state-exempts-guns/

Thank You, Vytautas

Palin ‘Would Be Willing’ to Take On Obama in 2012

Sarah Palin has Obama in her sights, telling FoxNews.com she “would be willing” to challenge him in the 2012 presidential race.

The former Alaska governor, in an interview Saturday on the sidelines of the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, said Obama’s “lack of experience” has held him back his first year in office and that she would put her credentials up against his any day.

“I would be willing to if I believe that it’s right for the country,” Palin said when asked if she would run for president in 2012.

She qualified the statement, adding that she sees “many” other potential candidates who are “in as strong or stronger position than I am to take on the White House and if they’re in a better position than I in three years, I’ll support them.”

But the former GOP vice presidential nominee told “Fox News Sunday”: “I won’t close the door that perhaps could be open for me in the future.”

Palin is doing more than simply dipping her toe in the water with tentative talk of presidential aspirations. Since unexpectedly leaving the Alaska Governor’s Mansion last year, she’s formed a political action committee, she’s started endorsing and supporting candidates in the Republican primaries, she’s published a book and she’s been agitating the administration on a regular basis.

She delivered the keynote address Saturday at the tea party convention, using it to hammer Obama as soft on terrorism. When convention organizer Judson Phillips mentioned the idea of “President Palin” in a question-and-answer session afterward, audience members leapt to their feet and burst into a chant of “Run, Sarah, Run.”

In the near-term, Palin said she is going to focus her energy on the upcoming GOP primaries, and that she may support “hundreds” of candidates in the months ahead.

“I do want competition to allow the cream of the crop to rise (in the GOP contests),” Palin said, adding that her support would translate into everything from donations to campaign rallies. “There are hundreds of candidates on local, state and on the national level that hopefully we’ll be able to help.”

Palin recently endorsed Rand Paul, the son of Texas Rep. Ron Paul, in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate in Kentucky. She said she was attracted to his limited government platform and that she’s already donated to the campaign.

Asked which other races she’s focusing on, Palin, who’s a Fox News analyst, said she’ll “do whatever I can to help” the Republican nominee, whoever he or she is, against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada.

“If the election were today, Reid … would go down,” Palin said.

However, she said she doesn’t have any favorites in the Republican primary — and dismissed the idea that she fancies herself a political kingmaker.

“That’s going too far because I do not have that power nor desire,” she said.

During her Saturday keynote address and in her interview with FoxNews.com, Palin pointed to the tea party movement as the surging political force that will make waves in the upcoming elections.

She said tea party support will “absolutely” be critical for candidates in some districts and that the GOP should not be scared of the movement.

“It absolutely helps (the Republican Party) and those who are fearful about it and those who are trying to stir up controversy about it — they obviously are apprehensive in terms of the message getting out there, and those people are gonna get thumped because this is a good message,” she said. “Who can argue this movement?”

As Palin aligns herself more closely with the evolving tea party movement, some surveys suggest she could have the support to eventually mount a competitive presidential run — despite tough questions raised during the 2008 campaign about her experience and qualifications. A poll last week had her leading, by a few points, the pack of potential GOP candidates. The Research 2000 poll also showed Republican voters viewing her as more qualified to be president than Obama by a 4-1 margin.

Asked whether she believes she’s more qualified than Obama, Palin showed little hesitation.

“In the campaign, we tried to bring attention to the fact that Obama had really not a lot of experience. And I do say that my executive experience, as an administrator, as a team manager if you will was, and so was John McCain’s as a matter of fact, was stronger and we had more experience than Barack Obama did in terms of managing huge multi-billion dollar budgets and thousands of employees … and that hasn’t changed,” Palin said.

“I think that President Obama with all due respect, his lack of experience is really made manifest in the way that decisions are made in the White House today,” she added.

Palin slammed Obama in her Nashville speech for his foreign and national security policies. And with health care reform on the ropes, she told FoxNews.com it’s time to pull the plug.

“I sure wish that the present tool being used to reform health care would die, but I don’t trust as far as I can throw them some of the people who are saying ok, we’ll slow down,” she said. “What they’re working on today there in Congress and the White House, it needs to die.”

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/02/07/palin-willing-obama/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%253A+foxnews%252Fpolitics+%2528Text+-+Politics%2529&utm_content=My+Yahoo

Stimulus Checkup – 100 Ridiculous Projects Funded by the American Recovery Act

One Man’s Thoughts Has Moved To

http://www.patriotthoughts.com

You can read this article at:

http://www.patriotthoughts.com/2009/12/12/stimulus-checkup-100-ridiculous-projects-funded-by-the-american-recovery-act/

Thank You, Vytautas

Jobless Rate Tops 10 Percent In 15 States

The Labor Department on Friday said unemployment topped 10 percent in 15 states and the District of Columbia last month. And the jobless rate in Michigan surpassed 15 percent, the first time any state hit that mark since 1984.

If laid-off workers who have given up looking for jobs or have settled for part-time work are included, the state’s jobless rate was 22.5 percent, according to Michigan’s Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Development. Nationwide unemployment by that measure was 16.5 percent in June, the highest on government records dating to 1994.

Many workers have seen hours trimmed, their pay cut and have lost benefits. Combine that with a dismal housing market making it difficult for people to sell their homes and move to other places to find work, some jobseekers are trapped.

The other states where unemployment topped 10 percent last month were: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Tennessee. In May, 13 states plus the District of Columbia watched their jobless rates surpass 10 percent. Alabama and Georgia joined the list in June.

Rhode Island had the second-highest unemployment rate in the country in June at 12.4 percent. When including people who stopped looking for work and those forced into part-time jobs, the state’s unemployment rate was 22.7 percent, Mishel estimated.

Oregon had the third-highest unemployment rate at 12.2 percent, which was 21.6 percent by the broadest measure. South Carolina’s jobless rate of 12.1 percent jumped to 22 percent when underemployed workers were included. It was followed by Nevada with a jobless rate of 12 percent, or 21.6 percent by the broadest measure, Mishel said.

The June jobless rates for Nevada, Rhode Island and South Carolina were the highest ever for those states in records dating to 1976. Other record-highs: Florida at 10.6 percent, Georgia at 10.1 percent and Delaware at 8.4 percent.

The Day that Guns Came to Church in Louisville

One Man’s Thoughts Has Moved To

http://www.patriotthoughts.com

You can read this article at:

http://www.patriotthoughts.com/2009/07/02/the-day-that-guns-came-to-church-in-louisville/

Thank You, Vytautas

Twenty-Three AGs Tell Holder No Dice On Semi-Auto Ban Renewal

On June 11, 23 state attorney generals signed and sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder advising him that they are opposed to renewal of the 1994 Clinton administration’s ban on semiautomatic firearms, erroneously dubbed “assault weapons” by proponents of the ban.

A list of those attorneys general is included below, and surprisingly, it does not include Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna.

This is a remarkable letter, made public by the National Rifle Association. It follows three months after 65 House Democrats sent a similar letter to Holder, admonishing him for remarks made earlier this year suggesting that the Obama administration would like to see the ban renewed. That March 17 letter took issue with Holder, and others, who at the time were using the drug cartel wars in Mexico as an excuse to push for renewal of the ban, which expired in September 2004 after having accomplished pretty much nothing.

As the states’ top law enforcement officials, we share the Obama Administration’s commitment to reducing illegal drugs and violent crime within the United States. We also share your deep concern about drug cartel violence in Mexico. However, we do not believe that restricting law abiding Americans’ access to certain semi-automatic firearms will resolve any of these problems.

McKenna is not generally thought of as an anti-gunner. His office did, after all, advise Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels – poised to be elected president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Monday – that his blustery promise to ban legally-carried handguns from Seattle city property by executive order would be illegal. Nickels has some other problems as he heads into another campaign for re-election (the guy has never held a job in the private sector), and it will be interesting to watch whether he tries to bully people with his new national status, or make good use of his new position to address such pressing needs nationally as municipal infrastructure at times of economic downturn, public transportation, and urban decay.

It is not “bullying” in which the pro-gun attorneys general are engaging with Holder, but frank conversation about a subject that should be dead and buried. All 23 of these chief law enforcement officers concur that “additional gun control laws are unnecessary” and that the individual right to keep and bear arms protected by the Second Amendment “should not be encroached upon without sound justification – and a clear law enforcement purpose.”

Because fully automatic machine guns have already been banned, we do not believe that further restricting law-abiding Americans’ access to certain semiautomatic firearms serves any real law enforcement purpose.

The only logical purpose of reinstating the ban, expanding it as proponents desire and making it permanent would be to strip American citizens of their legally held property and make it seem acceptable. Once the gun prohibition lobby can sell the notion that banning a specific type of firearm is okay, they will wait a while and then move to ban another specific type of firearm, all under the guise of public safety.

As with the case of the letter from the 65 Democrat congress members in March, this letter did not get any news coverage, at least not yet. You can rest assured that if 23 attorneys general had signed a letter calling upon the Obama administration to push for renewal of the ban, it would have occupied all of the Sunday morning news/talk programs.

The 23 state Attorneys General who signed the letter are:

Arkansas – Dustin McDaniel

Alabama - Troy King

Colorado - John W. Suthers

Florida - Bill McCollum

Georgia – Thurbert E. Baker

Idaho - Lawrence G. Wasden

Kansas - Steve Six

Kentucky - Jack Conway

Louisiana - James D. Caldwell

Michigan - Mike Cox

Missouri - Chris Koster

Montana - Steve Bullock

Oklahoma - W.A. Edmonson

Nebraska - Jon Bruning

Nevada - Catherine Cortez Masto

New Hampshire - Kelly A. Ayotte

North Dakota - Wayne Stenehjem

South Carolina - Henry McMaster

South Dakota – Lawrence Long

Texas - Greg Abbott

Utah - Mark L. Shurtleff

Wisconsin – J.B. Van Hollen

Wyoming - Bruce A. Salzburg