The States Need the Money!

Is there no end to the quest by state and local government units to find yet more dough?  Yet more and different things to tax?

Consider the recent news reported by USA Today regarding the notion that states just might start taxing folks based on the number of miles they drive (rather than how much gas they consume)!  Why, the gas tax just isn’t covering the tab for roads and bridges and related infrastructure repairs, don’t ya know!  Not to mention the fact, of course, that cars (especially in the Obama era) are greener – much more fuel efficient these days, resulting in a decline in gas consumption.

Is it any wonder, then, that Minnesota and Oregon already are testing technological gadgets which will track the number of miles you drive?  And we hear, further, that other states, including Nevada, are looking into similar projects?

The big gripe about all of this is privacy, of course.  Who wants Big Brother tracking a bloke’s miles driven (which could probably allow the state to simultaneously keep up on where the chap is going, and at what hours of the day, etc., etc.)?

And speaking of state money-grubbers, any of you out there who may be trying to stiff California may find a nasty surprise when you open your next bank statement – the California FTB has begun using information obtained via its Financial Institution Record Match (FIRM) program to find dough, and snatch it in payment of delinquent debts from taxpayers.  FTB will be comparing its notes with those of banks, credit unions, insurance and brokerage houses which do business in California, in an attempt to locate assets of unsuspecting tax scofflaws.  As part of the first phase of the program, something like 180 financial institutions have been notified of their required participation with FTB in this program, starting in April, 2012.

So with all of this going on at the state level, is it any wonder that folks are fleeing some of the high-tax jurisdictions faster than you can say ‘Barack Hussein Obama?’  The Tax Foundation  recently reported that New York State accounted for the biggest  exodus of any state in the nation between 2000 and 2010, with a net of 1.3 million residents leaving the state for more tax-friendly climes, representing a loss of $45.6 billion in income!  And during the same decade, something like 552,000 folks left California in the rear view mirror, heading for Texas (one of the no-income tax states), taking $14.3 billion in income with them!

And here sits little old Incline Village Nevada…….

CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISOR – This article contains general information about various tax matters.  You should consult your CPA regarding the implications to your own particular situation.

Jeff Quinn, the author of this article, is a shareholder in Ashley Quinn, CPAs and Consultants, Ltd., with offices in Incline Village and Reno.  He can be reached at 831-7288, welcomes comments at jquinn@ashleyquinncpas.com, and invites readers to consider his other commentary at http://blog.nolo.com/taxes.

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