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Man Pulls Submachine Gun Over 22¢ Tax: 'I'm Tax Exempt'
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Man Pulls Submachine Gun Over 22¢ Tax: 'I'm Tax Exempt'

Apr 15 2014, 9:02pm CDT | by

A Chicago man allegedly brandished a submachine gun in a store. No, he wasn’t robbing it. He just didn’t want to pay a 22-cent tax on a $1.79 two-liter bottle of soda. Taxes are annoying, especially...

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15 weeks ago

Man Pulls Submachine Gun Over 22¢ Tax: 'I'm Tax Exempt'

Apr 15 2014, 9:02pm CDT | by

A Chicago man allegedly brandished a submachine gun in a store. No, he wasn’t robbing it. He just didn’t want to pay a 22-cent tax on a $1.79 two-liter bottle of soda. Taxes are annoying, especially this time of year.

When told he had to pay the tax on his Pepsi, officers claim the perpetrator pulled a loaded gun from his Gucci satchel and began threatening to shoot everyone. The judge has ordered 36-year-old Nahshon Shelton held without bail. He faces charges for aggravated assault, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and having an invalid firearm owner’s identification card.

Authorities say Mr. Shelton told police it “is my neighborhood, I’m tax exempt.” And while some tax-exempt organizations these days may try to “self-declare” their tax exemptions to avoid the gauntlet of a Lois Lerner-like experience with the IRS, there’s no suggestion that Mr. Shelton meant tax-exempt in that way.

Despite his reaction to Chicago’s soda tax, such taxes have become popular. In fact, more are being proposed all the time. New York City even went a step further and tried an outright ban on large-sized sodas. As a consumer, I think we should be able to buy a big soda, rather than having to buy two small ones.

Still, a study published in Health Affairs says cutting back on sugared beverages would reduce deaths and serious illnesses, plus save billions in medical costs. But a tax is vastly better than a ban. Besides, we are used to regulating by taxing. And soda is an easy target.

Soda taxes are sin taxes, targeting what legislators view as socially irresponsible behavior. They have the dual purpose of raising revenue and decreasing the targeted conduct. Sin taxes are really excise taxes, like those on alcohol, cigarettes and candy. They are indirect and technically imposed on producers or sellers.

But as a practical matter, they are usually passed on to buyers. Like sales tax, only more targeted. Services can be targeted too. A 10% federal tanning tax went into effect in 2010, and was projected to raise $2.7 billion over 10 years from the nation’s 20,000 indoor tanning salons.

Taxes keep the wheels of government moving too. The tanning tax produced government regulations and line-drawing about how fees should be divvied up between tanning and other services. These arcane rules help keep tax lawyers busy too. If you can lawfully avoid some taxes somewhere by reshuffling your affairs, why not?

Remember the proposed tax on cosmetic surgery? Also dubbed the Botox tax, the proposed 5% excise tax was buried in the massive health care bill. It became controversial and was dropped, but tanning was taxed instead.

Then there’s the ripple effect in the legal system. After paying $8 for a soda and a box of candy, a Michigan man filed a class action suing AMC Theatres for price gouging he claimed violated Michigan’s Consumer Protection Act. Read it and weep.

You can reach me at Wood@WoodLLP.com. This discussion is not intended as legal advice, and cannot be relied upon for any purpose without the services of a qualified professional.

 
Update
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7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rakyat was told today. ...
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Update
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7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

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KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken into by ro ...
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Update
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7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewan Rakyat toda ...
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Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Ministe ...
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Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southern stat ...
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Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 mi ...
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Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri ...
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Update
3

8 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocation of ...
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Update
2

8 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar Scheme ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

8 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara ...
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