Taxes and Fees
First, we must admit that Taxes and Fees are a means of paying not just for
govenment, but for all the services and benefits we have as citizens and residents.
Could simplify our tax and fee structures?
When you read through the instructions for 1040 form, do you suspect that it might be 100 times more complicated that it needs to be? That taxes are only created, added, modified, but never lifted?
Or, do you look at it all and say, wow -- I can't find anything that would be fair to eliminate now with all this stuff in there. Wouldn't our country fall apart if we picked apart the tax code?
Not likely. But then we probably can't just replace it whole sale either. At least you can't build support for a new structure if you don't have a new one worked out. So, the purpose of this section is to pose the question of an equitable tax structure for individuals (families), businesses, corporations (ie ENRON), and so on.
Consider all the expenses of our local home place, and all the expenses of the larger entities containing it. There must be a giant tax vector, a giant computation can distribute those costs (your taxes and fees) and allocates funding sources. That is revenue sharing.
Not so simple, unless you count LAST YEAR'S sales tax instead of projecting this year's -- A perennial legislative problem.
The following are just assertions, so please don't criticize.
I've yet to explore the application of the world model to taxation.
References anyone? Your thoughts?
Each entity (village, community, etc) formulates and votes on its taxes equivalent to funds needed to operate, including some amount for contingencies.
The Entity's budget consists of tax revenues, and income from other sources such as sales of information, fees, ...
No funds need leave a region or neighborhood only to come back later minus 50% for handling. Keep funds locally that are ear-marked for local use.
Corporate and individual tax payers pay the tax vector for their location.
Tax would be proportional to time residing at each location during the year.
Tax would be collected at each level for for aggregates of levels and
re-distributed as per tax base vector. This is feasible with any technology,
and I'm sure it is done by hand in places like China and India.
Part of school funding would come from (say) region, part from
area, part from community, optionally even part from neighborhood.
Have base level curriculum available everywhere regardless of
ability of poorer n/h's to pay for it.
Richer NH's could have all the extra
curricular programs and activities they are willing to pay for, and they would be subsidizing the poorer schools. See links on
If there were a planetary tax, all continents would have to agree to it.
The United Nations is supposedly paid for by all its members.
[embarrassing footnote about my own country]
Space stations and colonies are financed by participating nations,
although they may also be built and operated by The Private Sector.
Items to Formulate
The citizen pays taxes on income, property value, user fees, royalties, licenses, interest, cap gains, permits, ...
A business pays tax on its earnings, inventory, worker's comp programs, licenses, permits, transit district, ...
Taxes on sales of certain items - gas, automobiles, ATF, energy, bandwidth, phone line access, ...
The list is not complete of course.
Mryon Orfield is a leading proponent of revenue sharing.
He is a Minnesotan legislator and heads an institute on this and other matters.
The new Rules of Taxation
Robert D. Atkinson of the Brookings Institure says of
AMERICAN METROPOLITICS: The New Suburban Reality
by Myron Orfield:
Perhaps the most compelling argument Orfield makes is that the ruthless
competition among communities to attract commercial and industrial
development is a negative-sum game in which communities provide hefty and
wasteful tax subsidies to compete for development.
In this context, the Twin
Cities' tax-base proposal-requiring that a portion of the increase in commercial
and industrial property tax revenues be shared (to give all communities an
incentive to cooperate in the economic development of the region)- makes good
sense. As a result, if shared tax-base revenue goes to schools and is collected
from industrial and commercial property, it can lead to an increase in overall
Original Article on New Democrats Online
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