- Days left
A situation in Lavonia, Georgia raises an interesting question about how far government entities should go in regulating businesses. The town recently spent more than $1 million to buy Café Risque, a strip club along an interstate. Its goal? To shut it down. And it did exactly that.

The strip club was operating since 2001, and the town had tried several times to close the business without success. The town enacted a ban on "adult-oriented" businesses, but the club was grandfathered because it existed prior to the ban. A change in ownership, however, would do away with the grandfather clause, so that's why the town bought it.

Supporters of this move by the town say that closing the strip club and removing its billboards will help the community. Yet the business was apparently operating legally, and so the move raises the question about how much the government should interfere in our lives.

On the one hand, the government should look out for the best interests of people, which include quality of life issues. Economic development is important, and a business that appears to be hurting the local economy should be studied closely. On the other hand, so long as a business is operating within the law, how far should the government really go in trying to shut it down?

I wouldn't want my tax dollars spent to buy a business in order to shut it down. Although in this case, hopefully some of that money can be recovered by selling the real estate to a developer who will bring in a business more suitable to the town.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

What is Inflation?

Why do prices go up?

View Course »

How Financial Planners go Grocery Shopping

Learn to shop smart and save.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Cities with the Highest Tax Rates

Much ado is made in the press about federal tax brackets, but cities can carry a tax bite of their own. Even if you live in a state that has no income tax, your city may levy a variety of taxes that could eat away the entire benefit of living in an income tax-free state, including property taxes, sales taxes and auto taxes. Consider all the costs before you move to one of these cities, and understand that rates may change based on your family's income level.

Great Ways to Get Charitable Tax Deductions

Generally, when you give money to a charity, you can use the amount of that donation as a deduction on your tax return. However, not all charities qualify as tax-deductible organizations. While there are many types of charities, they must all meet certain criteria to be classified by the IRS as tax-deductible organizations. There are legitimate tax-deductible organizations in many popular categories, such as those listed below.

A Freelancer's Guide to Taxes

Freelancing certainly has its benefits, but it can result in a few complications come tax time. The Internal Revenue Service considers freelancers to be self-employed, so if you earn income as a freelancer you must file your taxes as a business owner. While you can take additional deductions if you are self-employed, you'll also face additional taxes in the form of the self-employment tax. Here are things to consider as a freelancer when filing your taxes.

Tax Deductions for Voluntary Interest Payments on Student Loans

Most taxpayers who pay interest on student loans can take a tax deduction for the expense ? and you can do this regardless of whether you itemize tax deductions on your return. The rules for claiming the deduction are the same whether the interest payments were required or voluntary.

Tax Tips for Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and other Car Sharing Drivers

When you're a driver for a ride-sharing company such as Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, or other car sharing service, the most important thing to understand about your taxes is that you are probably not an employee of Uber, Lyft or Sidecar. Drivers for these companies are usually independent contractors, a fact that has tax implications, both at filing time and year-round.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum