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How to tax a buck on golf

Tax Golfing Game?

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal to close the budget gap is to tax golf games, auto
repairs, veterinary care, amusement parks, admissions on
sports events like golf and appliance
and furniture repairs. If approved, it would add to the list of services already taxed by California,
including gift wrapping, tuxedo rental and video rental for personal use.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's of California and legislators have yet to agree to close the state's expected $41 billion deficit in the next 18 months. The closest they got was to cut spending by $6 billion.

Golfers expectedly opposed the proposal. Golfers don't need any more taxes... The only luxury one has is playing golf. There again, fees may increase by $10 - $15 dollars on a $100 plus greens fee to keep the golf game in perspective. But this tax issue is another thing altogether. To tax a golfer for playing a round of golf is over the top. The tax could be an extra 8-10 percent added to greens fees, but possibly even driving range fees, cart rentals, lessons and maybe even golfing club membership dues and golf tournament entries. The wording is vague.

And what happens if, hypothetically, a golfer storms off the golf course after nine holes? (Not that it's ever happened, mind you.) Would a golfer get a tax rebate for the half-round of golf not played? What happens if a golfer throws one’s putter into a lake? Is that a write it off?

If this kind of thing is inevitable, one could hope that California might reach a compromise, maybe start by taxing only the good golfers. It's one thing for the rich to get richer, and should, but do they have to win at golf, too?

Mark Twain famously dubbed golf "a good walk, spoiled." Good thing he's not around today. He didn't know the half of it.

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