Yesterday we brought attention to Baltimore's shameless scheme to line its coffers by trying to impose a large telecom tax on VoIP providers, like Vonage. It seems that government just can't resist putting its hands in whatever cookie jars it can find. But at least Baltimore's scheme seems to be rooted in a legitimate law (however misguided it may be). Compare that to West Virginia, which would like to tax the profits (via Hit & Run) of any company that has customers in the state. Right now it's going after Delaware-based credit card company MBNA, in a move that appears to be in blatant violation of the law. MBNA may take the case to the Supreme Court, but if the Supreme Court refuses to hear it, or rules in favor of of West Virginia, it could set off a major round of states trying to tax the profits of companies that sell in their state. Obviously, this would have major implications for all kinds of companies, including tech firms, whose business is often unrelated to their specific geography. The big winner in this has to be Baltimore, which looks much better in light of what its neighbor is doing.
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