Currency and Taxes

ATMs are conveniently located throughout the United States in banks, large hotels, and shopping centers.

Currency
The United States dollar, or American dollar, is the official currency of the United States. It is also widely used as a reserve currency outside the United States. Currently, the issuance of currency is controlled by the Federal Reserve Banking systems. The most commonly used symbol for the U.S. dollar is the dollar sign ($). The ISO 4217 code for the United States Dollar is USD; the U.S. dollar is also referenced as US$ by the International Monetary Fund. In 1995, over $380 billion (380 G$) in U.S. currency was in circulation, two-thirds of it overseas. As of April 2004 nearly $700 billion was in circulation, with an estimated half to two-thirds of it still being held overseas.

The United States is one of many countries that use a currency known as a dollar. Several countries use the U.S. dollar as their official currency, and many others allow it to be used in a de facto legal capacity.

The colloquialism buck is often used to refer to a U.S. dollar. This term, dating to the 18th century, may have originated with the colonial fur trade. Grand, sometimes shortened to simply G, is a common term for the amount of 1,000 of several currencies, including dollars.

The U.S. dollar is most commonly divided into 100 cents (symbol ยข). In another division, there are 1,000 mills to a dollar; additionally, an amount of ten dollars has been referred to as an eagle. However, only cents are in everyday use as divisions of the dollar; "eagle" and "mill" are largely unknown to the general public, though mills are sometimes used in matters of tax levies. When currently issued in circulating form, denominations equal to or less than a dollar are emitted as U.S. coins while denominations equal to or greater than a dollar are emitted as Federal Reserve notes. (Both one-dollar coins and notes are produced today, although the note form is significantly more common.) In the past, paper money was occasionally issued in denominations less than a dollar (Fractional Currency) and gold coins were issued for circulation up to the value of twenty dollars.

U.S. coins are produced by the United States Mint. U.S. dollar banknotes have been printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for the Federal Reserve since 1914. They began as large-sized notes. In 1928, they switched to small-sized notes, for reasons that are yet to be explained.

One US dollar (1917)
Notes above the $100 denomination ceased being printed in 1946 and were officially withdrawn from circulation in 1969. These notes were used primarily either in inter-bank transactions or by organized crime; it was the latter usage that prompted President Richard Nixon to issue an executive order in 1969 halting their use. With the advent of electronic banking, they became unnecessary. Notes in denominations of $500, $1,000, $5,000, $10,000, and $100,000 were all produced at one time; see large denomination bills in U.S. currency for details. See History of the American dollar for more info about the currency's history.

Taxes
All states also have their own tax system. Typically there is a tax on real estate, and there may be additional income taxes, sales taxes, and excise taxes. Oil and mineral producing states often have a severance tax, which is similar to an excise tax in that tax is paid on products produced, rather than on sales. Taxes on hotel rooms are common, and politically popular because the taxpayers usually do not vote in the jurisdiction levying the tax.

These states do not levy an individual income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. New Hampshire and Tennessee only tax interest and dividend income. Delaware, Oregon, Montana and New Hampshire have no state or local sales tax. Alaska has no state sales tax, but allows localities to collect their own sales taxes up to a state-specified maximum. California has all the mentioned taxes, with the result that tax liability often exceeds 51% of income for many California residents.

Many states also levy personal property taxes, which are annual taxes on the privilege of owning or possessing items of personal property within the boundaries of the state. Automobile and boat registration fees are a subset of this tax; however, most people are unaware that practically all personal property is also subject to personal property tax. Usually, household goods are exempt; but virtually all objects of value (including art) are covered, especially when regularly used or stored outside of the taxpayer's household.

States permit the creation of special assessment districts (typically for provision of water or removal of sewage, or for parks, public transit or schools) whose boundaries may be independent of other boundaries and whose income may be from one or more of service assessments, property taxes, parcel taxes, a portion of road or bridge tolls, or an additional increment upon sales taxes in addition to the non-tax fees for services provided (such as metered water). State government is financed mainly by a mix of sales and/or income taxes and to a lesser extent by corporate registration fees, certain excise taxes, and automobile license fees.

City and County Tax
Cities and counties may levy additional taxes, for instance to improve parks or schools, or pay for police, fire departments, local roads, and other services. As in the case of the IRS, they generally require a tax payment account number. Other local governmental agencies may also have the power to tax, notably independent school districts.

Local government taxes are usually property taxes but may also include sales taxes and income taxes. Some cities collect income tax on not only residents but non-residents employed in the city. At least some counties levy an Occupational Privilege Tax (OPT), usually for a small amount, in some cases less than $100/yr.



Copyright © 2010-2017, Boston Hotel Service, All Rights Reserved