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Senate Taxation: All I Ever Wanted (now: Balancing taxes and stimulus)

Discussion in 'Community' started by Lowbacca_1977, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. dp4m

    dp4m JCC Playoff Pick 'Em Winner, Also a Narc star 10 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Yeah, first of all getting rid of Mitch. :p But my point was more that if you want to play zero-sum with taxation, you want to focus on the people outside of your state who are leeching first. (also, please don't do that)
     
  2. Lowbacca_1977

    Lowbacca_1977 Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Fair points all around, all I'm saying is that I've never seen a bookstore in Kentucky that wasn't preceded by the word 'adult'. (granted, it's hard to miss that one)
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
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  3. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Since I'm working my taxes, I'll throw in a few figures (State of Washington)

    No income tax
    State and local tax rate: 10 or 10.1% (depending) - this is King County but not Seattle. Not food items in a grocery store (basically), or whatever else I *choose* to buy or not buy (however, cat food, cat litter, any clothing or drugstore items like laundry soap, toilet paper, contact lens solution...add up, of course.) Turbotax figures an average of $1179.00 annually.
    I own a condo. Property taxes: $3666 tax year 2020. Interest on the mortgage of course, but I don't think there's any "fees/taxes."
    Gas tax: damn high. Figure has been mentioned before. I fill up about 2-3x times a month. Roughly $20-$25 a month; slightly more in summer as I drive more (hikes).
    Comcast phone/internet/TV: $24.21 monthly

    Car is owned outright: no taxes on purchase
    Car registration ('09 Subaru) with Regional Transit tax: $123.25 of which $41.00 is service fees and RTA Excise Tax

    Health insurance: 100% paid by me, not employer, not sure if any tax applies - ?

    Probably a few dollars on the cell phone and electric bill...

    Without getting too specific, I have no problem qualifying for the tax stimulus and my tax bracket is, I believe 22% for federal taxes.

    So, rough figures, 30% of my income goes to taxes.

    Would I like it be less? Who wouldn't? Would I be willing to pay more should "I" and everyone "else" get health care and sustainable wages, etc. - you betcha.

    If I decided to buy a boat, or a car, or a $10,000 piece of jewelry, OF COURSE I would pay more taxes - but those would be entirely voluntary purchases should I be that crazy.
     
  4. QUIGONMIKE

    QUIGONMIKE Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Actually I didnt complain about Downstate people or public transportation. I only mentioned that public transit is not a concern for us out this way since we dont use it. I never meant this to be an upstate vs downstate thing anyways....whats that all about? ALL NY residents pay too much in taxes. That was kind of my point. ??????
     
  5. dp4m

    dp4m JCC Playoff Pick 'Em Winner, Also a Narc star 10 VIP - Game Winner

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    Nov 8, 2001
    [​IMG]

    We also have some of the best public schools in the country in NYS. And I don't have kids, but I'd prefer there to be public schools...
     
  6. QUIGONMIKE

    QUIGONMIKE Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Bolded - debatable. Thats what the super high-cost education system tells everyone. I never said there shouldnt be public schools. Id prefer they were run more efficiently and not beholden to unions but its not changing so whatever.. Wont be my problem once we get the hell outta here. Not much longer. :).

    And nice GIF but how exactly does public transportation help upstate when we dont use it? Care to explain?
     
  7. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Five Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Having good teacher unions and having good public schools are not contradictory goals, quite the opposite. Treating teachers as professionals who deserve good salaries and benefits does not make public schools worse, unless you are of the mindset that the only way to make public schools “good” is to only hire teachers willing to offer themselves as tributes, set themselves on fire to make other people warm, or treat the job as a “love profession” for which they don’t actually need to make money, ‘in it for the outcome not the income’ or some garbage like that, In which case good luck having decent public schools when you deal with teacher shortages. That is the mindset that the TPTB in my state have—our state treasurer even said a year or two ago that it is OK to cut our medical benefits because ‘maybe we should consider getting on our husbands’ insurance plans’ (because all teachers are married, to men, who all have good family plans for insurance amirite?)—and teachers are quitting, especially after the level of contempt we’ve gotten because we dare ask to be safe during a pandemic. And enrollment in teacher education programs at universities has dropped.

    This is a separate discussion from taxation but yes, your taxes in New York or any other state should go towards funding public schools, including teacher salaries and benefits.
     
  8. Mar17swgirl

    Mar17swgirl Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Dec 26, 2000
    In the UK, every year I get a summary of how much income tax I paid in the previous financial year. On the back side there's a neat little pie chart that breaks down how my tax was used - social security, health care, police, education, infrastructure, etc. It shows precisely how much I, personally, contributed to these things from my income tax. Don't you have a similar thing in the US? Maybe this would be helpful to change the mindset of "my taxes are too high!", by actually showing what you get in return.
     
  9. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Five Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    I wish. But I don’t know that anything would change. Many of those arguing about taxes being too high, think that schools, libraries, transit and other such services should all be privatized but are OK with tax money being spent on bombs.
     
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  10. Lowbacca_1977

    Lowbacca_1977 Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jun 28, 2006
    We don't; we also don't get the nice summary on the taxes paid. I think the US wishes to keep a lot of these things obscured.

    There's arguments to be made that both the tax-preparation industry and Republicans intentionally want US taxes to be confusing. And in the case of something like those summaries, it would work if the government did those calculations and sent out the results rather than expected people to calculate it out themselves so the break down isn't as immediately available.
     
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  11. Lordban

    Lordban Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2000
    Political communication, obviously, but nevertheless not uninteresting.
     
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  12. Mar17swgirl

    Mar17swgirl Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Dec 26, 2000
    Oh yeah, you all have to calculate your taxes in the US. That's baffling, too. I've never had to file a tax return in my life. Actually, no, hold on, I had to file it once, in Slovakia, just after I moved to the UK, and that was only in order to get a refund and to confirm tax residence in another country (so to avoid double taxation).

    But because I'm a regular employee, not self employed, and don't have any other income, my income tax is deducted and paid by my employer via Pay As You Earn system each month, so I don't need to do anything else.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
  13. Sauntaero

    Sauntaero Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 9, 2003
    I get one like that from the county I live in, but I can't imagine the US as a whole doing it. People might not hate all taxes if they were able to see what their taxes actually paid for.
     
  14. Lowbacca_1977

    Lowbacca_1977 Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Basically, one contention is that if you made taxes *easy* to file, then people in the US wouldn't be super angry about taxes because it wouldn't be as frustrating.

    I think there's also a case to be made that if people knew how much was going to various things, it'd also undermine that. It's helpful to obscure where people's tax money is going, I think, so that they can get angry about things that don't get large share of taxes. For example, that 15% of the federal budget goes to the defense budget (not including retirement for military, I believe, and roughly $670 million of the $4.4 trillion US budget). Presuming no state spending going to defense, that works out to 9% of total government spending in the US (about $7 trillion total).
     
  15. Lordban

    Lordban Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2000
    Well, opacity about where taxes go and how taxes are filed are a trait France has in common with the USA. Maybe we exported that when we liberated them? :p
     
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  16. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    We have that too, not sure if we went first and UK copied or vice versa.
     
  17. QUIGONMIKE

    QUIGONMIKE Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Sounds good to me. Ive been a huge proponent of s simplified tax system and getting rid of the IRS altogether. Id love to know where all of our money is going at a federal level. Maybe if people saw it they wouldnt get as pissed. This will come as a shock to some here but Ive argued with people and explained that our taxes in NYS are NOT high due to welfare or social programs. Not at all. Its a tiny piece of the budget but they get mad thinking that people freeloading is making their property taxes absurdly high. It isnt that at all.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
  18. Darth Nerdling

    Darth Nerdling Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2013
    @Lordban, I believe France got rid of its wealth tax and replaced it with a real estate wealth tax. What's your view on why a wealth tax didn't work in your neck of the woods and why the powers that be thought a real estate wealth tax would be preferable?
     
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  19. SateleNovelist11

    SateleNovelist11 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 10, 2015
    Is it not true that the Europeans tax their citizens less than they once did? I don't mean to generalize, but that's what the leftist websites keep saying. Personally, I think it's better when states tax the wealthy and corporations. That way, we can have more social services and aid for other people. The goal, in my mind, is to encourage them to be successful. But some people can't work, particularly if they are disabled. So, that needs to be considered. I'm trying to see a middle ground here. My default preference is for as much welfare, free housing, workfare, free healthcare, and free education as possible, though. I think FDR was on to something near the end of his life.
     
  20. dp4m

    dp4m JCC Playoff Pick 'Em Winner, Also a Narc star 10 VIP - Game Winner

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    Nov 8, 2001
    Let's also be honest -- the bulk of people didn't itemize taxes, which means that you can basically straight-through process your tax returns (either with things like TurboTax or with the IRS portal).

    Even before the absolute screwing of most blue state middle class residents with the SALT deductions, only 31% of all tax filers itemized their deductions. After the TCJA it's about 15-17% a year now. The tax code was plenty easy for most people, as evidenced by the 1040EZ:

    The percentage of US households making <$100,000 is 65.9%.

    Of course, by passing the TCJA -- they also eliminated the 1040EZ, so it's almost like it's a grift to screw people over by the GOP...
     
  21. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    Wealth taxes generally don't work and are driven by envy more than economics. Nordic countries have high wealth inequality but low income inequality and top out ever index imaginable - happiness, health, life expectancy, you name it.

    There's a reason for this.

    See the left are habitually economically illiterate so anything the left says about economics should be considered "probably wrong."

    Like the idea of raising company tax, which was addressed on page 1 of this thread.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
  22. Coruscant

    Coruscant Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2004
    Bookmarking this thread for when I want to get to sleep
     
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  23. dp4m

    dp4m JCC Playoff Pick 'Em Winner, Also a Narc star 10 VIP - Game Winner

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    Nov 8, 2001
    I mean, that's like 98% of the interviews too, right? :p (especially mine)
     
  24. Lordban

    Lordban Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2000
    That is indeed the case.

    Our wealth tax, named ISF, suffered from a number of flaws from its very inception. It was designed more to be a tool of political communication than to have an effective yield, and included a number of exceptions that, conveniently, allowed Mitterrand (our President at the time), Fabius (the Prime Minister at its inception) and most high-ranked Parti Socialiste members to dodge it, as well as a number of prominent political opposition figures in the Parti Communiste Français, the Rassemblement pour la République or the Union pour la Démocratie Française (basically, all four mainstream parties of the 1980s). Here's the list of the exemptions:
    • Professional equipment (under some conditions),
    • Any owned items older than 100 years, any art or collection items, including collection cars (ie. a car aged at least 25 years),
    • Intellectual property rights for industry, letters and arts (for the author or the inventor),
    • Parts in SMB (businesses with between 50 and 499 employees), parts in certain types of funds for someone who contributed to their creation or to increasing their capital (sorry, small business owners),
    • Financial investments in France by people residing fiscally outside of France (Monaco, Andorra, Switzerland...),
    • The yield of some life annuities accrued during professional activity (ie. some very specific financial products),
    • The yield from the placement of any payments in compensation for physical hurt, and for the inheritors of victims of antisemitic persecutions (but not the victims themselves...),
    • Partially, woods and forests, parts in forest ownership, investments into a specific type of environmental preservation fund (not all of them), rural properties rented by long-term agreements, parts in ownership of a group controling but not exploiting agricultural land (sorry farmers, you pay ISF if your land has enough worth),
    • Partially, parts and titles owned with a contractual obligation to keep them at least 6 years,
    • Conditionally, parts and titles owned in their own society by employees, former employees who are retired, and their representatives (ie. its head executives)
    Debts incurred for the acquisition of any goods not on that list and that weren't owed to a person's heirs counted towards reducing ISF.

    The conditions under which other items subjected to declaration had to be valued, and the arcanic nature of its complete rules meant a lot of new business for accountants and lawyers, the employment of thousands of civil servants dedicated to verifying declarations and, of course, costly trials against frauders. ISF ended up so full of holes and so complex to recover that it never had a positive yield. Not once. The closest it got to profitability was costing "only" nearly a billion francs; ordinarily, it was a waste of several billions every year, for three decades.

    Its structure also resulted in ruining small property owners just by virtue of how larger or richer proprietors decided to value ownership of land and buildings in some places, forcing small proprietors to either sell their properties or lose them to personal bankruptcy; I can't in good faith call that accidental. The real estate tax that now exists continues that negative consequence, and it is definitely not accidental.

    Long story short, our wealth tax was a costly disaster that fueled 35 years of political communication and counting while, by design, not hitting our most important political personnel; it left behind an 11-figure debt in our finances.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
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  25. Lowbacca_1977

    Lowbacca_1977 Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jun 28, 2006
    So, given how art is used as an investment, what wealth were they intending to tax if any excess wealth could just be dumped into antiques and art to sell when necessary?