In "Good reason to pay more for public needs" (guest column, Aug. 21), we disagree with Roger Smith’s assertions.
Sales tax is a regressive tax affecting low-income taxpayers the most. The states with sales tax mentioned — Idaho, North and South Dakota and Wyoming — also have poor school outcomes, deteriorating facilities, program cuts, as well as homelessness and other public needs. More taxes does not mean an amelioration of social challenges.
Administering sales taxes would entail creating additional government to fund employee work places, technology, wages, health care, liability insurance, retirement programs, etc. Additionally, it’s an expensive, time-consuming burden for businesses to manage the accounting for each transaction with a sales tax attached, potentially raising the cost of goods and services for consumers.
He stated that income and property taxes might be reduced. Who would get relief or determine who would be worthy of tax relief? What value judgments would be made to justify reduction for one taxpayer and not for another? How invasive would government have to be to make determinations? Who would oversee and administer these decisions?
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Individual citizens of compassion, taking personal responsibility will help cure public needs rather than tax-burdened citizens.