• A Taxing Predicament

A Taxing Predicament

Guy W. Midkiff
307 Ashley Ct.
Washington, Mo.

Dec 21, 2007

In the 12/22/07 Missourian, a career bureaucrat and one-time state tax commission chairman appears to tell us how lucky we are having  the privilege of paying a smorgasbord of ever-increasing taxes.

For a little perspective, the average American had to work until April 30th, of this year, to get to the point where they actually made money (Tax Freedom Day) for themselves. The breakdown looks like this:

Individual Income Taxes: 43 Days
Social Security Taxes: 30 Days
Sales & Excise Taxes: 16 Days
Property Taxes: 12 Days
Corporate Income Taxes: 14 Days
Other Taxes: 4 Days
Estate and Gift Taxes: 1 Day
Total: 120 Days

We spend the first 120 days of each year paying for government. “Less” important items such as: Food, housing, and clothing costs the average American 105 days of labor. And how many days does the average American spend working to pay for state and local services? Try 41 days – more than we spend on food, or clothing, or transportation, or (heaven forbid) recreation. To make it worse, Tax Freedom Day does not count weekends or holidays. More sobering is how taxes paid as a percentage of income have grown from 5.9% in 1900 to a whopping 33% in 2007.

Mr. Smith would have us contently believe that we have three categories of taxes to choose from: Income, property, or sales taxes. I think there is an obvious fourth category: Tax decreases. In his 1300 word tax defense parry, scarcely a suggestion was made about how we can reduce taxes instead of the predictable increases. Municipalities simply do not play by the same rules that American Corporations play by. There are no market forces or checks and balances to ensure that each dollar of taxpayer revenue is jealously guarded. And any executive or accountant, worth his salt, knows that a dollar cut from expenses is vastly more efficient than a dollar added to revenue. It is an interesting dynamic; how are property values stagnate (even decline) and yet our property tax rates go up. And now the city gets an $800,000 windfall and what do we do with it? I can tell you what we aren’t doing with it – giving it back to the taxpayer.

It is a good thing that we do not get as much government as we pay for. “Will Rogers”

Published in: on January 15, 2008 at 11:06 am  Leave a Comment  

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