Monday, July 27, 2009

The Squeaky Wheel Gets Lower Taxes

What is it with this state and unfair taxes? Pennsylvania, at the state and county level, continuously finds way to tax its poor unjustly in spite of State Supreme Court rulings to the contrary.

1) The state income tax is not progressive. Everybody (unless you make less than a measly $6,500) gets charged the same 3.07% or if Governor Rendell has his way 3.57%. How about we increase the income tax to 3.57% only if you are making more than $100,000 per year? $200,000? Can't we take a page out of Obama's playbook? Of course, no legislature wants to bite the hand that feeds them donations.

2) To avoid raising property taxes (where you theoretically pay more if you have a more expensive house), the state is attempting to allow counties to raise their sales tax, which is a patently regressive tax, affecting the poor more than the wealthy.

3) Where they have to rely on property taxes, they do so in a patently unjust manner, freezing property values and punishing those who live in depressed neighborhoods.

And why do we put up with it? Because the people who have the time to complain are not the people working minimum wage jobs trying to put food on the table. Some people might say charging progressive taxes is against the state Constitution which says: "All taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of subjects ...," But I say, what's one more bent rule?


Bram Reichbaum said...

You forgot the drink tax - a regressive tax that disproportionately affects people with addictions. Yeah, we got conscientiousness all up over the place.

EdHeath said...

Actually, Special Tax Forgiveness is kind of progressive based on number of qualifying dependents and income.

Other than that, I agree with pretty much everything you say. It is neve pleasant to pay higher taxes, but if we have to do so, we shouldn't do on the backs of the poor.