Skip to comments.Why No More Job Creation? Talk To The Twelve-Year-Old
Posted on 09/08/2013 5:23:42 AM PDT by Kaslin
So, what did you do during your summer break? If you happen to be a certain 12 year old boy from Pocatello, Idaho, you spent the summer being productive and successfully carrying on an entrepreneurial venture, and then experiencing your state government cracking-down on you for not being licensed and demanding a portion of your revenues.
The 12 year old son of Jason Weeks is who were talking about. Weeks son announced at the beginning of the summer that he wanted to acquire a motorcycle. Weeks had the good sense to tell his son to earn money and purchase one for himself. So the son took the fathers advice, and presumably with some help from some adults he launched a fruit stand, right near a Red Wings Shoe store in small town Pocatello.
But soon after Weeks son launched, the Idaho State Tax Commission lunged. They confronted him first and he called me Weeks told the Idaho State Journal newspaper. It was the second day that my son was in business.
According to Weeks and the local newspaper, the state is demanding payment for a 6% state sales tax that they claim should have been collected by the boy from cash paying customers that bought his raspberries. Weeks would not return my calls prior to the writing of this piece, but, without commenting specifically about the incident, the state tax commission acknowledges that it happened and notes that they have to enforce the law with everybody.
Americans everywhere should make note of this situation and learn from it. Lesson number one is that nobody should attempt to launch any sort of business in the United States without making certain that they are in full compliance with city, county, state and federal regulations. Thats a tall order, but thats how costly it has become to do business in America.
Governments nationwide and at all levels are almost universally on the hunt for money, and many of them are broke. There is no limit to governments willingness to turn people upside down and shake cash out of their pockets, and theyll even do it with children. (The Idaho state tax commission had a similar run-in with a 6 year old back in 2010!). If a business is being operated without the proper licensure and permitting requirements being met, and without proper taxation procedures in place, an operator no matter their age will likely be fined for being out of compliance, and fined retroactively for however long the non-compliance has been happening. Business owners, beware.
The other great lesson in this situation is to realize that we live in an era of abusive government. Agents of city, county, state and federal government often dont know any limits to how they can and will exercise their powers over the lives of private individuals, and the cause of the problem is we, the people. With often less than 50% of the American population participating in U.S. presidential elections, voter turn-out for state and local elections is usually even smaller. Such ambivalence is emboldening to bureaucrats and politicians who have power and enjoy using it.
Abusive government wont stop until Americans wake up and choose otherwise. Hopefully the young Mr. Weeks from Pocatello and others in his generation will someday choose more wisely than todays adult population.
Geez, you’d think we lived in the United States, or something.
The mafia calls this protection money.
Here’s the problem with this story. If enterprises such as this are exempt from taxes then adults could easily setup their children as a front for their own businesses. The solution is if you don’t like the tax regulations being enforced then vote in politicians who will reduce or eliminate the taxes.
I call it “predatory government”. They liked using the term “predatory lenders” for the people who sold home mortgages but the predatory government is far worse. Look what they’ve done now for student college loans - they nationalized them then jacked up the interest rate, all in the name of “fixing” something when they were the largest part of the problem.
How is this different than paying money to the Mafia for “protection”?
Government is oppressive when it demands a part of your income so it can give it to cronies and use it to buy votes from the Taker class.
In Tennessee we have a Farmer’s market exemption. No sales tax for retail sales at a Farmer’s Market. I don’t know the definition of such a stand but if the boy was selling his own product, he would be exempt.
It appears someone ratted him out and the scale of his business was too large. To be noticed on the second day means someone was after him and sicced the tax guys on him
At least the Mafia make no pretense about being crooked.
What's the difference between a bureaucrat and a gangster?
Bureaucrats kill businesses, not their owners.
I just had to laugh.
If enterprises such as this are exempt from taxes then adults could easily setup their children as a front for their own businesses.
Oh, my! A FReeper justifying the tax burden on U.S. citizens.
How is a fruit stand an ‘enterprise?’ Is there an official tax-purpose definition of ‘enterprise’ about which I’m unaware? Enterprises are usually large undertakings that require a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. A child would not be at the head of a true enterprise, and an adult or a group of adults would not get away with putting a child at the head of a true enterprise.
All of that aside, are you aware of the American pedigree when it comes to business? It used to be that a farmer could take his entire harvest to the nearest street corner to sell his crops at whatever price he wished and with no more than a nod and a smile from any government employee.
Nowadays, that farmer would be subject to regulations, liens, appropriations, taxes, levies, you name it, if he started a fruit stand without consulting the local government, at the least, first. That’s NOT how America was founded or worked as little as 50 years ago.
Our government, from the Federal level down to your local city council, is completely out of control. Every last one of them is drunk with power and does what they please to feed the beast. That’s not America.
We really, truly need to take America back.
I guess Idaho has a sales tax on food. Most places I have lived do not tax food unless it is sold for consumption on the premises.
We could think of the Mafia as "undocumented politicians".
The stand above is more like a lemonade stand that should not be taxed. The one shown in the Townhall article is a business enterprise that should be subject to the rules that all taxpayers have to abide by. In this case the State of Idaho should not have pursued any taxes from the kid.
The is a sliver of a silver lining. The government probably created another government thug hating person in that Weeks kid and his family. Someone who doesn’t trust, believe in, and hates these bureaucrats, hopefully with a blinding fury.
In todays world, that’s a good thing for our society.
The Townhall article misrepresented the business. The picture they showed made it appear the kid had a full fledged fruit stand that would be on par with other stands that pay sales tax. If that were the case it should be taxed like any other business. It in fact was not the case.
We could think of the Mafia as “undocumented politicians”.
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At least the Mafia was up front and didn’t use your ‘tax’ money to hire new goons to harass you etc.
The ‘theory’ was pretty well explained when ‘Tony’ went into the Sporting Goods Business.
He became a ‘partner’ because the owner owed for GAMBLING debts, Tony was very clear that the guy put himself into the position, and everything was fine as long as you paid the ‘vig’ on time.
The longer you don’t pay, the more they bleed from the business till they have to shutter it and the ‘owner’ is left holding the bag while his ‘new partners’ move on to greener pastures.
Even at the ‘end’ when the dudes kid graduated from high school the guy appeared to be seeking sympathy from Tony because he not only lost his business, his home, his family because he blew the ‘college account’, Tony just smiled, shook his hand etc...and all but told him
“Sympathy is in the Dictionary between ‘$hiite and Syphilis”
Tony also had that ‘fatherly’ approach when he explained to his daughter (and wife on occasion) where all the ‘opulence’ came from and the gifts were part of it, the car being a business deal.
Of course Tony neglected to tell Meadow that the alternate to the SUV was a cap in the knee or worse, but ‘we’ must shield our children from certain negatives....
Bureaucrats kill businesses, not their owners.
That, and the Mafia may eventually be held to account for their crimes. Governments and their officials almost never are.
"It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged" - GK Chesterton.
“Heres the problem with this story. If enterprises such as this are exempt from taxes then adults could easily setup their children as a front for their own businesses. The solution is if you dont like the tax regulations being enforced then vote in politicians who will reduce or eliminate the taxes.”
Well, sure...but that’s only an aside to what I get from the story...which is that while a business may be simple enough to carry out that an ambitious twelve year old can do it, the effort, cost and expertise to comply with the government regulations are strenuous, and can be more than for the business itself...even for a piddling summer project...and thus render the effort to create a business unviable.
so big deal
the kid should have paid 6% sales tax and learned about the real world of business where taxes are part of your costs
or formed a nonprofit to shelter his wealth like the really really rich people do
OMG...! Big Brother doesn't get his vig and it would be legal? OMG the horror...
You’re absolutely right, I was born during WWII and we used to grow watermelons and cantaloupes which we sold by the pickup load to truckers who resold them to grocery stores but we sometimes sold some to people who ran roadside stands and they resold them. On rare occasions we would simply park the truck by the side of the road under a shade tree and offer melons to whoever wanted to stop. There was no need to keep records, no one asked us to buy a permit or business license and we did not pay sales tax to the state. The main reason we did not sell the whole crop by the road is that there was not enough traffic, it was much better to go on to the farmer’s market and sell by the truckload.
No. It’s about other businesses playing by the rules and others skirting them.
Did you just not say that under the current rules people would set up their kids in business?
See, that is the point they WOULD be playing by the rules.
You do understand that right?
Idaho must be one of the few states which puts sales tax on FOOD.
Here’s another thought:
I have picked raspberries.
It takes quite a bit of time EVERY morning to pick what is shown in that photo.
The kid has to have a pretty big patch of bushes & is sure showing alot of initiative.
Kudos to him.
Even Kalifornia doesn’t tax basic food...but if you buy a cooked chiggin, they’ll get you.
I was saying if we exempt kids from taxes that are operating the same enterprises as adults then we have created a loophole which is unfair to other businesses. If the operation is being fronted by a child who is not really running it then you may be legally playing by the rules but it is not very ethical. Make the rules work for everyone and eliminate or reduce the taxes on businesses under a certain size.
Yes Idaho taxes food...and then we get a $100 (or some arbitrary low number) grocery tax credit when we file. Some simple math shows that $100 doesn’t near cover the sales taxes we pay on food. For broke people like me that is where most of my sales taxes goes.
So yay “conservative” Idaho taxes you for something you HAVE TO HAVE TO LIVE.
Then I hope you like Bubba as your cellmate. Bring your lube.
Lots of people ignore lots of rules and the government never says boo!.
What is happening, is that America is being sold.
I say America is being sold, not things American.
What we need is NOW to equalize our tariffs with the globe.
All imports must be charged import duties, and all inported goods must pay for the right to be sold in America.
Not sometime in some future.
The kid should move to MT. No sales tax.
The good citizens of ID have their work cut out for themselves.
I’m glad I am old enough to remember when this was still a free country. Sorry to see it go.
I wonder where he was parked? It looks like a strip mall or store parking lot. Perhaps someone from a grocery or supermarket didn’t like the competition. The amount of fruit stacked in the van looks like he should have been in a farmer’s market and followed the standard practices of his location. That being said I deplore sales tax at farmers markets and craft shows. Uncle Sam needs to get out of our way not find more ways to pluck the captive chickens (us).
This post intrigues me. First, I had no idea Idaho had been taken over by progressives; it’s still considered a conservative state (so far, in voting record in national elections), yet the population permits all sorts of punitive government.
With a little research, the father could help his son figure out a loophole. If it’s permitted under the Idaho regime to “give away” property (not subject to resale taxes) then as a minor he can create a “Schedule for Delivery” of the fruit...that is, “Delivery from my box to your hand”. Or perhaps he can perform another service (dance a jig). Or ‘fee to throw a water balloon at effigy of the president for free fruit’.
The Administrative Rules for Sales & Use Tax in Idaho are 127 pages long. I see no rules that apply to ‘donation’ of food other than the fact that tax must have been paid to purchase the fruits & vegetables. Furthermore, best I can tell from the horrible search feature on IRS’ website, if a minor dependent makes less than $950 in ‘income’ there is no requirement for filing of Federal Income Tax. Without expending more time on Idaho, I presume the same applies for State Income Tax. (On the latter, I view State Income Tax MUCH less intrusive than progressive state sales tax, but concede its role in federal tax reform)
In closing, I wouldn’t be surprised that the State of Idaho has rules totally undercutting my creative bypassing of tax laws for a child’s ingenuity to earn a buck...having had the experience turned into a bitter lesson on the encroachment of government...a lesson the youngster won’t soon forget.
Correction: Section 105(06)b:
“Goods sold or produced and consumed by the retailer,
items withdrawn from stock for personal use or employee use, stock removed and used for gift or promotional
purposes, or any combination of such uses are subject to tax.”
Oh well...there’s a lesson here for Idahoans (and other States considering a State Sales Tax).
Is there a rule that if you are young enough, you get to set up a business?
Or would we be equally upset if a 20-year-old set up a shop on our street and started operating?
If the taxes and regulations are too great, and they are, we should change the law for all business operators, not get upset when someone who violates those laws gets in trouble.
There are business ventures kids can do that aren’t going to run into these problems. Selling actual food will — ask the farmer’s market where the people who GROW the food do this every week. They don’t want to have to compete against others who throw a stand on a street corner and don’t pay the fees and collect the taxes.
The question is, where did the child get the stuff he sold. If he bought it all at a market where it was already taxed, then it should not be taxed again — he is really operating a delivery service.
One other thing — they told him on the 2nd day of operation that he had to collect the sales tax.
All he needed to do at that point was start adding 6% to each purchase, and he’d have had the money to pay the taxes.
I’m on the fence on this one. It’s not like the old lemonade stand harassment. If the pic is any indication, that appears to be a pretty well stocked and sophisticated operation. I find it hard to believe a kid put that together all by himself. Maybe he did, I don’t know.
You mean we use to live in the United States?
More information — the grandfather had a farm. The child was selling Raspberries from the farm.
So essentially he was operating a fruit stand, and the state wanted him to collect sales tax, just as every farmer who sets up a fruit stand in the state has to collect the sales tax.
If the people are upset by this in Idaho, they should lobby their representatives to change the law.
MOre interestingly, the Idaho Sales Tax applies to donated items that are then sold (at their fair market value). In some states, once sales tax is paid on an item (when it is sold new at a store), they don’t collect sales tax if someone re-sells the item. But Idaho does.
I wonder if that means that a yard sale in Idaho has to collect sales tax, or if it is only if a business runs a charitable sale that it gets collected. I couldn’t find that information yet.
Wait, I found it. You can have 2 yard sales a year before you are required to get a “seller permit” and collect sales tax.
Now that is a line that I can use! Funny and with enough truth in it to sting a little!