Re: El Reg, missed the point...
Getting slightly off original topic, but steering to an IT angle...
In Connecticut there's a similar law for cars (owned or leased - doesn't matter) - amount is payable to the city they're registered in. Don't pay, your registration gets suspended & driving it becomes a criminal matter.
They take it further for businesses: - ANNUAL property Tax is due on all the IT Assets / Office Equipment owned (or leased from a 3rd party).
1) Buy with cash / finance purchase with interest or lease expensive Gear & pay sales tax on it at time of purchase.
2) Depreciate value of said gear over 5 or 7 years (Typically).
3) Each year a % of the residual (undepreciated) amount is owed to state coffers.
If you're leasing the gear, YOU are responsible for the Property Tax (even though you don't own it)
Makes VAT (almost) seem reasonable.
TL;DR If possible, avoid building DataCenters or Trading Floors here unless you can negotiate tax breaks from the State Government prior to moving in and then threaten to take your toys (and jobs) to NY/NJ unless those breaks are renewed after expiry.
Unless you're Royal Bank of Scotland building a GLOBAL HQ in Stamford CT (UK Gov bailout stopped moving HQ, but the building went up) or UBS building what was once the worlds largest trading floor (now mostly empty) the only option is to accept ever increasing tax rates to fund the big guys sweetheart deals or GTFO and setup shop elsewhere.