Vermont Public Radio Commentary. Monday June 22, 2009McQuiston: Tax policy perspective LISTENBy Timothy McQuiston(HOST) Commentator Timothy McQuiston suggests that when you hear politicians talking about taxes, it isn’t so much about fairness, it’s about jobs.(McQUISTON) Tax policy is all in your perspective, it seems to me. While the Legislature has focused on the property tax and the direct impact it has on local constituencies, governors have generally looked at the bigger picture and the income tax.In the latest, harrowing row over the state budget, which resulted in the first-ever budget veto, the Legislature cut the income tax, albeit slightly, for anyone making under 200,000 dollars and raised it for everyone else.Governor Douglas proposed lowering the highest marginal rate for income over 375,000 from 9.5 percent to 9 percent – and you might well be wondering, “Why?”Well, take the case of golfer Tiger Woods. Tiger’s participation in the US Open at Bethpage Black in New York State, means that he will have to pay New York state income tax on whatever prize money he wins. But Tiger officially lives in income tax free Florida. So if he has to pay income tax where he earns it, why not live in his home state of California? Because Florida, like New Hampshire, is tax free for earned income.Tiger makes a bundle on the PGA tour, but most of his income comes from endorsements and other non-prize money sources – video games, golf equipment, clothing deals. Heck, Tiger could live in New Hampshire. All he’d need to do is stick around for six months and one day in the Granite State. But I suppose the Sunshine State offers more opportunities to work on your game.In Vermont terms, what Governor Douglas and his predecessors have been concerned about, is that business owners and other top managers make decisions about where to locate or expand a business in part on how it affects their own wallets. And if they move their business out of state, jobs go with it.If your adjusted gross income is one million dollars, you’re going to pay $51,000 in Vermont taxes. If your income is 100,000 – still a nice income – your tax will be only a little over 3,000. But if you move your company over to New Hampshire, you’ve essentially given yourself and your employees a nice raise without having to increase payroll one penny.It makes you happier; it makes your employees happier; and it makes the State of New Hampshire happier. In recent years, both Howard Dean and Jim Douglas have fought the Legislature over the income tax for these very reasons.It’s clear that many business owners are willing to pay more to live here – sometimes a lot more. Others have no choice because of the nature of their business and they either like it or lump it. But make no mistake – the lure of “tax free” is very real.
USC’s women’s lacrosse team remains undefeated in early Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play after beating San Diego State Wednesday, 13-9. USC improved to 4-4 overall on the year as well as 2-0 in the MPSF. After suffering a loss at Massachusetts (9-1) last Saturday, USC got back to .500 with the win over the Aztecs.Sharp shooter · Sophomore attacker Caroline De Lyra scored four goals and notched two assists in USC’s win over the Aztecs yesterday. The Brightwaters, N.Y. native has scored 11 goals on the season. – Ralf Cheung | Daily TrojanSophomore attacker Caroline de Lyra led the Women of Troy in scoring with four goals, while freshman midfielders Michaela Michael and Alex Moore and freshman attacker Annie Ruland all added two goals each.USC more than doubled SDSU’s efforts in shots, putting 29 on target compared to the Aztecs’ 14. That forced SDSU’s goalie to make 13 saves, while USC sophomore goalie Liz Shaeffer only made two.After eight scoreless minutes to open the game, SDSU got on the board first, but within 30 seconds USC senior midfielder Elizabeth Eddy scored for the Women of Troy. The teams traded goals until the score was locked at 3-3. The Women of Troy then surged ahead, scoring three straight goals to head into halftime with a 6-3 lead.Coming out of halftime, the Aztecs closed the gap to a 6-5 deficit, but the Women of Troy responded with two goals to move ahead 8-5. The two teams scored back and forth again before USC scored four straight goals to move ahead, 13-7. The Aztecs scored the last two goals of the game, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Women of Troy.De Lyra’s offensive prowess was matched by SDSU’s Michaela Jarvis, who also put up four goals and an assist.The Women of Troy embark on a stretch of five straight road games in conference play tomorrow at Fresno State (1-8, 0-4). After taking on the Bulldogs this weekend, USC will visit Saint Mary’s (0-5, 0-3) and Cal (2-5, 1-3) next weekend before traveling to Colorado the following week to take on Colorado (4-5, 1-1) and Denver (7-1, 2-0).USC currently sits in a three-way tie with Denver and Stanford for the best record in MPSF play. Both USC’s preseason projection and current standings in conference play indicate that USC will make the MPSF tournament but need big upset wins to dethrone the top two teams in the conference. The Women of Troy also would not receive a bye in the quarterfinals of the MPSF tournament if they finished third in the conference standings.