Thursday, October 28, 2010

Beer bucks and such

The Tax Commission makes its annual distribution in December from the alcoholic beverage enforcement and treatment account.
This is a 'restricted' account that generated $5.6 million last year from the sale of beer within the friendly confines of the Beehive State.
The Legislature specifies the monies must be used for promoting the harmful effects of over consumption, reduction in underage drinking, and related areas.
The law allows funds to be use for confinement and treatment where alcohol is a contributing factor in the crime.
The dollars are distributed to cities, towns and counties is determined by these four factors:
1) Local population
2) Convictions for alcohol-related offenses
3) Liquor and beer licenses and outlets, and
4) County population
The data comes from a variety of federal and state sources and the Tax Commission computes the math for distribution to the local governments.

In other taxing matters . . .
  • South Salt City's combined sales tax rate will change to 7.05 percent on Jan. 1. The City imposed the city option sales tx at a rate of .20 percent.
  • Sevier County will increase its transient room tax rate for 3.0 to 4.25 percent.
  • Filmore has imposed the 1 percent municipalilty transient room tax option. On New Years Day the transient room tax rate for our first territorial capital city will be 4 percent.

Peace, love and all that Jazz,


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Other states have quirky tax laws too

Last week a Utah tax grabbed local headlines - not because of its impact, but because of its quirkiness.

The topic of interest was sexually explicit businesses, also known as S.E.B.'s, which sounds better in a public setting than S.O.B.'s (sexually oriented businesses).

Here's the Reader's Digest version: In 2004, the Legislature passed a 10 percent tax on admission and sales of merchandise, food, drink and services for sexually explicit businesses. The Tax Commission determined that escort services did not qualify as S.E.B.s because of the broad language in the law. The Utah Supreme Court upheld the Tax Commission decision and then the U.S. Supreme Court decided against hearing the Utah case.

Currently, the law impacts only one Utah business.

Here's a sampling that financial expert Casey Bond posted in a column of strange taxes and deductions scatttered throughout the U.S. of A.

- Electrolysis treatments, tattoos and body piercings are taxed an additional 10 percent sales tax in Arkansas.

- Pet owners in Durham County, North Carolina must list pets as personal property and pay taxes on them. If Fluffy is fixed it's 10 bucks; otherwise $75 to tax collector.

- Clothing retailers in Minnesota pay a 6.5 percent tax for goods comprised of three times more fur than the next most valuable materal used to make it.

- Alabama charges 10 cent tax on any pack of cards that contains 54 or fewer in the deck. The seller must pay another buck and an annual license tax of $3.

- In addition to all the other costs for civil and criminal litigation, Tennessee charges a tax of $25 per court case.

- Alaska whaling boat captains can write off 10 Grand for anything they spend on boat repar and other whaling expenses.

I'm just a little disappointed that Utah's brine shrimp tax missed the list.

Peace, love and all that Jazz. Charlie