Washington State Apparently Taxes Clubs For People Saying On Yelp That They Danced

from the tax-tax-revolution dept

Dancing, what could be more controversial? Whether it's arresting NYC subway travelers for doing the charleston, or body slamming anyone dancing silently at a memorial to freedom, there appears to be something our government dislikes about musically-induced gyrations. With that in mind, it's with a total lack of surprise that I report that the state of Washington is attempting to make up the tax revenue they forgave Microsoft by finding any clubs in Seattle that offer patrons an "opportunity to dance" and taxing the testicles off of them. It all began, apparently, when state lawmakers revised their software royalty tax because of Microsoft.

In April 2010, Washington State’s Legislature changed the definition of its software royalty tax and effectively granted amnesty to Microsoft, helping the company lock up $1.51 billion in savings from its thirteen-year Nevada tax dodge - and more than $100 million annually each year into the future.
Well, it wouldn't do for the state to simply have less tax revenue, so to make that amount up they decided to shake down Seattle clubs with a relatively ancient tax on "opportunities to dance" and demanding back taxes from tons of clubs. Just to throw out some numbers, we're talking about tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars owed per club. Moreover, this tax was actually never intended to be applied to night clubs, ballrooms, or bars. It was originally meant for clubs that partook in some ancient ritual called "jazzercise". Now it's being selectively reinterpreted to tax these clubs, even if their patrons don't dance at all.
It works like this: If the state believes that you give your patrons the opportunity to dance, then you pay the tax even when people don’t dance. That’s according to Mike Gowrylow, with the Department of Revenue. Gowrylow: “You could have somebody go into a nightclub, or a bar, or tavern, and they pay cover charges. Unless you followed every person around, you wouldn’t know if they actually danced or not, so the only simple way we could have of defining this is if you give them the opportunity to dance, then the tax applies.”
This has led to a sadly hysterical practice by club owners that involves strategically placing club furniture throughout their floors as a sort of obstacle course to prevent dancing. No, seriously, that is actually happening.

That said, while government could win championships in evil, they're not real big on doing actual work, so you'd imagine it would be quite difficult for Department of Revenue employees to go to different clubs and bars to see if the obstacle courses are obstacle-y enough to warrant no taxation. As it turns out, they don't even bother. Instead, they just troll the internet to see if anyone mentions any dancing at these places. Seriously.
Gowrylow says auditors search the Internet to find out whether people dance at specific clubs. One clubowner reports an auditor told him: “You have the opportunity to dance, and we verified it by 8 or 10 different references on Yelp.”
Think it can't get any stupider? Wrong. One club offers this.
“My auditor… came in with an obituary of a girl who committed suicide,” says another club owner. “When I argued that we aren’t primarily a dance club—we have ‘No Dancing’ signs up everywhere—she flashed this obit that said the girl liked to dance at [our club]. The auditor said, ‘I know this is ridiculous, but I have to do this.’”
Yay, bureaucracy. To pay these thousands-of-dollars fines, many of the clubs in Seattle are asking for donations, noting that, if something in the assessments doesn't change, their businesses may not survive. I know a decent-sized software company that should probably be donating right about now.



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  1.  
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    Ninja (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 4:09am

    Ah, giving giant companies all sorts of incentives while killing small local business and a lot of jobs with it. Seems VERY wise.

    Next: politicians tax small businesses because they allow people to BREATHE inside. Business owners start filling the places with carbon dioxide and ask people to bring their own oxygen cylinders.

    Gosh, can this world get any more stupid? Don't reply, it probably is already.

     

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  2.  
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    S. T. Stone, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:11am

    Welp, that’s bureaucracy!

     

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  3.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:12am

    Have enough power and wealth and the rules no longer apply.

    I am often confused by the claims these huge companies are important to our state, so everyone else has to pay more to support them.
    Software, Content, etc. if your big enough you shouldn't be burdened like the little people.

    What did we do back in the dark ages when everything was simpler, when everyone paid their own way?

    When your chasing tax dollars based on an obit, while giving a large corporation a pass on dodging taxes it really is time to wonder what the hell is wrong with the system and actually fix it rather than look for ways to make it easier for the large corporation to benefit at the expense of everyone else.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:16am

    Taxation without representation... Again...

    It is the government's prerogative to raise taxes.

    Taxes when taken in moderation, are necessary to make a government financially self sustaining.

    However it is neither prudent or necessary to enact ridiculous taxes such as this. Continuing to push B.S. like this has helped to start wars in the past (American revolution).

    While I don't believe a tax on dancing is likely to incite insurrection, it does help to make living in this country stink just a little more than it has to.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:18am

    "Taxing the testicles off of them"

    You wanna know how I knew tim wrote this without looking at the author name?

    I think I'll stay away from washington as I rather like my balls

     

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  6.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:22am

    Re:

    Balls are good things!

    :D

     

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  7.  
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    MrPendent, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:23am

    My God. Did "Footloose" teach us nothing?!

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:28am

    Wait, hold on a second...there is actually a place in the world where there is a TAX on DANCING??? Are you fucking kidding me?

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:29am

    i thought this kind of ridiculousness only happened elsewhere. since when does anyone allow a massive company with billions in assets get away with paying nothing onlt to then get the payments they should have made/be making from those that dont have 2 cents to scratch their asses with?? let these other businesses close down and see what the state then does to recoup the greater amount of tax it loses.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:30am

    1..2..3..4..box step..gliiiide!

    Looking at the pictures of the Legislative Building for Washington State, that's a lot of room for dancing.

    Now where's that Yelp password...

     

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  11.  
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    Blatant Coward (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:33am

    Re:

    Look at the tax payments for the petroleum industry, compared to their federal subsidy.

     

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  12.  
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    Colin, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:36am

    Really hoping a flash mob shows up at the state capitol or wherever and starts dancing.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:37am

    How could any human government give a donation of several billion dollars to a gigantic corporation that already rakes in billions in profits off the backs of the human workers and resources they underpaid for? Well, just be happy for that barely living wage job you have, you know if we don't let all the wealth concentrate at the top of the food chain by constant tax breaks for the rich, the wealthy will leave and you'll lost your job and die of starvation.
    Never mind that it's set up and specifically designed to work that way, just be happy and pay your taxes.

     

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  14.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:38am

    Re:

    No they need to show up at the elected officials homes and dance. Take pictures and send them to the auditors and get them to go and assess each official.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:39am

    Given the propensity of extravert’s to dance on them, does providing tables count as offering an opportunity to dance?

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:42am

    Re:

    Each state is a bit different. Several, at least, offer their liquor licenses in different flavors, for example: a tavern with just a juke box gets one kind, and a nightclub with a stage and a dance floor gets another (cabaret), and a strip club would get yet another (never worked with one of these so I don't know the names), etc. This is a form of tax on dancing as the 'cabaret' licenses tend to be more expensive.

     

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  17. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:43am

    Yet again, problem is at the BIG end.

    Now, the interesting part is the characteristic Techdirt diversion: though Timmy explains "when state lawmakers revised their software royalty tax because Microsoft." [sic], he omits not only some word in that sentence, but further omits targeting blame at Microsoft, instead rails about the secondary effects.

    Just rail at Microsoft, Timmy. BIG should be your focus.

     

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  18.  
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    Michael, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:44am

    Tax on Dancing

    I thought Kevin Bacon put an end to this years ago.

     

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  19.  
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    Vincent Clement (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:46am

    Re:

    You would be surprised by the various laws and regulations that are still on the books. Adultery is still illegal in plenty of jurisdictions.

     

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  20.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:54am

    Re: Yet again, problem is at the BIG end.

    So, you're saying that Tim should ignore the corrupt state legislature who pass laws at the behest of corporations and instead attack just one of the corporations who they bow down to? Sadly, I think you are this stupid. I can forgive your ignorance of popular forms of meme being utilised in a humorous opinion piece, but maybe you should stop the idiotic attempts to derail threads into irrelevant areas. It's your inability to stop posting your obsessive attacks that make any occasional point you have disappear - at least try to keep your stupidity to the threads where they're relevant, you'll get further.

     

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  21.  
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    ShivaFang (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:57am

    Recession needs to support small business

    In an economic recession - you need to SUPPORT your small businesses, not drive them to bankruptcy! The only province in North America not crippled by the recession is Alberta, and it has a government program that turns those who are unemployed into self-employed entrepreneurs (I know, because I took it)

    If all these clubs go bankrupt, not only will you lower the quality of life for those who would otherwise be patrons - but you are also killing businesses and jobs that will make the recession WORSE, not better.

     

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  22.  
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    Berenerd (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 7:05am

    So could walmart get taxed...

    If I showed years of proof I danced in the isle ways?

    How about a school dance?

    WHAT ABOUT THE 5 YEAR OLDS AT THE BUS STOP?!?!?!?! THINK OF THE TERRORIST'S CHILDREN!!!!!

     

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  23.  
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    avideogameplayer, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 7:10am

    How about a lawsuit saying the taxes are a violation of 1st Amendment?

    Freedom of expression?

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 7:16am

     

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  25.  
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    elena, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 7:19am

    Re: Anonymous

    Lo peor es que aunque sea en broma luego el resto del mundo copia..y en españa ya no se puede pagar mas, si nos cobran por bailar o por respirar..el holocausto nazi se va quedar en nada.The worst thing is that even in jest then copy the rest of the world .. and Spain can no longer pay more if we charge for dancing or breathing .. the Nazi holocaust will fall short.no more no more..haha

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 7:23am

    The moral of the story.

    Cheat your taxes by a few thousand dollars? You're going to jail!

    Cheat your taxes by 1.5 BILLION dollars? No problem, we'll retroactively give you a big tax break to get you to start paying taxes again!

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 7:29am

    Re:

    The tax exists several other places. Taxes and royalties have taken a turn to the worse and this kind of tax/royalty is not even close to the most absurd way for a government to waste money on enforcing a law with no chance of actually turning a profit.
    Make it profitable to get micro-payments from the internet tax-wise and you will see a far better industry at minimal costs.

     

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  28.  
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    Scote, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 7:32am

    The answer is obvious....

    The answer is obvious...we just need to get people to say they danced at Microsoft. Problem solved.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 7:43am

    Re: Have enough power and wealth and the rules no longer apply.

    "When your chasing tax dollars based on an obit, while giving a large corporation a pass on dodging taxes it really is time to wonder what the hell is wrong with the system and actually fix it rather than look for ways to make it easier for the large corporation to benefit at the expense of everyone else."

    One does not relate to the other, boy.

     

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  30.  
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    Donglebert the Needlessly Obtuse, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 7:44am

    That little plot twist

    would make Footloose endlessly more entertaining.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 7:45am

    Re: Re:

    "Adultery is still illegal in plenty of jurisdictions."

    Damn!
    Broke the law again!

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 7:45am

    because Microsoft?

    Yeah! Because Microsoft!
    "revised their software royalty tax because Microsoft."
    LOL

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 7:46am

    Re:

    "i thought this kind of ridiculousness only happened elsewhere. since when does anyone allow a massive company with billions in assets get away with paying nothing onlt to then get the payments they should have made/be making from those that dont have 2 cents to scratch their asses with??"

    Which company are you talking about, boy?
    One of Mitt Romney's shells?

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 7:58am

    Re:

    The conclusion is obviously that the US gov. is run by xenos!

     

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  35.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 7:59am

    Re: Re: Have enough power and wealth and the rules no longer apply.

    To make up a shortfall in tax revenue caused by not punishing MS for shifting cash out to avoid taxes and then handing them tax law to keep them from having to pay that tax they are now pursuing small businesses where dancing might happen on a unique reading of a law that hadn't enforced... how are they unrelated again?

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 8:00am

    Fortunately dive bars won't need to worry about this. Everyone knows nobody dances at shows in Seattle!

     

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  37.  
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    special-interesting (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 8:01am

    The weirdness of bureaucracy always gets me. There are four important complications; taxing thus limiting social activities like dancing and also incursions on the right to assemble. Also the health of citizens would suffer if they could not dance/exercise at normal social gathering places. Then also the philosophical implications of a tax on fun? (and these are aside the normal special interst political-motivation taxing issues.)

    Dance is firmly entrenched in our societies culture. Its a normal human social group activity that enhances participants feelings of individual specialness while fitting in with grace and elegance within that group. One can easily say it enhances life and facilitates social group cohesiveness. A valuable social development tool dancing is.

    In such light why would any sane bureaucracy tax that? There is no social/societal/cultural/public benefit to it whatsoever. (using the slash notation condenses 4 sentences into one) Taxing at the expense of society is a cultural crime as it robs both the individual and social group of valuable needed interactions.

    A tax on a specific activities performed at a social event is an easy way to limit/control/monitor such activities? Why was dancing singled out as bad? Just by levying a tax on something makes it a bad thing to be avoided especially in hard economic times. Its normal human behavior 101.

    Another point is freedom of assembly. The right to gather and behave in any way we feel like and not be interrupted by taxing bodies, music police, performance laws, port-a-potty count or whatever. Worse would be if any of these are contrived reasons to prevent citizens from assembling to discuss whatever important topic and interact (dance, sing, act-out, etc) in the way they choose or pick to be valuable for the social occasion it is.

    Here we have a society thats beginning to prohibit any assembly of people at all. When people get together whether at home or at a bar/banquette-hall/disco-bar/classical-dance-floor/foot-stomping-western-bar/etc they will do what they want and that should be 100% totally fine WITHOUT PENALTY!

    Freedom of assembly is a constitutional issue that has been neglected in favor of 'gang' laws that prohibit gatherings of any kind or use of language of choice. (outlawing hand signals sometimes called signs) Which is silly cuz even chess/math/bio-chem/etc clubs/fraternities sometimes have a secret handshake or recognition sign. Its a kind of class warfare unfairly waged.

    Really. Its a tax on shaking your body. How flipped out it that? It was mentioned thats its legislative inheritance was based on a tax of Jazzersize... Why would any city, state or whatever governing body make it more expensive to get healthy. Call me cynical but its more likely the local/state health club special interest group most likely felt threatened by the newer Jazzersize clubs slipping onto their imaginary turf.

    Dancing is a healty normal human function and taxing it is insane. Is it any wonder the weight of the aveage American has been increasing? Nope. If even normal human activity is taxed people and business will just either not do it or make it impossible.

    Fines of “thousands of dollars” are not small even to large clubs and frequently they just close down. Decreasing tax revenue while increasing fines is economically stupid. How can the bureaucracy hold the club owners liable for activities that are natural and clients just do it spontaneously for fun and enjoyment.

    Along that line of thinking; Wouldn't the “dance tax” be an enjoyment tax. That would be the opposite of a vice tax? (cigarettes, booze) On so many levels this kind of government behavior is unhealthy for a happy social society. Did the state legislature actually think this over before voting? Just how strong is the local special interest groups (MS?) What way can they defend against the accusation that this is a tax on society and culture itself?

    Wasn't there supposed to be some phrasing like “shall make no laws pertaining to” something like that? Dance is an integral part of some religions (Native American Indians is good example) so laws like this can have even more cultural damage.

    -more ranting-

     

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  38.  
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    Andrew D. Todd, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 8:09am

    Dance As Sex

    For historical reasons, dancing is a conventional proxy measure for sex. For at least four hundred and fifty years that I know about, authority figures have been freaking out about dance in some form or another. In the 1560's or so, it was an Italian dance call La Volta. Judging by surviving pictures, you pick the girl up by her waist, and lift her about a foot in the air, like a ballet "pas de deux," only not so high. Authority grumbled that it was productive of "murder and miscarriages."

    (Courtly dance was the ancestral form of ballet, only its technical standards were not so high as was achieved in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.)

    Obviously, in these terms, the way clubs are regulated makes sense. The authorities reckon about how many notches away from a brothel a club is, and act accordingly.

     

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  39.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 8:12am

    Re: Re:

    I'm sure that these bureaucrats were never invited to them.

     

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  40.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re:

    You should know better, these laws don't apply to those that instate them. They are above these laws.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 8:17am

    Will I be able to get a deduction if I'm a really bad dancer?

     

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  42.  
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    tqk (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 8:17am

    Re:

    Ah, giving giant companies all sorts of incentives while killing small local business and a lot of jobs with it. Seems VERY wise.

    I'm having a hard time understanding why there aren't mobs of pitchfork wielding taxpayers and small businesses converging on the statehouse and Microsoft's home base.

    Or, is the weed in Washington really *that* good?!?

     

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  43.  
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    vastrightwing, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 8:27am

    Opportunity to strike back

    Ah, my warped mind has come up a great idea: now in Washington state we can get back at all the evil corporations by posting youtube videos of a mob dancing at say... Walmart, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, just to name a few big corporations. Since they've all managed to get tax breaks, we can negate the tax breaks simply by dancing. Anyone care to join me?

     

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  44.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 8:41am

    Re: Re:

    That would just get you arrested for trespassing.

    No, a better way to drive home how insane something like this is would be to show up at any political rally, fundraiser, group meeting etc, have a few people start dancing, another take a picture, and then send that in. If businesses start refusing to host their meetings for fear that they'll get fined, that'll hit their funding, and that they'll care about.

     

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  45.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 8:55am

    Re: Taxation without representation... Again...

    While I don't believe a tax on dancing is likely to incite insurrection


    Probably not, but it's interesting to note how many times in history that full-blown revolutions were triggered by relatively insignificant things like this. This sort of thing can become the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re: Taxation without representation... Again...

    So true, to some extent there may be a critical mass when it comes to these things.

    In an already volatile situation, such as just before the American revolution, a slight provocation, like this senseless tax may be all that is required to push it over the edge.

    Past that point it escalates on its own.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 9:34am

    Re: Re:

    "I'm having a hard time understanding why there aren't mobs of pitchfork wielding taxpayers and small businesses converging on the statehouse and Microsoft's home base."

    They should be...

    However, most people are just too dumb to care.

     

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  48.  
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    Nicci Stevens, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 9:35am

    WA Taxes

    I live in Washington. Not sure I want to continue. If it weren't for family I would have moved already.

    The yahoos in Olympia and on the King County Council keep telling us we need to pay our share in terms of the second highest sales tax in the nation. We're tied with the highest fuel tax. They want to toll one road (which crosses an island -- ask those folks how THEY like that!) to pay for another road -- this has never been done anywhere in the US. Our previous governor forced indian reservations to collect taxes -- not that the state got those taxes, just that they collect taxes.

    1.51bn would more than halve the state budget shortfall for fy13. While its true that this wont fix Washington's budget ills, it would help. Even just the $100M might help keep the wealthiest county in the state's buses running.

    Olympia has bizare priorities.

    Even Gates Sr. wrote a ballot initiative to create in income tax for the highest earners in the state. It was defeated largely because ballot initiatives can be rewritten after 2 years.

    The new marijuana legalization is already turning into a quagmire with lawmakers unhappy with the $1000 license fee for sellers now wanting to make the fees locale centric so, for example, a downtown Bellevue location could pay $250,000 for their license. This is combined with a 75% tax on sales. The whole purpose was to make the black market irrelvant through legal availability. By taxing something so high that it is cheaper to use a well establish black market there would be little to no taxes collected.

    So long as the lobbyist is represented and not the taxpayer this state will continue to cowtow to folks like Ballmer, Page, Bezos, and more, rather than looking out for the ones who actually voted.

     

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  49.  
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    Maxwell (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 9:43am

    Horrible deal

    Talk about a bad deal. I would have exchanged the tax cut for unlimited and perpetual licenses of Office, Server and SQL Server for the whole state of Washington.

     

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  50.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re:

    but so many of them keep attending...

    http://gayhomophobe.com/

     

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  51.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    until you can find a way to take the money out of the politicians pockets directly they won't care.

     

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  52.  
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    JasonT (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 9:59am

    MS

    Geeks don't dance.

     

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    Androgynous Cowherd, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:12am

    The Internet.

    That said, while government could win championships in evil, they're not real big on doing actual work, so you'd imagine it would be quite difficult for Department of Revenue employees to go to different clubs and bars to see if the obstacle courses are obstacle-y enough to warrant no taxation. As it turns out, they don't even bother. Instead, they just troll the internet to see if anyone mentions any dancing at these places. Seriously.


    Because if you read it on the Internet, it must be true.

     

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  54.  
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    pjhenry1216 (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:16am

    if i dance somewhere, it does not necessarily mean i was given the opportunity by the club to do so. i could have taken the opportunity from them. i could go dance in the lobby of the office of these auditors and that doesn't mean they gave me the opportunity. the simple observation of someone dancing is not enough.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Michael, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:19am

    Re: WA Taxes

    If it weren't for family I would have moved already

    I am sorry to tell you, the grass isn't really greener. It's still just grass...

    ...and illegal in other states.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Tidmore, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:23am

    Corrupt state government

    Washington State is nothing more than a corrupt criminal conspiracy. Governor Gary Locke bribed voters to get them to vote a certain way. Governor Christine Gregoire when she was AG went to great efforts to cover-up the child rape at the OK Boy's Ranch. Rob McKenna as AG refused to uphold and enforce the state constitution. The Washington State Supreme Court was strongly admonished by the US Supreme Court for it's ridiculous ruling in the In Re the Custody of Smith (Troxil) case.

    At every level of state, county and municipal government here in Washington State you will find the most despicable degenerates holding public office.

    VISIT WASHINGTON, THE CHILD RAPE STATE

     

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  57.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes and no I'd say. As the SOPA protests showed, threaten a politician's chances to get re-elected and that'll get their attention just as quick, so you don't always have to affect their funding directly to get them to start paying attention to the whole 'serving the public' bit that they like to ignore so much.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    PJ London, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:42am

    Re: Taxation without representation... Again...

    "Taxes when taken in moderation, are necessary to make a government financially self sustaining."

    No, all taxes are theft (or extorion under the treat of violence). If you want to finance services, charge for the services. If people are not willing to pay for something, then the government has no right to supply the service.

    ‘Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed.’ - Robert Heinlein
    "I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man, standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." --Winston Churchill

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    PJ London, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:42am

    Re: Taxation without representation... Again...

    "Taxes when taken in moderation, are necessary to make a government financially self sustaining."

    No, all taxes are theft (or extortion under the treat of violence). If you want to finance services, charge for the services. If people are not willing to pay for something, then the government has no right to supply the service.

    ‘Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed.’ - Robert Heinlein
    "I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man, standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." --Winston Churchill

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    PJ London, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:42am

    Re: Taxation without representation... Again...

    "Taxes when taken in moderation, are necessary to make a government financially self sustaining."

    No, all taxes are theft (or extortion under the treat of violence). If you want to finance services, charge for the services. If people are not willing to pay for something, then the government has no right to supply the service.

    ‘Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed.’ - Robert Heinlein
    "I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man, standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." --Winston Churchill

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:07am

    Remember, dancing feet is the terrorist's tools.

     

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  62.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:17am

    Tax

    I thought the taxes in California were ridiculous... Jesus wept.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re: Taxation without representation... Again...

    "No, all taxes are theft (or extortion under the treat of violence). If you want to finance services, charge for the services. If people are not willing to pay for something, then the government has no right to supply the service."

    I agree, and in an ideal world, this is the way it would be done.

    Unfortunately, the world we live in is far from ideal, governments have been collecting taxes since the dawn of civilization, and are unlikely to stop anytime soon.

    However, as long as we ensure that tax amounts and conditions are reasonable, and that there is some tangible service provided to the taxpayer in return, it is usually a good compromise.

    Granted, of course there are better ways, but implementing them is a long and difficult road.

    Btw, check that your post took before retrying. Its happened to me a few times too, so no worries, just be careful...

     

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  64.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:22am

    Re:

    Everyone knows nobody dances at shows in Seattle!

    Yeah, but it's only a matter of time before they tax chin-scratching and head-bobbing. When that happens, Seattle is in big trouble.

     

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  65.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Have enough power and wealth and the rules no longer apply.

    > To make up a shortfall in tax revenue
    > caused by not punishing MS for shifting
    > cash out to avoid taxes

    I agree that Microsoft should be paying more (or at least the dance halls shouldn't have to make up for the shortfall), but why should the state punish *anyone* for tax avoidance?

    Tax *evasion* is illegal, but tax avoidance is perfectly legitimate. Everyone does it. When you take a deduction on your taxes as allowed by law, that's tax avoidance. When you choose to live in Texas rather than California because Texas has no state income tax, that's tax avoidance.

    Indeed, the Supreme Court has not only legitimized tax avoidance but given it its stamp of approval:

    "Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands." --Justice Learned Hand

    Given all that, I kinda take issue with your suggestion that the state should be punishing people for tax avoidance.

     

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  66.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:39am

    Re:

    No, this isn't a tax on dancing. This is a tax on dancing being conceivable.

     

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  67.  
    icon
    tqk (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    However, most people are just too dumb to care.

    I'm not enough of a misanthrope to agree. They just need to learn about this tragedy and get their game on. This shouldn't be happening to them. Pitchforks and torches people! Time to step up.

    I guess this makes me a "terrist." :-P

     

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  68.  
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    tqk (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Taxation without representation... Again...

    It is the government's prerogative to raise taxes.

    No. It's the government's job to do what we tell them to do (within reason, constitutionally constrained). There's lots of ways to fund that which don't include taxation (user fees, fines, donations, ...).
    While I don't believe a tax on dancing is likely to incite insurrection ...

    Were I a small businessman trying to keep a small tavern afloat, and they hit me with something as corrupt as this, I'd be looking to emigrate to somewhere more sensible.

    This is sick on so many levels.

     

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  69.  
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    AzureSky (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    or like myself, dont feel like being beaten and arrested for questioning the will of those who own this country and our govt.

     

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  70.  
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    nasch (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:34pm

    Re: WA Taxes

    They want to toll one road (which crosses an island -- ask those folks how THEY like that!) to pay for another road -- this has never been done anywhere in the US.

    I believe Indiana is doing something similar.

     

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  71.  
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    tqk (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Taxation without representation... Again...

    I agree, and in an ideal world, this is the way it would be done.

    This may be a bit unreasonable on my part, but I am an idealist. Putting up with this atrocious conduct is just painful, and we should NOT be expected to put up with it. They should not be able to get away with this.

    They assume too much, and I'll boycott the whole shootin' match before I'll go their way.

    I don't even like dancing. It's the principle of the thing.

     

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  72.  
    icon
    tqk (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Recession needs to support small business

    The only province in North America not crippled by the recession is Alberta, and it has a government program that turns those who are unemployed into self-employed entrepreneurs (I know, because I took it).

    I'm Albertan also. What is this program please? Got a link?

     

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  73.  
    icon
    tqk (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 2:11pm

    Re: So could walmart get taxed...

    WHAT ABOUT THE 5 YEAR OLDS AT THE BUS STOP?

    This's the taxman. I imagine tapping your foot to the beat counts as dancing.

     

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  74.  
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    tqk (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 2:27pm

    Re:

    Will I be able to get a deduction if I'm a really bad dancer?

    No. This taxes the venue, not the participant.

     

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  75.  
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    tqk (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Horrible deal

    I would have exchanged the tax cut for unlimited and perpetual licenses of Office, Server and SQL Server for the whole state of Washington.

    In other words, "Enslave me, Microsoft!"

    Linux + LibreOffice + Apache costs you nothing but brainpower and research, and locks you into nothing. Free updates (including security fixes) too.

     

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  76.  
    icon
    tqk (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 2:57pm

    Re: MS

    Geeks don't dance.

    Geeks dance with their fingers on keyboards.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Cowherd, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 3:02pm

    ‘I know this is ridiculous, but I have to do this.’


    Just imagine how much better the world would be if everytime someone was going to say that, they instead said "This is ridiculous, I'm not doing this."

     

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  78.  
    icon
    tqk (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 3:04pm

    Re: The Internet.

    As it turns out, they don't even bother. Instead, they just troll the internet to see if anyone mentions any dancing at these places. Seriously.

    Because if you read it on the Internet, it must be true.

    If I were an IRS employee, I'd be worried. This is an easily "farmed out to India" sort of function. Any moron can grep the Internet for this sort of miscreant.

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    Pete Austin, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:14pm

    Microsoft Publishes Dancing Games

    Don't tell me they never tested this even once. So cue taxes...

    http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-GB/Product/Dance-Central/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d8025456 07d3

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2013 @ 12:28am

    So give the big guys hundreds of millions in tax breaks, while strangling the tiny guys to death.

    Government in a nutshell then.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    PJ London, Apr 16th, 2013 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Re:

    Balls are certainly good, however, being a formal dance where attendees wear evening attire, which is specified on the invitation as black tie or white tie (the most formal), and as social dance forms a large part of the evening it will certainly be taxed.

    PS Sorry about the earlier triple post, Damn screen just sits there, pretending that it has not sent anything.

     

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  82.  
    icon
    RyanNerd (profile), Apr 26th, 2013 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Have enough power and wealth and the rules no longer apply.

    Yes in the dark ages things were much more simple.
    There was basically a caste system where a middle class did not exist.
    From my point of view as an American that realizes that America is no longer a representative republic, and is now an oligarchy; I contend that we are headed back into the dark ages again with monarchs, serfs and peasants.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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