Avoid the head tax

11 Dec

Before moving your business, make sure you check the tax rates. They are far from equal. Governing bodies are more desperate than ever for increased revenues. In addition to property taxes, income taxes, and sales taxes, you may end up with a head tax.

“What,” you may say, “is a head tax?”

I first experienced the head tax when working at a downtown Chicago condo association. I asked my boss what the head tax was, and if we seriously had to pay it. She told me the city of Chicago charged employers $5 per employee per month as a head tax. All employers had to pay it. I told her it obviously motivated employers to move to the suburbs. She agreed. She told me to pay it because as unwise as the tax was, the association still had to pay it. I processed the paperwork for 18 employees and sent the city a check.

I understand Chicago has since revoked and reinstated the head tax, this time at $4per employee per month. I feel the head tax is a bad idea. Employers who can open up shop in the city or in one of the eager suburbs like Arlington Heights, Elk Grove, or Oak Brook will find the suburbs more attractive. I understand the city and county of Denver have maintained a head tax and so has the state of Alaska.


Mark Anthony Germanos is the author of two books, Escape the Cubicle: How to leave your corporate or government job for something better and How to Make Computer Systems Work for You. He has faith in a slow but sure Sacramento business revival. Sacramento small business owners are leading the way. His second book, Escape the Cubicle, is for those who want to escape cubicle jobs and become successfully self-employed. Escape the Cubicle answers the questions: “How can I grow my business” and “How do I become my own boss.”

Mark is the President of Cameron Park Computer Services. As a business owner and computer networking consultant, he has seen habits that successful Sacramento small business owners embrace. He helps Sacramento small business owners embrace those habits to increase their profits, efficiency and happiness. An advocate of Sacramento business revival, Mark believes everybody should run their lives like a small business, perform SWOT Analyses and use social media campaigns to improve business. He used to say “social media is stupid.” That was until he attended a conference and saw how Sacramento small business owners can use social media campaigns as a valuable tool. Since then, he has earned more than $40,000 in business via social media. His Sacramento small business clients also have five-figure returns. Sacramento small business owners that launch social media campaigns give themselves a comparative advantage over those who lag behind. Mark does not do everything, but his clients do receive great results and participate in the Sacramento business revival when they follow his advice.

Mark moved from Chicago and restarted his business in California with a cell phone and a Honda Civic. An active triathlete, he has a life, a dream wife and a dog. For additional details, visit Twitter: Facebook: LinkedIn:


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