The Getting "Use"-d Tax - Cheating on the Commonwealth....
As many of you know, there are a lot of places in the United States where there isn't a sales tax on certain goods, e.g. here in PA, most unprepared food and clothing is tax free. While on vacation in Delaware a few months ago, everything was sales tax free, including nonessential goods such as souvenirs, jewelry, McDonald's, et al. I thought it was all good and honest, and TBH, I saved a good $30-40 bucks compared to PA.
Well, I found out that there is a catch to the mayhem. Here in PA, there is what is called a "use tax", which essentially means all the stuff I bought online - and in Delaware - is due 7% tax (6% state + 1% Allegheny County), which frankly, I lost track of At any rate, a lot of people seemingly don't know about this remittance to the state (makes a lot of accountants money to point this out, albeit probably unsuccessfully - if you remember my eBay budget from last year, plus part-time work, you'll see that I'm missing a heck of a lot of tax revenue...even though I seriously don't spend that much.)
So, anyways, although some states don't collect this, PA does, and I guess it could be said that all that "tax free shopping" in Rehoboth Beach comes at a cost. I'll see if I can dig through underneath my seat from all the useless crap I bought on vacation the receipts....plus there may be some interesting caveats to investing in gold on eBay....somehow I think I'm going to be cutting the state a fairly big check in April :P )
My question is this: How many of you folks actually knew about this before I brought it up? I talked to my mom and a few people in my social circles, and they wonder how many people actually pay the "use tax"....according to an accounting/tax agency, some $500 million is lost in sales tax revenue....)
Generally speaking, the more Democratic a state is, the more likely they are to tax just about everything.
California recently got hit with what was called the "Amazon Tax". that is, that any goods bought over the internet was subject to the state sales tax level. However, under a 1992 Supreme Court decision, they can't charge sales tax if Amazon has no presence in the state, so they pulled over 25,000 employees from the state by discontinuing any satellite operations. You literally cannot work for Amazon, even making $1, if you live in the Golden State.
The idea is a good one. Give brick and mortar shops a chance to compete. But there's a problem. The prices, even excluding sales tax, are lower on Amazon, sometimes by as much as 25%. So even IF they charged sales tax, Amazon still is a better deal because you get it in 2 days, don't pay shipping and they work with a lot of companies to get you items that you may have trouble finding elsewhere.
Here's a hint. Elect Republicans. Then you won't have your butt taxed off.
Oh and in answer to your question... most people don't pay use or out of state sales taxes because they're hard to keep track of to the exact dollar. If you have to pay it, you'll estimate below what you actually spend. And besides that, people always bargain hunt out here with the unemployment rate as high as it is.
Upcoming Shows: Iron Maiden, Devore, September 13
Kamelot, Anaheim, September 21
Good analysis....I don't think it has anything to do with Democrats vs. Republicans, per se, Neko....it's more or less that this law has been in effect for almost 20 years and hasn't really been enforced here until recently (PA's state tax forms are going to include a "use tax" box for the first time - under a Republican leader, plus the law was made clearer under a 2002 law when Schweiker - another Republican - was the Gov'ner. It's mostly been because of the huge budget deficit that we are facing that it's started to become a problem.)
Me, I really haven't spent that much for the state to be losing big - thanks to the economy, and the type of work I do, I don't pay much income tax and have saved up a couple grand in the bank, so if the Keystone Kops come looking, I can hand them a wad of cash.
I do think you are right when they ask for honesty....I mean, in truth, I probably spent no more than a couple hundred bucks in Bethany Beach and the gold itself is being taxed already on a W-2 like an investment (a really good one BTW ) so I'll just probably give PA a couple hundred at the end of the day just to be honest.
(BTW, Neko....you seem to be more worried about unemployment than I am. Care if I ask if you're having problems finding work out there in California? Just wondering - it's the second time you brought it up. I've been working at the same business for almost 8 months and have had a nice nest egg form....you once said I wouldn't last 6 months without being called words that you couldn't say on here.... wrong.)
^Since you wrote a good, thoughtful response, I'll do the like.
Let's just put it this way: If someone is paying you to do work, then you just do what they say and work hard. I don't act in real life like I do on here...contrary to that, I treat any position like it's a supreme privilege. Yes, sure, I have gripes with my bosses, and there are times we disagree. But you know what? I work with a lot of people my age, and they feel entitled to the position. I don't bring that attitude to work. Sure, it seems like an online persona could really define someone, but you know what? No one has to know what goes on here or on Facebook unless you want them to know.
In reality, the only reason why I give you a hard time is because I know you are obsessed with hating the Steelers and I kind of poke at you with it. I actually think I know why you hate them, and it's not about six titles or the fans or whatnot. I'm not going to post it here because it's not relevant to the topic at hand, but I would be glad to share it with you in a PM if you wish.
The truth is with it is that the disgruntlement with the unemployed is discriminatory, sure, but I don't think any law passed would solve the problem. Sure, it would mean they can't outwardly say "we can't hire you because you are unemployed", but all they can say is "your qualifications are insufficient" - it's at-will, they can do as they please. What I could never understand is just how many people reject trying to work at all and spend hours and hours on unemployment searching. Personally, in my major, my job search can be done in a couple hours at the end of a workday...and I have to dig through 30-40 websites to do so? It is helpful to at least get some work, retail, AA, even a clerk a couple of days per week...but yet some people just feel like it's not worth it. I've known for some time that present employment helps a lot...it doesn't mean you're working in the field, but in the end, it shows you're not just going to live on handouts. But that's just me.
I do admire your ambition to get the Master's degree, but I also think (no offense) that you have to be a lot more positive around the workplace then you are around here, Neko. You don't have to be battered about, but let's face it - there are whole lines of people outside who would take my work if they could get the chance. If you're in, you're pretty freakin' lucky. But if you're going to go in and always be apprehensive and biased, thinking your boss is out to get you, then you're going to let it affect your work and your communications, and regardless of your Master's degree, it isn't going to matter. Unemployment is high, but I would gladly be in your position with a degree that is in demand plus experience versus someone like me who has to shoehorn into a position and is just starting. I often get the feeling that you're just tired of beating verbally abused and let down, and it's hardened you to the point where you're bitter and apprehensive. It doesn't work anywhere to be that way....the most negative person in the office often is the first to go when budgets get tight.
Okay, this I've gotta hear. I've enabled PMs for you to shoot me one because I confess now you've bent my ear. I'll give you a somewhat comprehensive timeline of my family and the Steelers and maybe it'll put it in perspective for you.
Originally Posted by M2nFarisFan
I'll just sum up your last couple of paragraphs by saying it's difficult when you have Asperger's Syndrome. You never get along with a lot of people at a time, you end up having to rely on cats or dogs or inanimate objects mostly because they're the ones who don't judge you. And I've had many jobs where I've been mistreated to the point of idiocy. I've even been told that it would be better for my job if I was to lose weight. (Not like I haven't tried but when you're sitting on your butt for 8 hours a day answering phone calls and taking messages, it's hard to get a lot of exercise).
Upcoming Shows: Iron Maiden, Devore, September 13
Kamelot, Anaheim, September 21