TeeJaw Blog

A Despised Tax, Collected by Wretches

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Thursday, July 1, 2010, 1: 37 PM

Samuel Johnson defined “excise” in his dictionary as “a despised tax, collected by wretches.”

If ever there were a modern day tax deserving of that title surely The Wyoming Direct Wine Shipment tax and those who collect it deserve it. Wyoming Statutes 12-2-204 requires an out-of-state wine merchant to have a license to ship wine into the State of Wyoming directly to a consumer. The shipper must pay a $50 fee and 12% of the retail amount for each shipment. Naturally, the customer pays the 12% since it is added to the price just like a sales tax.

Only two cases of 12 bottles each of wine may be shipped in any 12-month period to any one consumer or household.

Legislators and bureaucrats like to say they are taxing a business but the taxes are always paid by the consumer. In this case, it is direct with a 12% tax added to the price. But, oh gee, there is no sales tax if the shipper does not have a brick and mortar store in Wyoming.

The money you have to pay to have wine shipped to you is not the end of the story. The wine shipper must file copies of each invoice with the state agency responsible for collecting the tax. So much for privacy, someone in state government has copies of invoices for all your interstate wine purchases. Cute.

This is nothing short of legalized thievery. At least thieves just take your money and run but don’t insist on copies of your invoices. It is also crony capitalism because it is clear that the liquor retailers in Wyoming lobbyed for this law, which is no reflection on them for trying to get it but is a sorry reflection on the shills in the legislature for giving it to them.

Think your state is different? If may be but that may not last long. Go here to look it up.

The crony capitalism impulse seems to be a thing in Wyoming. The state has a draconian and archaic probate system modeled out of 14th Century England even though many states have the Model Uniform Probate Code which makes probate simple and inexpensive. Keeping the present system helps probate lawyers at the expense of everyone trying to deal with the estate of their deceased relatives, unless they were wise enough to help another group of lawyers first. (the ones who create probate avoidance trusts and the like, which is probably the same lawyers). Here is some free advice that might save your heirs some money. Move to Colorado just before you die. And so far, while you still breathe you can also get wine shipments free of a “despised tax collected by wretches.”

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