I live in a state that has no sales tax. Lucky me! I can go to a store or restaurant and the state government does not get to add anything to my bill and keep it. But, I also work for a public school, drive on public roads, and rely on public services like the police and fire departments. Our town has lost it’s library. Lucky me? Every bond that gets floated past our citizens is voted down… people don’t want to, or ‘can’t’ pay.
But, we got our tax bill this week. We live in a modest home in an okay neighborhood… nothing fancy… really. Our tax bill, however, is on par with a house in Los Angeles worth three or four times what our house is worth! So, those roads? I pay for them. Those schools? I pay for them. Those public services? I pay for them. My neighbors, who are renters, get the benefit of all of those things. My local library? Sorry folks, there wasn’t enough money…
We are not the most taxed people in the world. Perhaps if we were taxed more, we would be a better country. We could afford healthcare for all, beautiful roads, small classroom sizes, mental health facilities that kept the homeless off the streets, food on every table, after school programs free to the public and free college. If you were not paying for health care and child care, if you were not having to save for your child’s college, if you were not fixing your car because you hit that pothole that never gets fixed, perhaps you could live on a little less money.
The tax reform coming from Washington is a joke. In no way will it make my life or your life better… this is a classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul… and in this scenario most of us are Peter… and Paul? He is already making plenty of money… Robbing Peter means that HUD is cutting 2-3 billion dollars out of their budget, it means that money spent helping people pay for health care is cut, it means that the majority of the people who need help in our country will be on the chopping block and lose the benefits they depend on.
If our state needs more money to run the government and help our citizens they will try to balance their budget by increasing our property tax and cutting public education… both will slam our family… Lucky me