November 2009 Archives

    We all do it. I do it. Hop on the internet and search for the best deals on office supplies, clothing, appliances, cameras.  Just about everything. Great deals and great convenience.  And most often, no sales tax! Yeah!  But should we be cheering?

    More and more I've been thinking how deeply unfair this is to retailers in your own state when you can buy something from an out-of-state seller without paying a sales tax.  Local retailers have to collect taxes. Yet we ask them to compete with someone 2000 miles away who has no such requirement.  When that computer or toaster is sold over the internet, that distant retailer relies on local infrastructure supported by the sales tax in the state.   That could be the airport, the highways, and local police support.

    Some companies, like Apple computer, do collect taxes on out-of-state sales.  But many more do not.

    States like Michigan have a mechanism in their tax code that asks taxpayers to declare internet purchases and to pay taxes on those purchases.  But I've neither seen nor heard about any serious enforcement of these rules, and for honest citizens it can feel like a 'chump' tax, where principled people pay the tax, while most simply ignore it.

    If ever there was a need for a level playing field it's on the internet.  It's basic fairness for every retailer to collect taxes for on-line sales.  Of course many businesses with a large on-line presence will kick and scream to keep that from happening.  But there are methods and procedures to make it work.  It's doable, equitable, and nationwide internet sales tax collection should be instituted.

   
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Odor control

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     Having spent many days photographing in sewage and water treatment plants in the past month, I have a much deeper understanding of what it takes to handle our, ahem, waste products. The client is a company that operates plants in conjunction with municipalities all over the country.  Every community has a facility, though most of us have never seen it.  Of course, the punchline here is that we've smelled it.  Yet there's some very advanced odor control devices in operation that help keep us from getting even a whiff.

     I'm now aware that a sewage treatment plant returns water to the local watershed at what is called 'recreational' quality...clean, but you wouldn't want to drink it.  Water treatment plants do the heavy duty cleaning to bring that potable water to your kitchen sink. 
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     The primary method for potential clients to find a photographer is that photographer's website.  Of course there are all the other social media sites.  But as a primary advertising tool to which you can direct clients to view your work, the website is a must. And to be found you should have at least a rudimentary understanding of how to optimize the website in order for search engines to find you. 

     Website magazine offers free subscriptions.  Lots of good information, and...free!  Here's their web address.  I'd recommend signing up.

http://www.websitemagazine.com

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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