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It’s a tax when they say it’s a tax


 

As a follow-up to our previous discussion on the important, or merely semantic, difference between taxes and user fees (see here and here), we compare and contrast the following.

Globe and Mail, February 26Ottawa is slapping higher security fees on airline travellers a week before the 2010 federal budget – yet insists Conservatives are staying true to their pledge not to raise taxes … The government describes the new charges as “user fees,” rather than taxes.

Canadian Press, March 17Cabinet ministers and MPs are putting up a vigorous defence against the NDP’s move to have a levy applied to all new MP3 players, hard drives and laptops … “This is a very serious hit to consumers that could impact them, and if the NDP are as committed to raising taxes this week as they always have been, then this is a real threat,” Heritage Minister James Moore said Wednesday.


 

It’s a tax when they say it’s a tax

  1. What? You expect the Conservatives to be consistent?

    They aren't even consistent with their own views, having called the very same air security fee an air tax when in opposition.

    • They appear to have the same definition as Dalton McGunity.

      • Wow. Dumb muppet gives covert thumbs up to Dalton. Hell feels a draft coming on. News at eleven.

  2. In the Cons defence, this matter went to Federal Court and I think they did say it was an actual tax.

  3. Just call it all what it really is: THEFT!

    …shriek!

    /dateless randroid loser

  4. "As a follow-up to our previous discussion on the important, or merely semantic, difference between taxes and user fees (see here and here), we compare and contrast the following."

    So does this mean the Conservatives are anti-semantic?

  5. I never thought I'd be agreeing with the Conservatives on a matter of copyright policy, but here I am, agreeing with the Conservatives on a matter of copyright policy.

    Charlie Angus (and whoever else supports this lunacy) look up "negative option billing" in your history books.

  6. I don't know whether it's consistent with their prior positions on the subject, but I'd have to say that a fee which only affects those who use the service is not the same as a tax.

  7. The NDP proposal is a dumb idea. It makes the assumption that most people use their laptop to download music. I've never downloaded music on my laptop or home computer and don't see why I should pay for someone else's music downloads.

    People use their computers for storing personal material and work related material. The idea that a computer is soley for music downloads is laughable.

    • In a dream world, I imagine three things would happen:

      1. Regulations and restrictions on pirated goods would be more thoroughly enforced, and the penalties for distributing pirated goods would be more harsh;
      2. Legitimate media download sites would cost their goods more in line with their own overhead and direct costs, rather than profiteering off the backs of people who just want some new tunes on their way to work; and
      3. Individuals would encourage competition between legitimate purveyors of downloadable goods, to further drive prices down and (hopefully) improve product quality.

      But then, there's no controlling the quality of the music that people produce.

      • The statutory penalites are already way too high, coming from an age where the only real piracy they were going to go after were professionals. The big problem is how hard it is to go after individual downloaders and get their ISP information, not how much they could theoretically be milked for.

        • I'd argue that they're not high enough, seeing as how those who sell pirated goods at (let's say…) Pacific Mall just keep reappearing raid after raid after raid.

          • The minimum statutory damage under the copyright Act is $500 per copyrighted work , which is exorbitant for the kind of infringement engaged in downloading onto laptops or MP3 players. The going rate of royalties on a song is less than a dime.

    • Certainly if they apply the blank media levy to computer drives it makes sense to discount them heavily to account for the other uses to which they can legitimately be put.

  8. The ipod matter that is.

  9. The Conservative Party policy convention in Montreal in 2005 passed a resolution opposing this stupid idea that the NDP now wants to impose on Canadians when they are not looking.

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