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.
In a huge move set to bolster the organisation, exceL Esports has announced OMEN by HP as its headline sponsor, as well as the Greater London-based OMEN House that will serve as living quarters for the organisation’s League of Legends team.ExceL made the announcement on Friday 2nd March in a comical video posted to YouTube, featuring players from the League of Legends team giving a tour of the house and showing off their new OMEN gear.Kieran Holmes-Darby, Managing Director of exceL Esports, said: “We are thrilled to be working with OMEN by HP. They are solidifying themselves as the most recognised brand within the esports industry and it is an honour to help them achieve that status here in the UK. Having OMEN as our headline sponsor legitimizes the work we do here at exceL. Their hardware has transformed our Gaming House on the outskirts of London into something very special. The OMEN House is one of a kind in UK esports!”In an article posted on their website, exceL states that as part of its partnership, “the OMEN House will be kitted out with the best gaming PCs on the market allowing the players to have a competitive edge and even create some great content along the way.”ExceL is currently competing in a variety of titles, most notably including its League of Legends team in the ESL UK Premiership and its representatives in FIFA, Street Fighter V and Rocket League for Gfinity’s Elite Series.OMEN has been making a name for themselves in esports in recent years with various partnerships; Immortals, the Gfinity Elite Series and the OMEN by HP Bootcamp are just a few examples of their commitment to fully integrating the brand into the esports industry.Kieran Holmes-Darby, MD of exceL is one of a number of speakers at our one day Esports Insider Super Forum at Stamford Bridge on March 22nd. Holmes-Darby will be discussing the value of team ownership in esports alongside a stellar cast of Team Vitality CEO Nicolas Maurer, Code Red Co-Founder Ben Woodward, and RFRSH Entertainment CEO Nikolaj Nyholm. Esports journalist Mike Stubbs will moderate. Find out more about the event here. Esports Insider says: It’s great to see OMEN expanding their operations in esports, especially with such a prominent and recognisable UK organisation as exceL. With the promise of improved practice and content, we’re interested to see how this sponsorship helps exceL improve and grow.
Police in Atlanta are reporting that a 16-year-old boy was shot to death by his stepfather after the teen refused to obey their orders to shelter in place and left the home.The incident occurred just after 8 p.m. on Wednesday night.Authorities says they received a call about a teen who had been shot and arrived to the home to find 16-year-old De’ onte Roberts suffering from a fatal gunshot wound.Roberts was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital where he ultimately died from his injuries.Roberts’ mother told authorities that the incident began earlier in the day as an argument because the teen wanted to go out despite the county’s orders to remain at home. The teen left the home anyway and when he returned later that day, he kicked down the door of the home to regain entry.That’s when he and the stepfather, 43-year-old Bernie Hargrove got into a physical altercation. Hargrove then pulled a gun and shot the teen.Hargrove has since been arrested and charged with felony murder. He was denied bond during his court hearing on Thursday is currently being held at the Fulton County Jail.