September 22, 2009
Only in Oakland?
This article from Oakland's East Bay Express is a classic illustration of what you get when you live in a left wing city that's hurting for money. They come up with fiendish new tax schemes and tyrannical restrictions on businesses. Apparently, some genius in the Oakland bureaucracy figured out that it would be legal to apply laws originally designed to tax and regulate pawn shops to other businesses that deal in used goods.
Small Oakland retailers, already suffering because of the recession and the proliferation of Internet shopping, are angry about the City of Oakland's decision to begin collecting a hefty new business tax. The fees could amount to more than $600 per business and apply to sellers of used goods -- such as used book, clothing, record, and toy stores, and antique shops. The city has sent letters to dozens of such retailers across Oakland, demanding that they pay the tax and force their employees to be fingerprinted, or face additional penalties.The kicker is that they could law apply the law to almost anyone:
under a liberal reading of the law, there is no reason it shouldn't also apply to garage sales.Or Ebay sellers, for that matter.
It's easy to laugh at Oakland because it is such a left-wing city, but if you think ideas like that don't spread, think again. City bureaucrats attend conventions and share ideas, and many a goofy idea we all laughed at (like bans on smoking, trans fats, and dog testicles) started in nutty left wing cities and towns, and eventually ended up being de rigueur everywhere. After all, these things are called "progressive."
Besides, as we all know, only mean-spirited bigots mind paying their taxes!
(You know, like Geithner, Rangel, ACORN....)
posted by Eric on 09.22.09 at 08:16 PM
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