Next week, Oklahoma voters will be asked to vote on widening the tax base for intangible property. Right now, we pay taxes on some intangible properties - cash on hand, bank drafts, certified checks, stocks, bonds, property we should own but may not.
That last one is the one that bites me every year. I'm not paying taxes on what I actually own inside my home, I'm paying taxes on what the state thinks I should own inside my home on the premise that I buy new furniture every 5 years. I am taxed on the value of that new furniture that I haven't bought and don't own. It's called an ad valorem tax.
And one of the things the Legislature is contemplating is widening a 1968 state tax law on intangible property – they want to include lease agreements, insurance policies, unused mineral rights (they already tax used mineral rights), computer software, databases, customer lists, customer relationships, copyrights, patents, educational degrees (including kindergarten and high school diplomas!), ideas, services, good will (I’m not sure how they will determine the cheerfulness level of “Good morning!” in order to tax it, but that was one of the samples they gave, along with the “good will” generated by McDonald’s Golden Arches), advertising, technical documentation, essays, poetry, trade names and trade marks, email, volunteer work, and workforce goodwill.
I’m sure if they could find a way to include one’s private thoughts and personal conversations, they would!
I already pay an ad valorem tax on property I don’t own, and now I’m going to have to pay a tax on attitudes and good will?
It boggles my mind.
I think, if this keeps up, when I retire, I am leaving Oklahoma. Don’t know where, yet, but I don’t think I want to live in a state that taxes good will.