The solution is a sales tax

mapleleaf's picture

Is the sales tax the solution to everything?

We have road congestion and other transportation problems in the Atlanta area. Would a little extra sales tax solve the problem?

We have problems in this state paying for our public schools, especially in rural areas. Would a little extra sales tax solve the problem?

We have children without health insurance in the state of Georgia. Wouldn’t a little extra sales tax help provide it?

Atlanta’s sales tax is already at the 8% level. One percent is for sewers. One percent is for schools. One percent is for MARTA (public transportation). One percent is for, well, whatever, including the Brian Nichols trial. The other four percent is for the state.

Now comes State Senator Mitch Seabaugh, of Coweta County, with a proposal to replace the state income tax with more sales tax. He’d apparently raise the sales tax rate by two and a half percentage points, but the real catch is that he’d extend the whole sales tax to services and currently untaxed items.

In an era where we have old people forced to choose between food and medicine, he’d charge 10% sales tax or so on both food and prescription drugs, and also on doctor’s fees and hospital bills, before charging an extra 10% on their funeral.

I am forever astounded to find in the media that many politicians’ solution to everything is more sales tax on more and more items. These folks like to focus on a sales tax for dog grooming, overlooking the fact that when a poor person’s car (and often only means to go to work) breaks down the tax added to the mechanic’s fee to fix it would only add to that person’s misery.

Seabaugh argues that with a sales tax people decide when and how much they pay in taxes. Tell that to a widow whose roof has started leaking or whose furnace has broken down. Tell that to a person who’s just been diagnosed with cancer and has to pay for expensive treatment and medicine.

In the end it’s not the percentage that matters, it’s the amount. That’s where the wool is likely to be pulled over our eyes. Exchanging one tax (like income tax) for another (like an expanded sales and services tax) is not likely to be an even trade for anybody. Some folks will benefit, and others will be worse off.

Guess who’s likely to be worse off.

What do you think?

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masked08's picture
Submitted by masked08 on Mon, 02/19/2007 - 9:46pm.

Check the calendar for local meetings.

Submitted by loanarranger707 on Tue, 02/20/2007 - 6:51am.

The prescription is remedial reading.

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Sat, 02/17/2007 - 3:06pm.

A tax on everyone who spends at the retail level is to get most of the money needed to run a government from working people. That way those more fortunate, smarter, better educated, and harder working, can have more to live on or invest. (some good there, not much)
There is no really fair way to have a sales tax unless you back out the necessities of life before applying the tax. That has to be done not at the retail counter (where some eat steak and some eat bologna) but as a credit to their income.
An even better way to collect money for the governments' is a tax applied at arms length on everything except necessary food, transportation, and shelter. This would be done at the raw material level.
Also, enough tariff applied to foreign goods shipped into here to make up the balance needed would, in addition to fund raising, bring back some jobs to the USA. Eliminate the sales and income tax.
Local governments could collect whatever their citizens wanted extra.

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