Thursday, June 24, 2004

Let Me Tell You How It Will Be...

Captain Ed notes a disturbing development in Florida tax law:

Florida state officials are considering taxing home networks that have more than one computer, under a modified 1985 state law that was intended to tax the few businesses that used internal communication networks instead of the local telephone company.
In 1985 the state passed a law to tax businesses using their own communications networks, because otherwise the state could not collect tax revenue on the businesses' local telephone service.

...there's one for you, nineteen for me...
In some cases, it appears the tax would be collected by the providers of communications services such as wireless companies or voice-over-IP firms. The tax would be added to the user's bill and then turned over to the Department of Revenue.

But some substitute communications services don't require a service plan. For those, the state could take the tax from the amount deducted on business, and perhaps personal, tax filings.

...don't ask me what I want it for...
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would have to approve any rule the tax department suggests. Bush has said he isn't in favor of the tax, but many fear he may be swayed by city and county government officials. The tax would go, in part, toward school construction and other projects.

...if you don't want to pay some more...
If the law is implemented, Florida would have the most wide-reaching state tax on technology. But it may not be the last -- state officials estimate enforcement of the tax could bring in more than $1 billion a year in revenue for the state.

...and you're working for no one but me.

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