Monday, September 22, 2008

The Angleton Property Tax Plan - Reason over Rhetoric

The Case For The Repeal of Property Taxes
  • The inability of the current system to guarantee that assessments will be uniform and equal makes it impossible for Hoosier taxpayers to have confidence in their government.
  • Property Taxes place an unacceptable burden on working and middle class families.
  • No Hoosier homeowner should ever be in danger of loosing their home (as defined as the primary place of residence) due to the inability to pay property taxes.
  • Property Tax Caps do not guarantee relief from poorly conducted assessments and the currently proposed caps (1% - 2% - 3%) are in direct opposition to the spirit of Article X of the Indiana Constitution.

Replacing The Revenue Currently Obtained

  • Current replacement plans involve the use of a combination of sales and income taxes. I hereby suggest that sales taxes are not a viable choice as part of a property tax replacement scenario. In past years, state and local sales taxes were an option as a deduction on an individual's Federal Income tax. However, this is an either/or situation. You cannot deduct both. Beginning in 2008, state and local sales taxes will not be an option. Therefore, any plan which uses a combination of sales and income taxes will leave a significant portion of the taxes paid as non-deductable. I would even go so far as to repeal the increase in the state sales tax enacted in 2007.
  • State and local income taxes are and will still be a deduction in 2008 and years to come. The best option is one based solely on income taxes. This will necessitate an increase in both the individual and corporate income tax. I do not believe in the so called "Progressive" tax schemes favored by the more "liberal" elements of our political system. All they are is a thinly disguised attempt at the redistribution of wealth. (For anyone who is interested in learning more about "progressive" tax schemes I suggest reading Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto.) Why do we constantly feel the need to punish success and hard work?
  • How much will we need to raise State Income taxes? This still needs to be adequately worked out, but whatever the increase it must be uniform and equal for all of Indiana's taxpayers.
  • At present their are three basic types of local income taxes; COIT, CAGIT and CEDIT. This is two too many. We need to simplify this confusing mix of alphabet soup into one simple tax.
  • Finally, spending caps need to be enacted at both the state and local levels to control the growth of government spending.


Eclecticvibe said...

As to a non-progressive tax system-- I believe in rewarding hard work too. Any many people who earn a meager salary work very hard to earn that salary. Meanwhile, someone else can earn a much more substantial salary just because she has money to invest. That person never works hard at all. She simply earns money for having money. A non-progressive tax system means then hardworking, 50 hour a week laborer pays the same rate as the millionaire investor. If the laborer earns $50,000 and is taxed 10% he pays $5,000 in taxes, and brings home $45,000. The investor earns $500,000 a year, so pays 10% tax of $50,000, but brings home $450,000. The lifestyle of the laborer is much more heavily burdened by paying the same 10% rate as the millionaire. How does this reward hard work?

Timothy Maguire said...

Actually, investments get taxed through a different set of tax laws than wages. So any comparison between the two is like apples and oranges.

No, a non-progressive tax system means that the poor student that goes deeply into to debt for medical school, then works 80 hours a week as a doctor to pay those loans off, doesn't get punished for making more money than someone who decided not to go to college and works at Burger King.

Is my comment an unfair comparison? Probably. But then so was yours.

If we level the playing field for all, rather than trying to make everyone poor, then everyone can suceed.

Paul Dijak-Robinson said...

I would have to agree w/ Timothy. I have been both the factory worker and the white collar worker, and I never begrudged those who were making far more than me as it related to their tax burden. If we fundamentally buy into this argument that it is acceptable to increasingly punish the producers by taking more and more from them, we cannot but automatically cede enormous powers to those who set the level of punishment (i.e., tax rates). A tax system that punishes the producers (currently the top 5% of wage earners pay 54% of the tax burden)is nothing more than a Robin Hood, vote-buying scheme, and has no roots in a system that truly values liberty and freedom. Since when did we judge how much a person "owes" to the government by how much physical activity they have to perform to earn a living? I find that an extremely flawed argument. What if a person had to work 100 hours a week digging ditches to earn $500,000? Do we tax them at a lower rate simply because they worked hard? And what justification are we offered for a progressive tax system? For the same reason Bonnie and Clyde robbed banks--because that's where the money is.