Friday, December 05, 2008

End of the semester

I have just completed teaching my last Tax I class of the fall 2008 semester. I'm always ambivalent when this happens. Certainly, having more free time until the next semester is welcome; teaching has elements of being a chore and isn't necessarily the main reason one goes into this line of work. But a semester-long class is kind of a living thing that the professor & students share and that can be fun; you really get to know each other though just in this formalized setting. And I felt we had pretty good relations and some fun together plus a sense of shared enterprise. I enjoyed teaching this class, and the next time inevitably will be different; possibly not as good since these things inevitably vary each time around.

As a parting gesture various students brought in items of fruit on the last day. This referred in part to a couple of early twentieth century Supreme Court tax cases that (following Marvin Chirelstein) I mocked for their labored and unhelpful metaphors about "fruit and tree": Eisner v. Macomber, saying that only the fruit is income; and Lucas v. Earl, saying that the fruit can only be taxed to the tree on which it grew. Other references behind the gesture: someone brought in an apple earlier in the semester, and when I forgot it he brought in a persimmon the next time; also, I've mentioned my mania for the Union Square farmer's market when fresh fruit is in season. So the gesture was literarily rich; multiple layers of reference.

Anyway, here was my net haul: 4 bananas, a persimmon, a few lychees, a pomegranate, a kiwi, a pineapple, a mango, an orange, a tangerine, a Clementine, an Asian pear, a Comice pear, and a potato (perhaps because in French it's a "pomme de terre"?). Plus an NYU canvas bag so I can carry my loot home.

Luckily I do not plan to respond by asking them on the exam whether this haul is taxable income. Detached generosity? (I'd like to think so.) Might section 102(c) apply? (No, they aren't the employer.)

Final chapter of the class saga, other than the exam, is recruitment to the lifestyle. We tax profs are all alike. We are hoping people will be interested enough to take more classes in the subject, and perhaps to give more thought than they had expected to tax policy as a subject or tax practice as a career. I'd certainly be happy to see people from this class again over the next few semesters. On this angle, on verra.

1 comment:

Da Man said...


First Drunk Driving Conviction
Your first conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in the State of New York with a BAC of .08 percent or higher is a misdemeanor. You will be fined from $500 to $1,000 and you could spend up to 1 year in jail. Your drivers license will be suspended for a minimum of 6 months and you will be ordered to pay a mandatory conviction surcharge. You will also be ordered alcohol screening and evaluation prior to sentencing.
Second Drunk Driving Conviction
Your second conviction for a DWI in New York State within 10 years of the first DWI will be a Class E Felony. This felony will cost you a minimum fine of $1,000 or up to $5,000. You will also receive a minimum jail sentence of 10 days in jail or be ordered to perform 60 days of community service. The minimum 10 day jail sentence can be increased by the court up to 7 years in jail. Your driver license will be revoked for a minimum of 1 year plus you will have to pay for an ignition interlock device that will be placed on your vehicle once your suspension is over. The court will also have you pay for your alcohol assessment.


Third Drunk Driving Conviction
A 3rd drunk driving conviction in New York is a class D felony. You will be fined a minimum of $2,000 up to $10,000. You could be sentenced up to 7 years in jail, 10 days of which is mandatory. The court may also order you to serve 60 days of community service. Your driver license will be revoked for a minimum of 1 year plus you will have to pay for an ignition interlock device that will be placed on your vehicle once your suspension is over.
The State of New York prohibits driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or above. The .08 limit is used throughout the United States as the benchmark for the "impaired" driver. New York State has lower limits for Commercial drivers (.04) and drivers under the age of 21 (.02). The laws for drivers under 21 are effectively a zero tolerance law and a minor could lose the privilege to drive until they become an adult. The New York law also addresses driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol or both.
Like other states across the country, New York State has an implied consent law. This law means that all drivers on the roadways of New York agree to submit to a chemical test of their blood, breath or urine of an officer of the law suspects the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you refuse such a test you drivers license will be suspended in court and revoked for a minimum of 1 year. You will also be fined $500 on your first refusal and $750 for your second