Friday, September 4, 2009

Real Stimulus in Your Community

By Michael Vogt, CGCS

How about after National Healthcare, Cap and Trade, Cash for Clunkers, First Time Home Buyers Incentives, Energy Tax Credits, and other stimulus and redistribution of (wealth) tax dollars, we the people get behind a government program like:

Green-Backs for Golf, Millions for Members, Credits for Clubs or my favorite, the acronym; B.U.C.K.S:

Un-Taxed Cash

The B.U.C.K.S program will be more of a success and much easier to administer than Medicare, Medicaid or Cash for Clunkers. I would envision the program to go something like this. All private club members will receive an initiation and dues credit for three years. A dollar-for-dollar credit against their federal taxes to stimulate the golf and country club business, we all know what impact golf has on the local economies. The tax code is large and clunky anyway, congress doesn’t mind adding a few more pages to the IRS code (they do it every year).
By the way, if you go to the US Government Printing Office ( ), you can order a complete set of Title 26 of the US Code of Federal Regulations (that's the part written by the IRS), all twenty volumes of it, at the bargain price of $974, shipping included.
According to the US Government Printing Office, it's 13,458 pages in total. The full text of Title 26 of the United States Code (the part written by Congress--available for an additional $179) is a mere 3,387 printed pages, bringing the adjusted gross page count to 16,845, but I digress.
Clubs employ hundreds of thousands of people nationwide, purchase goods and services to support golf courses, restaurants, buildings and above all conduct business on the highest of levels while engaging in the wonderful sport of golf. Like minded members get together and solve problems on topics that have meaning on the local community level.
Club members are normally the top wage earners in the community, taxes levied on the top 5% of wager earners in the U.S. accounts for 57% of the nation’s income; they deserve a break!
As an example; there are 4398 private clubs in the United States[1], if each club spends an average of $1,800,000 per year on operations [2]and an additional $1,000,000 in capital per year that’s a staggering $12,314,400,000.00. When this money is spent in the local community it is presumed that the dollar changes hands 9 times; that’s $110,829,600,000.00 national impact on local communities thanks to private club memberships. This program will have less of an impact on the taxpayer, more of an impact on local communities.

What do you think about the new B.U.C.K.S. program?

[1] National Golf Foundation, Golf Facilities in the U.S. 2009
[2] National Golf Foundation, Operating & Financial Performance Profiles of 18-Hole Golf Facilities in the U.S., 2006 Edition

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