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View Full Version : Crazy state taxes. list the ones you know!



luvmylabs23139
04-09-2010, 09:19 AM
Certain states have some odd taxes.
Let's hear the ones you know of either past or current.
PA had or may still have a tax for getting a job. I can't remeber what it was called but everyone that had a job had or has to pay the state a tax for having a job.
Employers were required to withold this from an employee's first paycheck and also annually.
The amount was small enough that if an employee changed jobs during the year it was more hassle than it was worth not to pay the tax again.

YardleyLabs
04-09-2010, 09:37 AM
Certain states have some odd taxes.
Let's hear the ones you know of either past or current.
PA had or may still have a tax for getting a job. I can't remeber what it was called but everyone that had a job had or has to pay the state a tax for having a job.
Employers were required to withold this from an employee's first paycheck and also annually.
The amount was small enough that if an employee changed jobs during the year it was more hassle than it was worth not to pay the tax again.
Actually, Pennsylvania authorizes municipalities to levy an "occupation tax" as a local tax as long as they do not also impose an income tax. Under the occupation tax, the amount paid is based on your declared job. As a "computer consultant" I pay my township an annual tax of $23.00. This is not subject to withholding and never has been to the best of my knowledge (I have lived here since 1984). I still remember the "good old days" when my occupation tax was only $10.00 per year.

luvmylabs23139
04-09-2010, 09:44 AM
Actually, Pennsylvania authorizes municipalities to levy an "occupation tax" as a local tax as long as they do not also impose an income tax. Under the occupation tax, the amount paid is based on your declared job. As a "computer consultant" I pay my township an annual tax of $23.00. This is not subject to withholding and never has been to the best of my knowledge (I have lived here since 1984). I still remember the "good old days" when my occupation tax was only $10.00 per year.

It at the very least was a witholding tax in the retail industry. The stub for paying the tax was sent to the employer who then had to forward it to the employee. Employers were (I do not know current PA payroll tax laws as I no longer have any reason too!) required to withold it.
I truly hated when that corp I worked for either opened a new location in PA or hired a new employee from PA especially if we did not already have an employee that resided in that township.

luvmylabs23139
04-09-2010, 09:51 AM
I think you are missing the real point. MY point was that a person has,or had, to pay a tax in order to have a job any job. And seriously why should a person's job determine the amount of the tax????

Gerry Clinchy
04-09-2010, 09:51 AM
Local govts have been taxing people for working in their boundaries for a long time. It is the "occupational tax". Usually around $10 per person. Small enough to escape general criticism. One wonders why it should cost you to work in a given geographical area v. another. Since all the townships (and munis) seem to charge it, you can't escape it.

In addition, a few years ago, munis & twps were given permission to charge a "municipal services fee" ... not sure if it applies to all residents or just property owners (as a property-owner, I know I pay it). A way for munis to increase their income without obviously raising tax millage rates. While "only" $52/year, it impacts lower income residents more significantly than higher income residents. It is more interesting to pay in our townships ... since we are more rural-suburban; have no public water or sewer in a large portion of the twps; no sidewalks; lots of state (rather than twp) roads ... except in the few, small village centers.

Also interesting, are proposals to increase the 1% local income tax by 1/4% to buy up land to preserve green space. Sounds good on the surface. However, once the twps own the land, they make cool restrictions like not allowing dogs on those lands!

If those who like to train dogs were smart, it would behoove us to start a fund (1/4% of our income would be a significant chunk of change!) to purchase those lands from farmers for dog training :-) Either we give it to ourselves ... or the govt will spend it for us.

YardleyLabs
04-09-2010, 09:54 AM
It at the very least was a witholding tax in the retail industry. The stub for paying the tax was sent to the employer who then had to forward it to the employee. Employers were (I do not know current PA payroll tax laws as I no longer have any reason too!) required to withold it.
I truly hated when that corp I worked for either opened a new location in PA or hired a new employee from PA especially if we did not already have an employee that resided in that township.
Actually, you are correct. There is a local, optional tax called the Occupational Privilege Tax that is paid by the employer through withholding from the first paycheck paid. It is limited to $10/year. It is not levied by any of the school districts or municipalities in my part of PA or any of the municipalities in which any of my staff lived. From the Ceridian website:

"Once each year, employers with business operations in certain Pennsylvania localities must withhold an Occupational Privilege Tax¬ (OPT) from the first available pay of each of their subject employees. Under the Local Tax Enabling Act (Act 511, L. 1965), cities, townships, and school districts in Pennsylvania can impose an occupational privilege tax of up to $10 each year for employees working in Pennsylvania."

luvmylabs23139
04-09-2010, 10:00 AM
I guess if you live in PA it doesn't seem as odd as it does to a person who has to withold that money from a person.
I have to say it was the strangest payroll witholding (and yes it was required or I would not have done it) taxes I have ever dealt with.
Having run multi state payrolls for several very large corps the 2 worst states to deal with in general were PA and CA for different reasons.

luvmylabs23139
04-09-2010, 10:19 AM
Actually, you are correct. There is a local, optional tax called the Occupational Privilege Tax that is paid by the employer through withholding from the first paycheck paid. It is limited to $10/year. It is not levied by any of the school districts or municipalities in my part of PA or any of the municipalities in which any of my staff lived. From the Ceridian website:

"Once each year, employers with business operations in certain Pennsylvania localities must withhold an Occupational Privilege Tax¬ (OPT) from the first available pay of each of their subject employees. Under the Local Tax Enabling Act (Act 511, L. 1965), cities, townships, and school districts in Pennsylvania can impose an occupational privilege tax of up to $10 each year for employees working in Pennsylvania."

That is the tax I'm talking about. A person is only (or was)required to pay it once per year. However every employer was required to withold it from the employee's first paycheck. The employee had to go back to the local to get their money back with the receipts for paying it more than once in the same tax year. For $10 it was more hassle than it was worth for most people.
Think about how many people paid that tax several times in the same year if they were in the retail industry.

dreamer2385
04-09-2010, 10:22 AM
PA occupational priv. tax..

we also have to pay taxes years ago to the city of Scranton PA when u worked in the city. Stupid, as I paid to park, shopped in their malls, and went to college there too.

maria

Buzz
04-09-2010, 10:31 AM
In South Dakota they tax food. I think that's pretty dumb. They don't tax income, but the property tax is fairly high. Overall the taxes here are pretty low.

YardleyLabs
04-09-2010, 10:34 AM
PA taxes are definitely among the more screwed up in the country. The state income tax is a marvel of simplicity -- a flat percentage tax based on all income regardless of source. Once you move to the local level, it's all about nuisance taxes. Both property and income taxes are authorized for local use but with complex caps, rules concerning sharing revenues with school districts, etc. To make this worse, PA has over 6000 municipalities, as compared with a little over 500 in NJ for a similar population. Municipalities live off of nuisance taxes since they get the short end of the stick on everything else. In most townships, the tax collector is an elected position and tax collectors operate as independent contractors receiving a collection fee that is a percentage of the value of taxes collected. Many of them are the highest paid public officials around.

luvmylabs23139
04-09-2010, 10:35 AM
In South Dakota they tax food. I think that's pretty dumb. They don't tax income, but the property tax is fairly high. Overall the taxes here are pretty low.
In NC they tax both food and income!
VA also taxes food and income.

luvmylabs23139
04-09-2010, 10:42 AM
PA taxes are definitely among the more screwed up in the country. The state income tax is a marvel of simplicity -- a flat percentage tax based on all income regardless of source. Once you move to the local level, it's all about nuisance taxes. Both property and income taxes are authorized for local use but with complex caps, rules concerning sharing revenues with school districts, etc. To make this worse, PA has over 6000 municipalities, as compared with a little over 500 in NJ for a similar population. Municipalities live off of nuisance taxes since they get the short end of the stick on everything else. In most townships, the tax collector is an elected position and tax collectors operate as independent contractors receiving a collection fee that is a percentage of the value of taxes collected. Many of them are the highest paid public officials around.

And as an employer it can be a nightmare to track down the local person to establish an account # for payroll witholdings.
I went on more than one wild goose chase to get an account # because one new hire lived in an adjoining township.
I know that in some cases it cost my employer many times the amount of witholdings we had to submit to the township just to pay for my time to get the account set up.

ducknwork
04-09-2010, 11:54 AM
I thought it was cool that when I was in Philly visiting my brother that there is no tax on clothing in PA. Doesn't sound that screwed up to me.

There is nothing that is not taxed in NC. Food, clothes, income, you name it, they tax it. I was pretty ticked off last week. I bought a new boat and it cost me $127 to register and title everything in my name. That included a $3 highway use tax and a $5 notary fee (even though everything was previously notarized).

As of May 1, anyone under age 26 has to take a boater's safety course in order to have a boat registered in their name. I have heard that eventually they will expand the age so that everyone must take the course. As bad as NC is about charging for everything, this is the first step in requiring a driver's license to operate a boat. I would bet money on that.

BTW, luv, how did you make that many posts without using a single exclamation point?:p

Sabireley
04-10-2010, 07:19 PM
We have a rabies shot tax. Get the shot, you pay a $10 tax per dog. Don't get a rabies shot, you don't have to pay the tax. Go figure...

WRL
04-10-2010, 08:07 PM
Well in WA, there is no "max tax" so when you register a brand-new vehicle....you pay out the nose.

Also, if you buy a "used" vehicle that is already licensed in the state, you pay again a sales tax.

WRL

luvmylabs23139
04-10-2010, 09:31 PM
Well in WA, there is no "max tax" so when you register a brand-new vehicle....you pay out the nose.

Also, if you buy a "used" vehicle that is already licensed in the state, you pay again a sales tax.

WRL

NC is even worse. If you move here from out of state they charge you tax on the vehicles YOU already own. :confused::confused::confused:

WRL
04-10-2010, 09:58 PM
NC is even worse. If you move here from out of state they charge you tax on the vehicles YOU already own. :confused::confused::confused:

Yes they do that also.

WRL

dnf777
04-11-2010, 08:23 AM
PA occupational priv. tax..

we also have to pay taxes years ago to the city of Scranton PA when u worked in the city. Stupid, as I paid to park, shopped in their malls, and went to college there too.

maria

These so called "wage taxes" are a real issue! I've heard both sides, living near Pittsburgh, and not sure who is right.

If I lived IN pittsburgh, I guess it would seem unfair that my streets, days, and pot-holes are over-run with suburbanites, who take their high wages home and give them to their municipalities and build nice new schools and roads, while mine decay under their commuter tires. And most M-F, 9-5 commuters don't shop and contribute much, other than parking and lunch. Its significant, but not compared to municipal taxes.

I guess if I commute (which I did) I don't like it. If I lived in Pittsburgh (which I did for a short while) I'd like it.

Rudd
04-11-2010, 09:34 AM
Yes they do that also.

WRL

Have they changed this in the last two years? I moved here in late '08 and only had to pay the registration, a tenth of what it was in CA.

I love that there is no State employment tax but hate paying sales tax on EVERYTHING. Overall, much better taxes here than CA.

WRL
04-11-2010, 10:50 AM
Have they changed this in the last two years? I moved here in late '08 and only had to pay the registration, a tenth of what it was in CA.

I love that there is no State employment tax but hate paying sales tax on EVERYTHING. Overall, much better taxes here than CA.

Maybe they voted it out. It really sucked. I haven't had to register and out of state vehicle in about 10 years. But when I moved from Oregon to WA I had to pay sales tax on the vehicle I already owned.

WRL