Katus still pushing for a tax that's not sales or property.... I wonder which one that is...

The Rapid City Journal has an article in today's paper where Tom Katus is invited to talk about his tax views. And not only does he continue to try to abdicate his responsibility as a legislator to make a decision... not only is his plan still a thinly veiled attempt to get an income tax on the books... But he also makes a great case as to why he's a democrat.

Why? Because he thinks things should be different for different people:
Two major sources: sales (45 percent) and property tax (44 percent) comprise 89 percent of state and local tax revenues (SD LRC; FY 2006). Sales tax is known to be the most regressive of taxes; i.e. the poorest of the poor and the middle class pay the same 6 percent of state/city sales tax as do the wealthy. Schools levy 59 percent of local governments' property taxes. The Governor's Advisory Commission on Taxation (1988) concluded, "Property taxes are high and...assessments unequal and unfair (and) current tax sources are inequitable."

and...

Solution: To adequately support our elders and teachers, we need a BRAC-type bipartisan democratic Tax Review Commission "with teeth in it." I have experience in implementing such democratic processes and would be pleased to elaborate further in a subsequent column if the Journal provides space.
Read it all here.

First off, Katus is continuing to try to dump off responsibility for fixing the system off on his goofy BRAC tax-commission. As opposed to doing the job he was elected to do. We don't elect legislators to openly abdicate responsibility for making difficult decisions. If they manage to do it successfully, we sometimes even call them statesmen. Instead of taking responsibility, Tom wants to abdicate it.

Second, Tom's doing everything to talk about the unfairness of every tax out there - inferring that the one he's not mentioning must be the answer to our problems. (psst... it's the income tax). Except Tom knows the second he tries to openly advocate it, he's toast. Hence, point number one where he tries to have anyone but himself make the decision...

And third, and most illustrative why he's out of touch with most everyone in South Dakota - check out his statement: "Sales tax is known to be the most regressive of taxes; i.e. the poorest of the poor and the middle class pay the same 6 percent of state/city sales tax as do the wealthy."

I can hear the masses calling... "No! No!.... Save us from the tax that everyone pays equally, Tom....." A tax that everyone, regardless of class or income, pays equally is regressive? Rubbish. Hogwash. And B.S.

I'd say it was the opposite. Not just a little, but the utter and complete opposite. In fact, I'd say it was actually quite progressive. Even a grade school child can understand that if you're spending less, you pay less in taxes. If you spend more money, you're going to pay more in taxes.

It cuts across all social strata and income levels. Your taxation is directly proportional to your income and consumption. No loopholes. No shelters. Just a flat tax charged at the point of sale.

Even those who receive services funded by these taxes are going to pay at least something. It's going to be a pittance as compared to the middle or upper class, but it makes them a stakeholder in the process as well, as opposed to simply being someone who draws off of the system - they contribute too.

But according to Tom, true equality isn't fair.

Says a lot, doesn't it?

Comments

Anonymous said…
pp
during the Robber Baron era, when the uber-rich had multi millions and the average joe mad less than a grand a year, the most anyone, rich or poor could possible pay for even the most expensive pair of shoes was $15 or so. That's why all the excess capital accumulated and why all those mansions (read "castles") that are now in ruins got built. There was nothing else for the rich to do with their dough. Is that your idea of "progressive", ace? I gotta tell ya, it ain't mine, bro.
nonnie said…
I agree that the sales tax is one that everyone pays. And those who buy more, pay more.

I am so tired of the argument that the poor pay an unfair amount of sales tax. The poor pay no federal income tax, get tax rebates and earned income credits and extra credits for kids and food stamps and Medicaid and heating assistance and rent assistance etc. Give me a break! Everyone needs to pay something into the system, even those who get the most benefits from it. And a sales tax is one of the only taxes they really pay.
VJ said…
goofy BRAC tax-commission.

Just like that goofy Iraq Surrender Group!

What a joke!
Anonymous said…
Yes, the poorest of the poor don't pay a whole lot of tax anyway...when they go to the grocery store they can use food assistance. When they go to the doctor, they use health care assistance and when they absolutly can't afford necessities such as diapers etc...there are also places they can rely on for those things. I am a good staunch democrat BUT I don't think the sales tax is unfair at all and it needs to remain the way it is!!Although, if as a state we are going to ban abortions, we must take a hard look at making sure that the programs stated above are adequetly FUNDED or it will be utter chaos in this state...I guarantee it!!!
Anonymous said…
oops...I meant the sales tax is FAIR not my type of unfair sorry :)
Anonymous said…
Oh Good God...I need to drink more coffee and get my brain working Jeez...the original post (8:06) I posted was what I was trying to say Good God...I think the bed bugs sucked out part of my working brain while I slept...I'm an idiot don't mind me...sorry guys
Anonymous said…
That's okay 8:09, we all have mornings like that. I also agree that the sales tax is the only fair tax we have because you only pay the tax when you spend money. If you have no money, you have no tax. If you spend millions, you are taxed thousands. Simple.
mjb said…
12am - So you're saying that saving money as a road to prosperity is bad, and we should be taxing savings as opposed to consumption?

God forbid that excess capital (i.e. the fruits of their labors) accumulate.

Just another flaming liberal who wants to tax success down into mediocrity.

Hint, they tried that in the Soviet Union and it didn't work there, either.
Anonymous said…
These have to possibly be the stupidest comments on tax issues I've seen in quite some time.

The sales tax is regressive because it discourages spending. The sales tax is regressive because as a percentage of their income, lower income individuals DO pay more.

The same can be said about the property tax in that it discourages spending, especially among lower income folks.
Anonymous said…
YES...BUT as I stated before...the poorest of the poor have social programs to help them so they DO NOT pay the same tax as the middle income and upper income people...It IS a fair tax and needs to be left alone...you're the one that's ass backwards!! If you don't spend your own money on things...you are NOT paying any taxes on those things and THEN you get HUGE income tax returns at the end of the year...so most anything you spent money on and paid the sales tax is pretty much reimbursed anyway, unless you out spent your means....think about it for a moment!!
VJ said…
Isn't there also a "sales tax" rebate program based on income level?
Anonymous said…
great poing vj..I'm not sure about that but it's a great point!! I'll do some research on that in a few minutes here.
Anonymous said…
mjb, it's typicaly not "the fruits of YOUR labor" but rather the fruits of someone else's labor.

See Abe Lincoln's speeches for more on this.

Labor preceeds and is more important than capital.
Anonymous said…
vj..I can't find a sales tax rebate program...it was introduced by kloucek but can't find if it was passed or not...maybe you know pp??
Anonymous said…
I believe what you’re referring to is the state's refund on food program.

If you qualify, you can get credit for the money you spend on sales tax on food.

So those lower income folks don't have the tax burden on necessities.

I get so tried of liberals always saying make the rich pay. Well guess what, it’s the middle and upper class that pays all the tax burden. The poor pay almost nothing in taxes. No income taxes, they get free health care and help with the cost of food.

So quit claiming the poor are so abused, what other nation in the world so the poor have cars, cable TV, and free health care. If they don’t want to be poor, they should go out and work two jobs to get ahead like the rest of us.
Anonymous said…
I think all taxes are regressive. Is there anybody that really wants to pay taxes?
Anonymous said…
How exactly would a BRAC-type commission be "democratic?" Aren't we looking at basically a group of people appointed by officials elected by the people. That's one step further away from democracy than just having our elected representatives decide tax issues.
Anonymous said…
12:00 AM

I think you defeat your own argument. You can still find $15 shoes, but you can also find $150 shoes. I'm sure if you're rich enough, you could pay someone to custom-make you some $1500 shoes. There are THOUSANDS of ways rich people can (and do) spend more money than middle or lower income people. There are luxury items at the high end of most product lines - electronics, cars, clothes... The more the rich spend on those, the more tax they pay.
Anonymous said…
The rich certainly spend more total money on individual items, but they spend a smaller portion of their income -- they have more to save, invest, and spend on things that typically are not taxed (like education). It is because of this that they pay sales tax on a smaller percentage of their income than do people in lower income brackets, who typically spend nearly every penny they earn just to make ends meet.
Anonymous said…
Well..we cant tax the rich to death so that there are no more rich people for crying out loud...I agree that they need to be taxed at a higher rate than the lower to middle class but at some point they need to be given some credit for paying their fair share. We in this country love to hate the rich...and I am certainly not one of them...but also realize that we NEED THEM and they do pay huge amounts in taxes. Did you realize that after you hit a certain tax bracket you can't even deduct your children anymore!! Now if you want to look at that from the bottom of the glass, that's probably not fair either!
Anonymous said…
11:18 I hear ya.

So maybe rich people should think of taxes as an investment in the country and the people who have made it possible for them to continue to prosper.

No man is an island, remember?

Besides, rich people like making good investments, don't they?

Personally, I wouldn't know, but that's what I hear.
Anonymous said…
That sounds awesome!! I am FAR FAR from rich, but like I said...we do need the rich people. And yes...they should look at their taxes as an investment!! that is a great point!!
Anonymous said…
A poor man never gave anyone a job.

Soak the rich and you take away their power to employ more people and the incentive to earn more.
Anonymous said…
I never said Soak the rich...I don't think anyone is saying that! BUT the rich do need to pay more taxes than the poor...it's just how it works and the only way it will work in a country like America. I am also the post about..we can't tax the rich to death up above. I understand that, we need the rich, but everyone only needs so much to "live on" and once you get in the luxury level with millions in a bank account somewhere you should be paying your taxes to society...I'm sorry but that's just the way it needs to be!!!
Anonymous said…
10:20 said:
"what other nation in the world so the poor have cars, cable TV, and free health care. If they don’t want to be poor, they should go out and work two jobs to get ahead like the rest of us."

I would like to add...what other nation has a very high obesity rate amongst its poorest of poor?

very well said, 10:20, as you're right on...I recvd an email from a letter to the editor yesterday stating that he requests that those recving public funding get randomly drug/alcohol tested as he does at work. Said if they fail, they dont get assistance. Said it is his right to demand this testing, as he has to be tested, and it is his money that goes to fund those people on public assistance. Only demanding what is fair!

Anyone who thinks the economy is more fair by comparing percentage of income to sales taxes paid is nuts. Those same "rich" people are the ones creating jobs, and stimulating our economy with purchases. If you disagree, look at expensive housing developments, and tell me how much they help stimulate the economy, in comparison to a trailer court...Its not even arguable...I cant believe this thread has gone back and forth...ignorance is defined as a "sense of not knowing". Sorry, but those in favor of stiffer taxes for the rich are uninformed and ignorant.

Nick
Anonymous said…
Nick, don't blow a gronoid, dude.

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