Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Forbes: Sales Taxes Now Top Property Taxes and Personal Income Taxes as State Revenue Source

Forbes, U.S. Sales Tax Rates Hit Record High:

While President Obama's push to raise federal income taxes for the wealthy gets lots of attention, the continuing upward creep in the sales tax rates imposed by state and local governments has gotten less notice.

But Vertex Inc., which calculates sales tax for Internet sellers, reports that the average general sales tax rate nationwide reached 8.629% at the end of 2009, the highest since the Berwyn, Pa., company started tracking data in 1982. ...

The country's highest rate now is 12%, in the tiny portion of tiny Arab, Ala., (population 7,500) sticking into Cullman County. The rest of the northern Alabama town, in no-sales-tax Marshall County, pays just 8%.

Right now Chicago has the highest big-city rate, 10.25%. But in a move forced by Cook County lawmakers, the rate is scheduled to drop on July 1 to 9.75%, matching that of Los Angeles. In New York City the total bite is 8.875%. Other high big-city rates include San Francisco and Seattle(9.5%), New Orleans (9%), Houston, Dallas and Charlotte (8.25%), Las Vegas (8.1%) and Philadelphia and Atlanta (8%).

Nationally, sales taxes in 2008 generated more revenue for state and local governments -- about $450 billion, a recent Government Accountability Office report suggests -- than did either property taxes ($411 billion) or personal income taxes ($310 billion).

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Sales Tax is NOT a "buying" tax. It is an indirect tax that PEOPLE voluntarily pay.

For the privilege of selling tangible personal property at
retail a tax is hereby imposed upon all retailers ... To clarify, the tax is actually on the exercise of the privilege of selling
merchandise at retail. The sales tax is not a tax on a sale or because of a sale but is an excise tax for the privilege of conducting a retail business. Sales tax is not a tax on buyer, but a tax on seller, imposed on
privilege of selling goods at retail,... ...its payment is his primary obligation. Look it up in the laws...the above is case law.

The CONSUMER IS NOT REQUIRED TO PAY SALES TAX. The LAW does NOT apply to the CONSUMER. It's IMPOSSIBLE BASED ON OUR LEGAL SYSTEM. The only reason you pay is because you have never read the rules and are scared.

What people don't take into consideration when they pay sales tax after being told by the clerk that they "have to
or else they can't have the merchandise", is that they succumb to EXTORTION. The clerk is THREATENING the CONSUMER by refusing to conclude the transaction unless the CONSUMER does what they're under no legal obligation to do. All the posturing by the clerk and
everything they say is a form of EXTORTION, it's designed to INDUCE you to act contrary to the law and your own best interests. UNLESS YOU CAPITULATE YOU DON'T GET WHAT THEY OFFERED. And that's the
gist of the heinousness of the situation, THEY OFFERED, you didn't offer anything until you got to the counter after accepting their OFFER. Then the creeps changed the deal at the counter and they
hope you don't figure it out.

How much do you figure you shell out annually in sales tax? What might happen if that same amount was invested in learning the truth of the matter and acting in harmony with it?

I'll leave it with this, when you understand who is REQUIRED to pay sales tax an why, you'll also KNOW who is REQUIRED to pay income tax and have a driver license and register their car too,

Posted by: RippedOFFAgain | Mar 13, 2010 6:14:22 PM

In the next elections we must vote out ALL incumbents.
Then we must educate the newly elected to return to the limitations and restrictions of the Constitution thereby reducing government spending and returning the demokory to a Republic; of the people, by the people and for the people!

Posted by: pilgrim1776 | Mar 12, 2010 6:39:44 PM

So little money earned by workers, so many ways to expropriate it.

Posted by: anon | Mar 10, 2010 4:40:28 PM

You forgot Goodyear, AZ just outside Phoenix. We pay 10% sales tax.

Posted by: mark | Mar 10, 2010 1:58:55 PM

Add the hefty sales tax to a new VAT and no one will have any money left. Then, the government will have to move to "in kind" taxation like the Roman tax collectors. "We'll be taking your silverware." That'll be fun.

Posted by: Concerned Citizen | Mar 10, 2010 12:18:46 PM

If you think about it, income is one of the last things you should want to tax to get that marginal dollar, since it lessens the incentive to work, earn more, be more productive. The absolute last thing would probably be return on capital (interest and capital gains) as that disincents investment, and capital being even more mobile than workers, high taxes just send that capital elsewhere.

Sin taxes, if we are agreed on what is sinful, make about the most sense. Taxes on real property are not bad as long as they aren't too high; on personal property are OK if on items that are hard to hide, like licensed cars and boats. Income and return on capital is really a losing proposition; the more you tax the more you hurt your tax base.

Of course, no one wants to think in terms of first principles, these days. And we've grown the government so big that we have to eat our seed corn in order to sustain spending for another season.

Posted by: Marty | Mar 10, 2010 11:50:45 AM

Part of the story here is the decline in property tax revenue related to the decline in property values because of the subprime mortgage and foreclosure crises. Many county officials such as property appraisers and tax collectors are funded by property tax revenues. These have dropped off a cliff and aren't coming back any time soon. So sales and income taxes are being pushed upwards, having unpredictable effects on prosperity.

Posted by: Robert Speirs | Mar 10, 2010 11:42:34 AM

You can't tax or spend your way to prosperity. Some one has to have a J-O-B. The "tax the rich" banter has and will never worked. "Rich" really means middle class. The middle class is almost extint. No blood from the turnip. Wall Street/The Fed and Congress has plundered the treasury. Next stop..tar..feathers..pitchfork.

Posted by: robertsgt40 | Mar 10, 2010 9:28:51 AM