4.0611 Luxury Tax on Computers (4/108)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Thu, 18 Oct 90 20:43:39 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0611. Thursday, 18 Oct 1990.

(1) Date: Thu, 18 Oct 1990 9:29:32 GMT+0300 (27 lines)
Subject: Luxury tax on computers

(2) Date: 17 Oct 90 23:32:29 EDT (29 lines)
From: SJPORTE@asc.upenn.edu
Subject: Luxury tax on computers

(3) Date: Thu, 18 Oct 90 14:31 CDT (29 lines)
Subject: re: Luxury tax on computers

(4) Date: Thu, 18 Oct 90 16:31 EDT (23 lines)
From: Michel LENOBLE <LENOBLEM@umtlvr.bitnet>
Subject: Luxury tax on computers

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 1990 9:29:32 GMT+0300
Subject: Luxury tax on computers

Reading Apple's attempts (successful, I hope) to organize you Americans
against a luxury tax, I can only envy. Over here the luxury tax on
almost all electronic equipment, also cars etc., is 100% with no initial
exemption. Interestingly, it seems not to apply to computers any more,
since recent acquisitions I know of are only 25-50% over the U.S. list
price. Of course in the U.S. you don't pay the list price, it's only
the base from which you subtract to arrive at the "real" price. Here
it's what you start adding (up to 50% or perhaps more) to, to determine
the real price.

Naturally I can't cable my senator, since parties are voted in by
proportional representation and nobody seems to be answerable to anybody
except the heads of their party. Nobody represents my neck of the
woods, let alone me. Big business does rather better at lobbying, which
probably explains why the tax on computers is now much less than that on
cars and home video equipment.

Ah well, excuse me, it's the 3rd day of a hamsin and I have to gripe
about something (they say under old Arab law you are regarded with
understanding if after 3 days of hamsin you murder your wife...). Go
ahead and lobby, and the best of luck to you!

Judy Koren, Haifa.
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------40----
Date: 17 Oct 90 23:32:29 EDT
From: SJPORTE@asc.upenn.edu
Subject: re: 4.0602 Misc: MacConcordance; Bibliography & Warts; Taxes

Concerning the tax on "luxury" computers:

Yes, it is ludicrous that a computer over $1,000 should considered a
luxury. However, let's consider the flipside. Apple Computer would
probably protest a tax on its $5,000 computers as well, so I'll just
throw that under the heading "general corporate protest." A low-end Mac
with reasonable power will still run in the $2,000-$3,000 range; this
may not seem like a luxury to those of us who use computers every day,
but it is an extravagant purchase, one that can be made only by people
of means. In this manner, it IS a luxury.

Granted that the tax is unfairly slanted; it remains that the deficit
needs higher taxation. Any protest we send will be used as ammunition
against the ENTIRE luxury tax, not any one part of it, by its enemies.
This would save us our 10%, but would run the deficit much higher than
our revenues alone.

If you do protest, make sure you send letters to those Senators and
others who are FOR the tax, as that will be the only way that a
line-item is changed. Ask them to raise the threshold to include the
same percentage of computers as cars, or to lower ALL thresholds to
include proportionally the same amount of products.

Jeff Porten, Annenberg School for Communication (sjporte@asc.upenn.edu)

(3) --------------------------------------------------------------36----
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 90 14:31 CDT
Subject: re: Luxury tax on computers

The message posted about the luxury tax provisions of the
budget compromise which was dated 10/16, appears to me
to be misinformed. According to Senator Sasser's office
(as of 10/19), there is no provision in the Senate
Finance proposal for a luxury tax. According to the New
York Times account of the luxury tax provision of the
House bill, items subject to the 10% luxury tax would be
automobiles (> $30,000); boats ( > $100,000); private
planes (> $250,000) and furs and jewelry (> $5,000).
There is nothing included about electronics or computers.

The message routed to Humanist, apparently originally
distributed by Apple, is at the least outdated (and
undated). While there may have been such a provision at
some time in the search for a compromise, I do not recall
any mention of a luxury tax on electronics - even in the
rejected summit compromise. Perhaps Apple's exhortation
mobilized an army of E-Mail which overwhelmed our worthy
legislators, quickly killing this abomination! :-)

In any event, this seems to be a call to defeat a
proposal which no longer exists in that form.

Bill Hook
Vanderbilt University
(4) --------------------------------------------------------------29----
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 90 16:31 EDT
From: Michel LENOBLE <LENOBLEM@umtlvr.bitnet>
Subject: Re: 4.0602 Misc: MacConcordance; Bibliography & Warts; Taxes (3/133)


One should buy a clone or a compatible in separate bits.
Buy your monitor separately. Then buy your keyboard. A few days
later buy the casing and the motherboard and the disk units. And
buy a dot matrix printer to have an efficient working station. Each
part will be under 1000$us. Or you can come to Canada or Quebec and
buy a system here, which you can later smuggle into your own country.

But I must admit this law must have been proposed by the IBM&compatible
gang since there is no way of splitting a Mac (except with a
hand-saw...). This reopens then the IBM-Mac quarrel, doesn't it?

Yours seriously,

Michel Lenoble
Tel.: (514) 288-3916
E-MAIL: lenoblem@cc.umontreal.ca