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The day the music was taxed

record_store_day_041809 Yesterday was Record Store Day. Yes, I know it's technically over, but I didn't get around to going through my e-mails and Twitter and catching the heads-up from @SheilaS until today.

The event was created to celebrate the unique culture of independently owned record stores and the art of music.

Although I missed the actual Record Store Day, the hubby and I did our part a week earlier (more on our musical retail excursion later).

And the timing, not only of the event but also of my finally finding out about it, is fortuitous. As part of my communications catch-up today, I also ran across an item about how some states are looking to tax electronically delivered tunes.

"A growing number of states are considering laws to tax digital goods, such as iTunes songs, Amazon MP3s, or electronic books," writes Stephanie Condon in the April 15 CNet.com article New Net taxes amid taxing times? "Yet at a time when governments say they want to encourage broadband adoption and the development of a low-carbon economy, opponents say taxing digital goods sends exactly the wrong message."

States hearing sweet tax music: No, this is not a belated April Fool's joke a la taxgirl's tax tongue-in-cheek piece earlier this month. This taxing approach by states is definitely real.

According to Condon, 17 states and the District of Columbia claim to have the authority to tax digital downloads. The states are Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Washington.

Earlier this year, New York decided against a digital download tax. Wisconsin and California also reportedly tried to add the levy, but failed.

However, as states struggle to close budget deficits, don't be surprised to see more of them try to close the real world and digital tax divide.

Hanging onto old-school ways: Long-time readers know that despite being a blogger, I remain a traditionalist when it comes to many other communications avenues.

I don't have call waiting or caller ID. If I don't feel like picking up the phone, it doesn't matter one whit to me who's trying to reach me.

And I think it's incredibly rude to have a conversation interrupted on the off chance that the incoming caller might have something more exciting to say.

As for music, there's no iPod in my house. I do confess to downloading the free iTunes that Starbucks makes available in its stores. But that's mainly for the novelty. To be honest, I've only liked a handful of the performances; Diana Krall, Yo-Yo Ma and Willie Nelson, y'all made my "listened to" cut.

For the most part, however, when I want some new tunes, I buy a CD. And yes, over the years I have purchased albums, 8-tracks, cassettes and CDs based on hearing one song on the radio.

Was I disappointed? Yes, sometimes.

But there are many more instances where I found a song (or two or more) on a CD that I liked much better than the one that got record company sanctioned airplay. If I hadn't bought the full CDs, I would have never found such musical jewels.

I also appreciate the creative process that performers go through in deciding which songs to put on a CD. The choices and their flow from one to another are part of the complete listening experience.

Doing our music and tax part: So a few days ago when the hubby and I had to run an errand in downtown Austin (actually, he chauffeured me to the studio for my FoxBusiness.com Live appearance), we not only dropped by Guero's for lunch, but also hit Waterloo Records.

Hillsvalleyscover (2) There we did our part a bit early for Record Store Day by buying $150 in CDs. And yes, that total included the state and local sales tax amounts.

Among the CDs we picked up, I want to particularly recommend local singer/songwriters Del Castillo, Kat Edmonson and the reunited Flatlanders, featuring Panhandle troubadours extraordinaire Butch Hancock, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and our favorite Lubbock son Joe Ely.

And remember, whatever your musical taste, you don't have to wait for one day a year to give your local independent record store some business.


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You're right. I don't have kids. And it's MY mother who always puts me on call waiting hold as she takes several calls from friends during our conversations. So maybe I'm a little sensitive. :-)


I enjoy your blog, but find this comment to be surprising:

"I don't have call waiting or caller ID. If I don't feel like picking up the phone, it doesn't matter one whit to me who's trying to reach me."

I can only assume you don't have children....or at least you don't have children that are old enough to be out without you.

Sheila Scarborough

Thanks for this, Kay - I keep meaning to check out that new Flatlanders CD. Isn't Waterloo great?

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