Sales Tax Survey

14 Comments

  1. Chris Tew - February 21, 2013

    The best way to deal with Utah’s tax issues is to cut state government spending. Then flatten the tax rates in all areas. I would be for eliminating the income tax and increasing the sales tax to make up for it. I would further be for charging tuition in all schools in Utah in order to eliminate the property tax, a tax that destroys our property rights and, in effect, says to the property “owner”: “You don’t own your property; you lease it from the government.”

    Privatize as much as possible, especially the schools and universities. Let them stand on their own and compete in the free market for students. Let students and their families pay the bulk of the cost of tuition, books, etc. Privatization will improve quality and eliminate waste. See my article on this subject: http://www.area-info.net/articles/show.php?cty=Salt%20Lake%20City&st=Utah&article_id=1079

    • Bill Barton - February 21, 2013

      These actions appear to coincide with sound conservative principles and I would support such a move.

    • Dan Nelson - February 21, 2013

      I agree with your cmments. In a state with over 40 school districts and only 29 counties, I see a huge amount of tax money going to education and yet I have never seen an effective effiicienty audit of the education system (not necessarily higher ed).

      I feel higher ed should pay it’s way and we need to reduce the ridiculous amount going to administration for the lower grades.

    • Well, I was going to propose a flat tax and elimination of the property taxes (now seeping into EVERY item you purchased, even hand tools and computer equipment is taxed yearly on small businesses), but Chris has said it consisely. We have become vassals to the lord of government, and personal property rights are at the heart of it.

  2. People that are working, but struggling to have enough money to pay bills often target a mortgage/rent, utilities, transportation and then food. When someone walks into a store with $3 left to buy food, you don’t tell them it is OK they don’t have enough money to buy milk or chicken, they will get $80 at the end of the year.

    Raising the tax on food increases the number of people needing help from the community, church or government and is the wrong thing to do.

    I am hopeful this will not pass the house this year, like an increase in the food tax didn’t pass the house in 2011 even though it passed the senate.

    The proposal that passed the senate in 2011 and was killed in the house was to lower the overall sales tax and raise the tax on food to match. It was to be no overall increase on tax.

    That still would have hit fixed income individuals and those struggling to make it in the current economy.

    • Ron Hilton - February 21, 2013

      One of the options in the above survey is a monthly rebate rather than an annual refund, which would better help those in the circumstances that you describe. Everyone would pay the same low, flat rate on all goods and receive the same fixed rebate to offset the tax on necessities. In other words, the rebate would be based on the cost of adequate food (or other nececessities), not how much was spent (no need to save receipts, etc.). It is true that a lower rate on food helps the poor, who spend a larger percentage of their income on necessities. But the National Bureau of Labor statistics show that high-income families spend much more in absolute dollars on food (higher quality/quantity). By having everyone pay the same rate, and receive the same fixed rebate, it actually frees up more funds for sales tax relief without raising rates, providing significantly more help to struggling families than the lower rate on food would provide, while giving everyone else the same break too.

  3. Will Ward - February 21, 2013

    I agree, if a state has a sales tax why does it need an income tax. Sales taxes are the most fair system in that everyone has skin in the game.Further why all the association fees this is just another form of taxation and curbs competion. Why does a realtor or an insurance salesmen or a hair dresser etc .need to pay extra fees for thier profession. This just adds to the cost of production and an extra fee to consumers. It is sold to the public as a way to protect them, in reality it adds to the bureaucracy and is a protection racket for existing businesses. How about a good reputation as an alternative?
    This reeks of crony capitalizim. For funding schools I favor a voucher system. Open it up for competition and let the parents decide.

  4. Weston Millward - February 21, 2013

    65% of every dollar Utah brings in goes to education, while the rate of graduating runs between 9% and 20%; that return on our money is an F-. I was looking at the gas pump last night, every GALLON is taxed 48 cents. Our property taxes increase every year, regardless if the value goes up; then, we have to pay to have it reviewed and re adjusted; of course, at our expense. Reduce the public education rate from 65% to 20%, reduce government expenditures and there is NO need for another tax; lets get rid of some and reduce others, drastically. If we do not; then California’s demise will be the Utah’s story also…..we still have time. But, we have to act now. Quit conning us about different taxes….cut spending and wake up; start with education, eliminate tenure and have credits accepted with all public and private schools in the state….I can write for a month about it….Weston Millward

  5. Robert Cox - February 21, 2013

    Is a sales tax really fair? Take someone living at or near the poverty level that spends all of their income on necessities. Food, housing, fuel, etc. Wouldn’t their effective tax rate be much higher than someone who has much more disposable income, but spends that same amount on food, has the same number of children etc.?

    If we go to a sales tax I would like to see the tax on groceries eliminated completely. I am for everyone having skin in the game. I am opposed to a progressive tax system. But a sales tax, as explained above would be a regressive tax sytem. Sales taxes also inhibit sales, which stifles the economy. The only quasi benefit of sales tax is getting revenue from those passing through the state, but again, the sales tax may inhibit them from stopping and buying in Utah. A flat tax rate, no exemptions, no pandering to special interests is the best model.

  6. Ivan Keller - February 21, 2013

    Many of us are appalled by Common Core giving the federal government control of education.  The same principle applies to the State — parents should control the education of their children in their local school: hiring teachers, setting curriculum, contracting with districts for needed services.  Funding should follow the student, to public or private schools.  This system will foster efficiencies and innovation.  Parents will not tolerate poor teachers, or ineffective standards or curriculum.  New Zealand did this in 1984.  Read about their success in Imprimis — Google “Rolling Back Government: Lessons from New Zealand”

  7. I live in Nashville Tennessee. Tennessee does not have a state income tax but does have a sales tax of a little over 9% (9.16%) so they have both hands in one of our pockets instead two hands in two separate pockets to create the illusion that no income tax is a “deal”. There are other “fees” as well charged here to assure the proper difference is stolen. The truth is the 16th amendment to the Constitution, the basis for all income taxes (that lead to many other taxes) on a federal and state level, was never legally ratified. “The only record of the 16th Amendment having been confirmed was a proclamation made by Secretary of State Philander Knox on February 25, 1913, wherein he simply declared it to be “in effect,” but never stated it was lawfully ratified” (http://www.thelawthatneverwas.com/defects.aspx) There was no income tax prior to 1913 and the country was better off. What then has our stolen money on both the state and federal level been used for…??? The short answer in my opinion is to grow illegitimate government on all fronts and as a “slush fund” for the politicians to loot. However, that rabbit hole runs very very deep and there is nothing good to be found along the way. However, let is suffice to say had traitors Woodrow Wilson and Philander Knox never been born, we and our entire country and way of life would have been monumentally better off today where all “taxes” are concerned.

  8. Harold R. Braman - February 21, 2013

    Addressing the sales tax issue. My first choice would be elimination of sales taxes altogether. However, if political compromise requires sales taxes, then I favor the differentiated rate system currently is place. Sales taxes are regressive unfavorably affecting the lowest income earners. The food sales tax should be applied to all sales whether for home consumption or on site and should cover all items with or purported to be nutritious. The standard sales tax rate should be applied to all issues of commerce other than food sales, with no exceptions, broadening the tax base.

    The rebate system is a bad idea only in that it would require more bureaucrats to administer the tax system

    True tax reform would eliminate all sales and property taxes related to state, county, city and school districts in favor of a single rate tax on earned income, capital gains, and wealth income, with no exceptions or loopholes and application to all individuals and corporations. Tax authority granted to all instruments of the state would be eliminated and school districts, city, county, and state government would get there operations from this source. Special assessment districts (library, mosquito abatement, water, sewer) would need to have fee and tax authority closely monitored with limited authority.

  9. I believe sales tax is the most fair of all taxes and should be used more generally, including for groceries.

  10. While all comments are very good and I support, I really agree with what Chris Tew says. The indescent property tax that we are assessed yearly is ridiculous and it keeps going up. Home owners cannot pay out this type of taxes yr after yr. You do feel like you really don’t have full ownership of your property that you already paid a price for but are just leasing it while your home is paid for in full. You just couldn’t hike your home on a flat bed and take it with you, but if you didn’t pay your property tax they can take your home from you. This isn’t fair by any means. As far as schools go, at this point in time we seem to think new schools need to be built and we are educating illegal immigrants that don’t even know English, and we taxpayers pay someone coming in to teach them this. Our tax dollars are going for things that we shouldn’t have to worry about. They need to learn English or they don’t go to school until they do. This should be up to the Parents to make sure their children are educated in our language before they send them to our school system. I feel that taxes on gas, food and commodities need to be reevaluated. If a person is gettting food stamps they pay nothing on taxes anyway so let it be that that is their tax break. I feel an across the board same amount of taxes should be implemented then everyone pays their fair share. Taxes are eating up everyone’s paycheck to where they can’t live. Everyone paying the same percentage would be better off financially than we are at the present time. Kennecott Copper use to be a big donor of taxes toward the school district. Some areas in the valley have more businesses in their areas than others to draw from. That makes a big difference in what some school districts have while others have to depend on taxes from their area of the community. Maybe what need to be done is a fund where all money is put into for the district needs and dole it out evenly from that fund. I really don’t know what the answer is as far as this part, but the property tax definitely can’t keep going up while the value of our homes keep going down.

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