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A tax on sales is unfair

February 15, 2013

If everyone pays the same tax rate, why is a sales tax unfair? Pennsylvania’s 6 percent tax is unfair because it is not based on a person’s ability to pay (income), and it punishes the poor and......

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(55)

Tgrammiex4

Feb-15-13 4:00 AM

I think it's unfair that the lower end of the "middle class" get to lose half of what they pay in on federal taxes so that those that have figured out how to work the system work 3-4 mos. out of the year and draw welfare the rest of the year then get those whopping tax refunds that darn near double thier income for the year.I don't believe they have to report those refunds to welfare either as income.

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mikekerstetter

Feb-15-13 4:05 AM

In a perfect world, everyone would pay their exact share to run the Government. IE, if it cost $1000/person to run the Government, each person would pay that $1000 regardless of their income. I don't know where people like David got the idea that paying taxes should be based on income.

But that is the system we have, and I would be OK with it, as long as everyone paid the same rate. But, no, the Davids of this country say that's not fair either.

And the Davids of this country also want to throw extra tax breaks at the lower 47% so they don't have to pay any federal income taxes, and apparently now want to include state and local taxes as well, all the while spending money on programs that target these 47% to 'help' them out.

There are too many Davids who don't see that our national debt, caused by ever declining tax revenue and increased government spending, is a part of the direct cause of our economic condition.

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mikekerstetter

Feb-15-13 4:10 AM

Tgrammie, who are these lower middle class people?

I just did out taxes, and on a $75k family income, we paid an effective rate of 5.16%. Last year it was 7.5% on $77k and the year before that it was 4.5% on $62k. I'm just not seeing how the middle and lower class are burdened with taxes.

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Tedeaux

Feb-15-13 4:56 AM

I can not agree with much that David had to say either. A sales tax is fair in that rewards the person that saves money and gives all buyers the same treatment, even the people that are on public assistence or work for cash and by-pass the income tax system. There are no loopholes or deductions unless your buying stuff from an individual or on the black market. A flat income tax could possibly save this country from financial ruin as there are a lot more people making $40,000 a year rather than $400,000. There would be more money put in the treasury than taken out and everyone could prosper if it were done right.

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gavinf56

Feb-15-13 5:22 AM

Double shot, drink!

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Premier

Feb-15-13 5:50 AM

Another example of people who just don't get it. A person making 10 times more than someone else is paying 10 times more in tax's but that is somehow unfair.

And in most cases those on the lower end pay nothing with some getting back twice what they paid in.

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gavinf56

Feb-15-13 5:54 AM

By exempting both food and clothing from the sales tax, both categories in which the poor pay a greater percentage of their income on, the PA sales tax is already a progressive tax.

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gavinf56

Feb-15-13 5:59 AM

"and the federal estate tax doesn't kick in until the value of an estate reaches at least $5 million. How many Americans have the kind of money? Very few!" - David Faust

Probably the most telling line of the whole letter. Mr. Faust isn't upset because others pay the same, he is upset because "others" don't pay more.

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Tgrammiex4

Feb-15-13 6:08 AM

mikekerstetter, We fall into the "lower middle class".At 35k for the year, no kids to claim, very few deductions, we lost 1/2 of what we paid in. I believe we fell at 12%. Someone I know, on SSI, her hubby works 3-4 mos. a year, 2 kids, they get $600 mo. food stamps when he doesn't work, free medical, $20 light bills, free phone and get $8000 refund.Not to mention $650 rent rebate, $700 car allowance and on and on...They live alot better than we do and we've worked hard our whole lives.

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ToTEXASfromPA

Feb-15-13 6:09 AM

The reason we bicker over whether we should have all flat taxes or progressive taxes is because we are all taxed too much to support the big government spending that we have. Reduce the government, reduce the spending so everyone is not squeezed so much.

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ToTEXASfromPA

Feb-15-13 6:21 AM

If I pay more taxes, then I expect to have more votes in the say of how our government is run.

Make voting proportional to income. If you get financial support back from the government then you get no votes.

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idiottwo

Feb-15-13 6:24 AM

why again is a flat tax not fair to everyone? Is it because you feel wealthy people should pay more? Envy? Jealousy?

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wwhickok

Feb-15-13 7:01 AM

Actually Tg, legally, they DO have to report those refunds to welfare. But I believe that many of them don't. A lot of people know how to 'work the system' and get welfare when they otherwise wouldn't be eligible for it. Ex. 'conveniently not adding a member of a household with income on your welfare app so you get more benefits; making up a false daycare note that claims you pay for childcare when you don't even work or making up a b.s. rent note that claims you pay twice as much as you actually do'. This might be part of the reason they want to do the whole landlord/tenant registration, idk.

As far as the sales tax..I'm not sure I have a problem with it. What I do have a problem with is my taxes in any way shape or form supporting welfare. I don't work all week to pay for some deadbeats welfare check. Stop lying and 'playing the system' and get off your a** and get a job. There's lots of those types in this city, all over the city.

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wwhickok

Feb-15-13 7:04 AM

Mike...You don't see how the 'lower class' is burdened with taxes? Are you talking about those in poverty? Tell me you're not serious.. I don't see how anyone isn't burdened with taxes. I don't care how much you make, the amount of taxes people pay are ridiculous regardless if it causes financial hardship or not. I'm not advocating for 'taxing the rich' I'm not advocating for 'not taxing the poor'. I'm saying the American people should pay less taxes period. Our taxes keep going up because our government doesn't know the first thing about 'balancing a checkbook'.

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CHayes

Feb-15-13 7:08 AM

"Another example of people who just don't get it. A person making 10 times more than someone else is paying 10 times more in tax's but that is somehow unfair"

Pardon me, but in 2011, there were 7000 people in the US that made more than a million dollars, and paid ZERO federal income tax.

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wwhickok

Feb-15-13 7:09 AM

As far as the whole 'rich people should pay more' debate, here is my opinion on that.

When it comes to things like sales tax, the current system, in my belief is fine. They pay sales tax based on the amount spent..we all do. As far as other taxes, yes, I believe that it'd be fair to have a somewhat increased emphasis on 'based on income'. Having said that I do not believe that rich people should be punished for their success either. In that discussion of what is fair and not fair when deciding what the rich should pay vs. other classes the Middle Class needs to be left out. Why? Because there's got to be a middle ground and that middle ground is the middle class. It would have to include the rich and the poverty/poor. Between the two classes I would say that there should be a slight differential favoring poverty, because of the financial hardship. (Hoping I didn't make that too difficult to understand, I apologize if i did). But I'm not, even being a part of that poverty

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CHayes

Feb-15-13 7:14 AM

"A sales tax is fair in that rewards the person that saves money and gives all buyers the same treatment"

That simply isn't true. There's no sales tax on stock transactions. Also people that are poor, live check to check, and can't afford to save money. They pay tax on a significantly higher percent of their money than people that use only a portion of their income to live on.

Sales taxes hit the lower middle class considerably harder than anyone else.

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wwhickok

Feb-15-13 7:20 AM

continued -

level, in favor of punishing the rich to benefit the poor. That's not fair either. I also don't think it has anything to do with jealousy or envy. People want to stop having to struggle. Their first initial sense of logic is to make rich people pay more. I'm not an accountant or a politician so I don't have a solution. I'm just saying that I don't have a problem with an 'escalation' of taxes for rich people but to a reasonable extent. Hypothetically you can't jack up taxes by 25% for the rich and reduce the taxes for the poor.. That wouldn't fair. What is fair? Again I'm not an accountant, I'm not a politician. I pay the taxes I have no choice but to pay. The rich can speak for themselves, that part of it doesn't effect me.

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wwhickok

Feb-15-13 7:22 AM

"Pardon me, but in 2011, there were 7000 people in the US that made more than a million dollars, and paid ZERO federal income tax."

When it comes to this, there is no justifiable excuse. EVERYONE should have to pay federal income tax. Just as the rest of us do, on all of their income.

Furthermore, in relation to stocks, I do believe sales tax needs to be applied there.

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Tgrammiex4

Feb-15-13 7:23 AM

If I understand correctly, tax refunds are reportable to the Welfare Dept. but if they don't receive cash assistance it does not affect thier other benefits as it's not considered "earned income".

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wwhickok

Feb-15-13 7:28 AM

Tg, that may actually be accurate, I wasn't attempting to say 'you're wrong', I apologize. I was just stating that to my understanding you do legally have to report it.

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CHayes

Feb-15-13 7:33 AM

"Furthermore, in relation to stocks, I do believe sales tax needs to be applied there."

I disagree. If you tax someone at 6% on a stock transaction, that means they have to make a minimum of 10% on a stock transaction to make it a safer bet than just buying a CD. That discourages investment in business, and that's a bad thing.

I wasn't trying to single out stock transactions as something that could or should be fixed in sales tax, but rather as a reason why sales tax isn't as universally fair as some people are claiming.

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wwhickok

Feb-15-13 7:44 AM

Allow me to be more specific about the 'there should be sales tax applied to stocks' comment I made. I think there should be tax applied, period. How much? Some, I don't know that 6% is appropriate, I'd personally go lower than that, to keep the investments worthwhile but also create a tax on 'income'. Again, not a politician, not an account, I don't have stocks so it doesn't effect me. It's my personal opinion but at the same time because it doesn't effect me, I wouldn't vote on such a legislation because that's not fair to the people it does effect.

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CMReeder

Feb-15-13 8:00 AM

There is only one reality here, no one likes paying taxes. Fairness will never equate to taxes, I don't care what scheme you come up with.

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MimLogue

Feb-15-13 8:00 AM

property tax was supposed to be EVERYONE EVERYONE CHIPS I A NICKEL FOR THE FIREHOSE, how far have we come from that idea ony business and landlords pay full property taxss and pass it down to the poorest renters and consumers, spreading a sales tax across the board would force everyone again to chip in for the hose. Including the rich non profits. u are taxed o your consumption, going on that premise the wealthy would make more & bigger purchases pay more taxes, sounds fair to me

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