Archive for February, 2013

Consumer Rebate Escrow Tax Accounts – Growing local businesses, creating local jobs, and lowering local taxes from local shopping

February 27, 2013

If consumers can shop around for deals on goods, why not let them shop around for tax deals?

Many retailers have what might be called Rebate Escrow Accounts (CREAs).   A percentage of the purchase price of goods is credited to the purchaser into what is practically an “escrow” account.  When sufficient value has accumulated in the account, the retailer rebates the patron cash credit towards more merchandise.

With retailers devising all manner of incentive programs, it would be a tremendous boost to the local economy if rebates were tax credits that local consumers could apply towards paying property taxes, motor vehicle taxes, or any tax or fee of choice that is paid to the government. Specifically, this would be a Consumer Rebate Escrow Tax Account (CRETA).

The weekly spending required, with a given purchase price rebate percentage,  to pay the annual motor vehicle registration  taxes and property taxes is shown in the graphs below.


Motor Vehicle Registration Tax Example

Vehicle market value: $20,000

Effective tax rate: 2.5%

Annual registration tax: $625

Annual registration tax/5o weeks: $12.50/week

Percentage rebate to pay tax: 20%

Weekly spending required to pay tax w/rebates:$62.50/week


Property Tax Example

Property value: $100,000

Effective tax rate: 1%

Annual property tax: $1000

Annual property tax/50 weeks: $20/week

Percentage rebate to pay tax: 20%

Weekly spending required to pay tax w/rebates: $100/week

CRETA’s would incentivize people to boost their local economy because they would have to shop locally to gain the local tax reduction.  And, many people would find it appealing to be able to literally shop around for the best tax deal.

For example, you go to lunch and find that two restaurants are offering “Taxpayer Specials.”  One restaurant offers a 10% ($1) rebate for $10 meal that is credited to your CRETA.  The other restaurant offers a 20% ($2) rebate for a $10 meal that is credited to you CRETA.  In either case, you pay the same $10 for lunch.  The difference is that with the second restaurant, your tax burden get rebated $1 lower because you shopped around for a better tax deal.

2013 SC1 Congressional Primary All-in-One Each-vs.-Every Other Candidate Picker

February 22, 2013

If you live in South Carolina Congressional District 1, how do you go about picking the best  candidate out of a prickle/flock/gaggle/herd/litter/flutter/clutch/bevy/pack/pod/swarm/rookery/clutch/brood* of 16  GOP Primary candidates?

Maybe, instead of trying to pick one out of a congregation of 16, you take each one and compare them to every other one, a pair at a time.  For this, I have created the 2013 SC1 Congressional Primary All-in-One Each-vs-Every Other Candidate Picker.  It is similar to the mileage grid on a road map, and you compare each item to every other item, and vote between each pairing.  You can download it by clicking below.

2013 SC1 Congressional Primary All-in-One Each-vs.-Every Other Candidate Picker

Click here to download the Candidate Picker

2013 SC1  Congressional Primary Candidate Tally Sheet

Click here to download Candidate Tally Sheet

To use the 2013 SC1 Congressional Primary All-in-One Each-vs.-Every Other Candidate Picker, simply start with Candidate ‘A’ at the top of the list on the left side and compare them to each of the other candidates (B, C, D, etc.) listed in the column headings on the top of the form.  Go over, and then down from each competitor’s name.  In the empty space where the two names of each pairing intersect, write in the letter designator (A,B,C,…R,S,T)  of the candidate you prefer.   Then, compare Candidate ‘B’ with each competitor, ‘C’ through ‘T’, and proceed down the list.

For example, when comparing Republican candidates Jeff King (F) and Ray Nash (L), write in the letter ‘F’ if you prefer Jeff King or the letter ‘L’ if you prefer Ray Nash where those names intersect,.  Then, on the other 2013 SC1 Congressional Primary All-in-One Each-vs-Every Other Candidate Picker Tally Sheet, record a tally by the name that you picked.

After going through all the candidate pairings, Each-vs.-Every Other, add up all the tallies you chose for each candidate on the Tally Sheet, score and rank the candidates, and pick your winner.

The Candidate Picker is called “All-in-One” because it allows you to compare Republican, Democratic, and Green candidates both within their party and against all others in all three parties.

Since 20 candidates are quite a few to compare if you have not done this type of exercise previously, I prepared a practice Picker you can download below; an ice cream picker.  Pick your favorite flavor of ice cream from the 4 flavors of Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, or Prune.

Ice Cream Picker - Completed Example

Click here to download Ice Cream Picker – Completed Example

Ice Cream Picker - Blank Form

Click here to download Ice Cream Picker – Blank Form

Having completed this exercise, those of you who live in SC1 will hopefully have a better sense of who you will vote for on Primary Election Day, or at least thin out your list.

(*Or choose your own term for these political animals from here: