Tag Archives: Missouri

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.

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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

The Mystery of Barack Obama Continues

Steve Baldwin at Western Center for Journalism http://www.westernjournalism.com/?p=3338 has an interesting report on Obama that I encourage all of you to read.

Most Americans don’t realize we have elected a president whom we know very little about. Researchers have discovered that Obama’s autobiographical books are little more than PR stunts, as they have little to do with the actual events of his life. The fact is we know less about President Obama than perhaps any other president in American history and much of this is due to actual efforts to hide his record. This should concern all Americans.

A nation-wide network of researchers has sprung up to attempt to fill in the blanks, but at every opportunity Obama’s high-priced lawyers have built walls around various records or simply made them disappear. It is estimated that Obama’s legal team has now spent well over $1.4 million dollars blocking access to documents every American should have access to. The question is why would he spend so much money to do this?

The president who campaigned for a more “open government” and “full disclosure” will not unseal his medical records, his school records, his birth records or his passport records. He will not release his Harvard records, his Columbia College records, or his Occidental College records—he will not even release his Columbia College thesis. All his legislative records from the Illinois State Senate are missing and he claims his scheduling records during those State Senate years are lost as well. In addition, no one can find his school records for the elite K-12 college prep school, Punahou School, he attended in Hawaii.

What is he hiding? Go to http://www.westernjournalism.com/?p=3338 and read the report.

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

Made in Montana Gun Law

I just read that clones of the recently-enacted “Made in Montana” guns bill are about to be introduced in the legislatures in Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and Washington.

Write or call your State Senator and Representative and encourage them to support these bills.

https://onemansthoughts.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/montana-sovereignty-bills-have-national-scope/

https://onemansthoughts.wordpress.com/2009/05/01/montana-fires-a-warning-shot-over-states%E2%80%99-rights/

https://onemansthoughts.wordpress.com/2009/04/23/some-encouraging-news/

https://onemansthoughts.wordpress.com/2009/04/15/texas-gov-perry-backs-resolution-affirming-texas%E2%80%99-sovereignty-under-10th-amendment/