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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Regressive tax systems crush the poor. . .

Check out a slice of this provocative essay:

Practically the only tax that could rise was the one that hurt the poor the most: the sales tax. And rise it did, throughout the Deep South in the late 19th century, then spreading into the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida and the rest of the region in the 1960s and 1970s. Even liberal politicians weren’t able to buck the tide — just ask Bill Clinton, who as governor of Arkansas urgently sought new revenue to improve his state’s ailing schools and found the sales tax was the only politically viable option.


If this were just a history lesson, we could set it aside. It isn’t. In the last 30 years, these trends have only gotten worse. Southern states have steadily increased the tax burden on their poorest citizens by shifting the support of the public sector to sales taxes and fees for public services. After California voters passed Proposition 13, which capped property-tax increases, in 1978, Western states began to move in a similar direction. Sales taxes on clothing and school supplies and fees for bus fare and car registration take up, of course, a far bigger slice of a poor household’s budget than they do from the rich.

To get an important historical perspective on tax policy at the state level, as well as essential understanding as to just how our tax system hurts the weakest among us in Dallas, click here and read the entire report.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

How is sales tax crushing the poor? Food and prescription drugs are not taxed. Once a yesr before school starts there is a tax holiday. The sales tax for Texas is 6.25.%. How is this so distructive, especially since they pay no income tax.

Larry James said...

The tax is regressive in that everyone pays the same regardless of ability or wealth. Many low-income folks pay payroll taxes, property taxes in addition to sales taxes. In Dallas the rate for sales tax is 8.25%. Further, with no income tax, there is no other way to fund needed efforts and programs save via property taxes and sales taxes.

Anonymous said...

We could spend some of the 12 billion dollars in the State savings account (the Rainy Day Fund), whcih it looks like the legislature is finally resigned to doing.

Anonymous said...

That's like a family spending their emergency fund.

Anonymous said...

In most states it is better financially to go on welfare than a minimum wage job. I guess somebody has to pay for the welfare state.

Larry James said...

Anon 2:06, that tells me, if true (?), that minimum wage is woefully low and needs to be raised. Most people want work. All workers deserve living wages.