Skip to comments.Interesting Social Commentary - in a Virtual World
Posted on 02/14/2009 11:02:00 PM PST by J. Worthington
SL In-World Transactions to be Taxed
As a result of the worsening financial condition of the worlds largest economy, a new tax is set to take effect April 1st, 2009. The little known details of this new tax, now included in the high profile U.S. Stimulus Package, will be applied to all web-based commerce conducted through servers housed in the U.S. This reporter has now confirmed that, because in-world currency is transferable and convertible, SL is among several simulations whose in-world transactions will be affected.
President Obamas $879 billion dollar stimulus plan, recently passed by both houses of the U.S. Congress, contains a number of tax increases found in the low-profile Proposed Stimulus Funding Mechanisms section of the bill. Included among these tax increases is a 16.75% sales tax on all transactions conducted in-world beginning April 1st, 2009. The provision, proposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Electronic Industry and Security, has garnered little attention to date, as these taxes amount to less than one-half of one percent of the total funding provisions in the package.
A representative of the administration, speaking on condition of anonymity has confirmed that in-world transaction will be affected and were purposefully targeted given large amount of SL transactions and the obvious revenue potential for the U.S. government.
Given the fact that sims such as yours, are totally recreational and so can be construed as a luxury purchase by those fortunate enough to have disposable income, it was reasonable to target these transactions. This is completely in keeping with President Obamas stated mission of wealth redistribution.
The disparity in our world today between those that have the financial means to participate in online recreational games such as SL, and those who are less fortunate due to no fault of their own is glaring and shameful, the source continued.
In addition to generating an additional and as yet untapped funding source for this package, this initiative also changes the strategy of the current U.S. administrations position from creating an environment of encouraging economic fairness, to legislating it. However, reactions from SL residents who have been interviewed have been noticeably sanguine. Here are some comments from SL residents:
I think its time for this kind of thing, I mean Im not really rich in my mind, but I suppose for someone whos unemployed and got 8 kids to feed and buy stuff for and only gets welfare, I probably am rich to them. Its not really their fault, and I can afford it, so I suppose thats fair.
I dont really like it but if it means more people will be able to live more comfortably and maybe even be able to buy a computer to enjoy what we do in here, then Im OK with that.
I dont live in the U.S., but I support it because its not fair that so many Americans have so much and can afford to buy stuff here in SL, while others dont even have a nice house or flat screen television of their own. The rich have too much and if you have the money to buy stuff in here for fun, then in my book, youre rich. Maybe 17% isnt enough!
Judging by the handful of reactions so far, it appears that SL residents will be willing participants in the U.S. administrations new initiative to achieve economic parity through the redistribution of wealth, be it real or virtual.
"Would that he had been able to endure prosperity with greater self-control and adversity with more fortitude!" C. Asinius Pollio
Submitted by FoxM Ember
1st and last shameless bump.
Please. lol interNet.
Or maybe I'll donate it to the LolCats Foundation!
You may be onto a new trend!
I’m on Second life myself and i’m trying to open a store,but let’s just say it’s tough.
BTW, it seems image tags don’t work.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.