Sunday, March 04, 2007

New Taxes or the Lobbyist Employment Plan of 2007.

First let me say I have nothing against lobbyists they serve a role in the system and a role I think needs to be served. That is to push forward the agenda of a group and as long as it stays legal and ethical there is nothing wrong with that.

The development of the new gross receipts tax is going to be really entertaining to watch as every group under the sun is going to work to either get out of the tax entirely at best or have their tax rate defined as low as possible. Since the system is going to have different tax rates as well as different thresholds for payments based off of industry every industry is going to have a very real interest in protecting themselves.

It will be a really good chance to see when all is said and done, who's efforts to mitigate impact were the most effective. Once you see who was effective in mitigating impacts you will be able to look at what methods they used to be successful. Was it using the best lobbyist, did having members of the industry/trade group call their local state reps work, did grassroots or astro-turf campaigns help?

Developing a effective plan for mitigation and implementing it and then being able to demonstrate the success is going to help some lobbyist firm(s) for years to come. Someone is going to be in a position to point out how the widget sellers avoided dealing with the tax and how they helped that happen.

One thing I would suggest someone try to push is a requirement that the Department of Revenue break down how much money is generated by each industry from the gross receipts tax. Also how many companies in each industry end up having to pay the gross receipts tax instead of the standard income tax. I would also hope that the legislature asks for estimates from the Department of Revenue on how much the expect to collect from each industry group and then look at how much the actual numbers end up being.

Looking forward to the show.


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