Question regarding "What Good are Functions"


In the Lesson "What Good are Functions" there is a line like this:

bill *= 1.08

Now my question is: the star (*), is it representing the bill from that very line, that is, would a star reference always to the variable before the =?

Or does it always refer to the variable defined in the function definition, like here:

def tax(bill):



is the same as:

bill = bill * 1.08

Only shorter syntax.


Ok, so it's always the variable that is assigned. Thanks!