Taxes add up

Editor:

Following the Payson Town Council’s recent vote to raise the sales tax rate by a whopping 41.5 percent (from 2.12 percent to 3.00 percent), it now seems that Gila Community College wants to join the tax-hike party.

The GCC board of directors is proposing a less whopping 7.2 percent increase in its property tax levy rate, from .8735 to .9361. We are told this tax rate increase translates to “only” $3.66 per year for a house valued at $200.000.

Surely, we the taxpayers of Gila County can afford to pay this modest tax increase, right?

Affordability of any one specific tax is not the issue. The issue is the cumulative cost of the literally endless list of taxes, fees, charges, surcharges, duties, tariffs, permits and licenses and the like that we the taxpayers must pay. It’s A LOT more than most people realize.

If government is good at one thing when it comes to taxation, it’s divide, conquer and obfuscate. (OK, that’s three things).

For starters there are:

• Federal income taxes

• Federal social security taxes

• Federal Medicare taxes

• State income tax

• State sales tax

• County sales tax

• Town sales tax

• Special district sales taxes

• County property tax

• State school equalization tax

• Town property tax

• Town school district tax

• Fire district tax

• Library district tax

• Sanitary district tax

• Town debt repayment tax

• District vocational education tax

• Federal gasoline tax

• State gasoline tax

• Motor vehicle tax

• Vehicle registration fee

• Vehicle title fee

• Driver’s license fee

• Federal excise taxes

• Import duties

• Tariffs

• Customs fees

• Cell phone taxes

• Federal cell phone tax

• State cell phone tax

• Federal Universal Service cell phone tax

• State Telecommunications Excise Surcharge

• 911/Emergency Response Fees

• Regulatory recovery surcharge

• Gross receipts tax

• State franchise tax

• Cable TV taxes

• FCC tax

• Cable TV franchise fee tax

“Sin taxes”:

• Tobacco tax

• Alcohol tax

Taken a business trip or vacation lately? There’s:

• Airline taxes

• Federal transportation tax

• Federal 911 security tax

• Departure tax

• Arrival tax

• Tourism tax

• Passenger facility charge

Hotel taxes:

• State lodging tax

• Municipal lodging tax

Car rental taxes:

• Airport access fee

• Customer facility fee

• State rental tax

• Local rental tax

• Vehicle license fee

Enjoy hunting and/or fishing? Own an ATV and a dog or two? Bought a firearm lately? All require licenses and permits.

And if you happen to own a business, there is an entirely separate but nearly as lengthy list of taxes, fees, licenses, permits and the like.

If you are fortunate to have any money left over after paying all of those taxes, and if you invest it, then you must pay:

• Interest taxes

• Dividend taxes

• SEC fees

• Capital gains taxes

So where does this endless list of taxes end? Not when you die! If you have been really fortunate enough to pass away with a nice little nest egg, there are:

• Estate taxes

• Inheritance taxes

• Probate costs

So when you add it ALL up, ALL of those “nickel and dime you to death” nuisance taxes imposed on we the taxpayers by all of those divide, conquer and obfuscate politicians, they manage to extract more than 50 percent of the average American’s annual income.

Oh yeah, let’s get back to the Gila Community College tax increase. So what’s another $3.66 a year? We can afford it, right?

Larry Hoffenberg, acting secretary, Gila County Libertarian Party

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