Then Let’s Tax the Per Diems Like Extra Income

Seriously, even if you’re too cowardly to vote on what you think you should be paid and are instead basically proudly embezzling from the state so that you can pay yourself what you think you deserve, taxpayers, voters, and other state employees who’ve not had a raise in years be damned, if you’re going to say that it’s income, then let’s tax the per diems as income.

We need a good tax lawyer here, but I have to wonder, at what point does the IRS get involved when legislators start publicly admitting that they’re using per diems as income even though it’s not taxed as such?

Edited to add: Ha, well, so much for shooting off my mouth before I read the whole article. The per diems are taxed. Kind of. The article makes it sound like only the legislators living within 50 miles of Nashville have their per diems taxed. So, they’re income for some folks but not for others? I still say this looks like something the IRS should look into.

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2 thoughts on “Then Let’s Tax the Per Diems Like Extra Income

  1. You still deserve a ‘Brava’ for keeping the issue in the public eye.

    A more interesting way to deal with the per diems would be to take a baseline year like 2009 or 2010 and look at the total per diem spending for members based on chamber and party. For 2011, the two parties caucuses in the House and Senate would get that figure (and maybe a small adjustment for inflation) and the caucuses would have to decide whom to reimburse and how much.

    Imagine the fun of trying to convince one’s fellow caucus members that you deserve reimbursement and others don’t.

    That would cap spending, make the officials responsible for policing themselves and force them to make tough choices.

    Just for fun, any unspent money could go to the caucus for future years.

  2. Just in terms of good fun and mischief, I love this idea, except that I don’t think we should adjust for inflation, considering that every other state department has had to cut back considerably.

    But yes, this would be hilariously awesome.

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