Sunday, 25 July 2010

Taxes

Massachusetts is about the last place on Earth that you'd want to own a yacht. They don't fool around....6.25 percent sales tax...then a yearly excise tax on top of that. So if you happened to own a yacht in the neighborhood of $7 million (let's say)...then you owed $70k a year for the excise tax.

Now....for most of us...we'd sit and pause over this. That's a fair sum of money. Naturally...we'd think about the idea of owning a yacht if we had the money, but this whole thing about taxation would bother us.

Well...over this past week...John Kerry the senator...and the topic of yachts came up.

John apparently likes yachts, and he apparently bought one. But here's the funny thing...he just didn't want to buy it in Massachusetts, and he didn't want to keep it in the state either because of the excise tax.

Naturally...this type of situation invites a state like Rhode Island to exist. The folks over there....hate big taxes. So they rig up this deal where you just pretend to be part of the locals there...and pay regular taxes (unlike Massachusetts).

This brings up in conversation the question of why you just don't see many yachts hanging around Massachusetts...and the locals kinda think that they are mostly just regular folks without any funny habits like this. It's reached a point where most rich guys have figured out the whole scheme....and don't really care to pay taxes.

What happens to John Kerry now? He says that the boats stays in Rhode Island for maintenance and repairs...and that it's available for rental there. He kinda laughed off this whole story, and his accountant says that John's yacht is safe as it is.

We have a funny nation. There is this patch-work of state tax apparatus vehicles where things count for you and against you. If you own three houses in three states...you have to worry about who will claim you as a resident. Then you worry about how many days you spend at the vacation house in California because it might be enough to get you into a taxation bracket.

Life isn't simple. And neither is taxes.

Our Single Best Super-Duper Program


“Social Security is the most successful social program in the history of the world."

- Harry Reid, 24 Jul 2010

I sat there and tried to imagine what might be number two, but then I kept thinking to myself that we must be awful pitiful if Social Security was that successful and just about broke.

In fact, if I were the Republicans and in charge in 2011...I wouldn't dare do a thing to fix up Social Security because Harry is usually right about stuff like this....well....I'd like for him to be right.

Something worries me though....I just don't know what.

Movie Day

I went out and watched a movie today. At least it got me out of the apartment and into an very cool place as the temperatures sat around 101 degrees.

I sat and watched Inception. Basically, if you got into Matrix...you probably would get into this movie. It requires you to go off and think outside of the box. And at the conclusion is fairly positive...compared to most movies you watch today.

The big part of the experience today? I stood there yet again and was shocked over the pricing of sodas and popcorn. A small Coke ran around $4.25, and a small popcorn around $4.50. So you are spending around $10....and if you had gone XXL...it'd been $15. I felt silly with this pricing scheme. Maybe those fifteen years outside of the US influenced me on this and the rare occasions that I ever went to a theater during that period...but spending $10 for a little bit of popcorn and a average sized soda....just doesn't cut it.

I realize the theater guys are desperate for profit....but the popcorn is lousy, and the Coke has a funny taste...like it's pretend-to-be Coke and not the real thing. It would upset me greatly to learn they have some Wal-Mart cheapo Coke offering instead.