July 22, 2018

Idiots out walking around

Dumb: Iowa Once Tried to Implement a Pumpkin Tax

We've noted in the past that states try to levy taxes on many silly things. Literally. Maine taxes jugglers, comedians, and clowns for crying out loud. States also try to tax other things that simply don't make a lot of sense. It seems that legislators, rather than improve tax systems with reform, like complicate things […]

This Woman’s Tax Season Has Been Infinitely Worse Than Yours

Yeah, we all have our tax season stories.  Like remember the day in April when you got arrested on charges of stealing from your business partner while your husband got arrested for making a drunken spectacle of himself at the local elementary school? You don’t?  Then your story can’t top this one out of the […]

Could Someone Have Tax Problems Big Enough to Walk Away From $14 million?

That’s one explanation for a weird story where a New York lawyer acting on behalf of holder of a winning lottery ticket purchased at a Des Moines convenience store let the ticket expire rather than revealing the identity of the ticket owner.   The ticket was turned in hours before its expiration by a Des […]

Iowa Businessman Could Really Liven Up Your Accounting Firm’s Firings

If you’ve been in public accounting for a number years, you’ve certainly seen your share of colleagues get shown the door either due to work performance that was not up to par, “a slow down in the marketplace,” or engaging in office antics that are typically frowned upon. This is typically handled in a manner befitting of a professional accountant. That is, a very solemn conversation in a partner’s office with regrets, thanks for service, yada yada yada.

William Ernst (no relation, I’m guessing) is a Bettendorf, Iowa businessman that owns a chain of QC Mart convenience stores, and he was sick of his employees acting up. Fooling around behind the counter, bad language, smoking grass wearing hats. Poor clerking. To help make his point, Mr. Ernst decided to start a little contest and sent a memo to employees laying out the groundrules:

“New Contest – Guess The Next Cashier Who Will Be Fired!!!

To win our game, write on a piece of paper the name of the next cashier you believe will be fired. Write their name [the person who will be fired], today’s date, today’s time, and your name. Seal it in an envelope and give it to the manager to put in my envelope.

Here’s how the game will work: We are doubling our secret-shopper efforts, and your store will be visited during the day and at night several times a week. Secret shoppers will be looking for cashiers wearing a hat, talking on a cell phone, not wearing a QC Mart shirt, having someone hanging around/behind the counter, and/or a personal car parked by the pumps after 7 p.m., among other things.

If the name in your envelope has the right answer, you will win $10 CASH. Only one winner per firing unless there are multiple right answers with the exact same name, date, and time. Once we fire the person, we will open all the envelopes, award the prize, and start the contest again.

And no fair picking Mike Miller from (the Rockingham Road store). He was fired at around 11:30 a.m. today for wearing a hat and talking on his cell phone. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!”

Any firms considering cuts in the near to intermediate future, could really do well by this method. Although, since we’re dealing with a workforce that’s a little preoccupied with money, you’ll probably have to up the award to $100.

Firing contest by boss leads employees to quit [DMR]

Iowa Sets the Bar on Film Tax Credit Inefficiency

From known tax credit antagonist, Joe Kristan:

Before the Iowa Film Tax Credit program exploded in scandal in September 2009, the state had granted $31,967,641 in transferable tax credits to filmmakers. Yesterday the State Auditor reported that $25,576,301 were issued improperly — a full 80% of the credits granted.


Quite the field of dreams. Read more over at Tax Update Blog.

Also see:
What Are Your Taxes Buying Hollywood?

Iowa Pastor Practically Begging the IRS to Sue Him, Consume His Life for Years to Come

“I’m tired of pastors submitting to this tyranny — and I’m expecting to try to get the IRS to sue us so that we can take it all the way to the Supreme Court and restore freedom in America’s pulpits.”

~ Pastor Cary Gordon, of Cornerstone World Outreach in Sioux City, Iowa, has some strange ambitions.