Saturday, April 12, 2008

Telecommuting and Taxes

When work transcends borders (city, state, nation, planetary?) who gets to tax the effort? Maybe nobody, or maybe everybody. Stella comes down on the side of almost nobody. After all, my payroll taxes, paid to the state where I consume government-provided services, benefit me and my community in ways that I value. Assuming that the people I elect to the statehouse are doling out the dough in ways that jibe with my view of what's important to spend money on it's a good thing. (A quick rundown: subsidizing golf courses: no; subsidizing equal access to high-quality schools for all regardless of whether English is their first language: yes; teaching intelligent design in those high-quality schools: no.)

But when enterprising states start looking at how to snag every single penny that might be due to them, it really makes me nuts. I understand that I may be enjoying some of your state's fine state services whilst on-site (driving on your roads, giving my lunch money to workers trained in your fine public schools and all). But really, is the $250 you might collect in tax from me for the 30 days total I spend in your state worth my having to hire an accountant to figure out how to pay everybody?

Goodness gracious.

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