Snider returned to Brooklyn on a sad note on July 20, 1995, when he appeared in federal court, a couple of miles from where Ebbets Field once stood, as a criminal defendant. Snider and another Hall of Famer, the former Giants first baseman Willie McCovey, pleaded guilty to tax fraud for failing to report thousands of dollars earned by signing autographs and participating in sports memorabilia shows. “We have choices to make in our lives,” Snider said. “I made the wrong choice.” [NYT]
- Caleb Newquist
- December 10, 2010
NPR reports that the Vermont Senator has been going for over 90 minutes to delay the vote on the tax deal President Obama made with Republicans and judging by the live feed from CSPAN2, he’s not showing any sign of stopping. NPR quotes Berns:
“You can call what I am doing today whatever you want, you it call it a filibuster, you can call it a very long speech. I’m not here to set any great records or to make a spectacle. I am simply here today to take as long as I can to explain to the American people the fact that we have got to do a lot better than this agreement provides.”
Here’s a snip from feed the (a pie chart!):
And a bar chart!
He’s doing you proud Green Mountain Staters!
- Adrienne Gonzalez
- February 7, 2011
After a massive flood in the Ohio county of Butler March 25, 1913, the Miami County Conservatory was formed to preserve the quality of Great Miami River water. This mission, hammered out in 1914, allowed for a tax against Butler County residents but apparently when this tax was raised in 1976, it didn’t actually go in front of Butler County votes like it was supposed to.
Which means $4 million in taxes has been collected since then ($252,793.74 in 2009) and somehow no one noticed until now.
Via the Oxford Press (OH):
Following an internal review and opinion from the Ohio Department of Tax Equalization, Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds is removing the tax from the 2010 bill.
“I am proud of my office for this discovery, and for instituting our plan for stronger internal controls on behalf of the citizens of Butler County,” Reynolds said in a press release. “Our role as government leaders must be to protect taxpayers’ money, and to safeguard against waste and error.”
The tax is allowable according to Ohio law. A 1914 statute states taxes for a conservancy district can be collected up to 10 mills, but anything greater must have voter approval.
The funny part is that according to Miami Conservatory District PR, the county is only obligated to pay $207,982 a year to the conservatory. So they really over-collected.
This county auditor is the same who caught another tax boo-boo in early 2010 in which a $1.46 assessment was wrongly collected from every parcel of land in the county for a grand total of $2.3 million.
And you guys wonder why tax protesters do what they do.
- Caleb Newquist
- April 5, 2010
Since it’s opening day for baseball, there are probably a few of you (non-tax accountants) that are at the ballpark enjoying sun, overpriced beers and, if you’re lucky, some complimentary tickets on behalf of your firm.
If you happen to be shelling out your own hard-earned money however, you’re no doubt aware that price of your tickets continue to go up season after season. Throw in $9 beers and Brother Jimmy’s BBQ and you’ll spend a small grip just to enjoy a day of sport and no work.
What’s the cause of the skyrocketing cost of attending a baseball game, you ask? The tax code of course!
That’s according to an op-ed by two professors, Duke law professor Richard Schmalbeck and Rutgers business professor Jay Soled, in today’s Times.
There are many reasons for the price explosion, but a critical factor has been the ability of businesses to write off tickets as entertainment expenses — essentially a huge, and wholly unnecessary, government subsidy.
These deductions have led to higher ticket prices in two ways. On the demand side, they have fueled competition for scarce seats, with business taxpayers bidding in part with dollars they save through the deductions.
On the supply side, the large number of businesses bidding for expensive seats has driven the expansion of luxury skyboxes and a reduction in overall seats in new ballparks.
The authors note that baseball was, until the 1970s, a “populist sport” and fans of all economic classes could attend games for a reasonable cost. Those days are long gone and the professors blame the ability of corporations to deduct business-entertainment expenses as the culprit. They state that you not need look further than the opening of the new Yankee Stadium that has “3,000 fewer seats than its 1923 predecessor but almost three times as many skybox suites.”
The professors advocate a limit on deductions for on luxury tickets to a low fixed amount (e.g. $50). They cite the outright elimination as “unrealistic” but we can’t recall at time when “realistic” and “Congress” collided in a sentence.
We agree with our esteemed colleague at ATL that if you really want to stick it to the companies who take advantage of tax code’s generous provisions, just make skybox tickets non-deductible altogether.
As the authors note, Corporate America has a love affair with sports-related perks and we’d guess that eliminating the deduction would not stop them from buying luxury tickets. The client relation types in your firms know that there is an intangible value to wooing potential clients in some comfortable confines as opposed to cramped seating in the stands with the commoners.