Monday, April 20, 2009


Community columnist, for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Matthew Gutierrez rambles on about decreasing property taxes by increasing other taxes.

Gutierrez feels, "Taxes should be increased on items that every Wisconsin resident spends money on," not just real estate. The perplexing thing here is that those other things already are taxed. We haves fees, the sales tax, sin taxes, the gas tax, and on and on. And, these taxes tend to take a larger portion of the non-wealthy's overall income - regressive taxes.

Gutierrez proposes a clothing tax. Again, this would only hurt those that he claims to want to help. The majority of homeowners would either pay more to clothe themselves, or they would have to go without replacing their clothing.

He then proposes raising taxes on gas and bus fare...we already do this. I agree gas taxes should be higher, to correctly cover the environmental costs and discourage sprawl. But raising bus fares primarily hurts, again, the non-wealthy. Similar arguments can be made against his call for an increased tax on food. It appears Mr. Gutierrez wants a tax on every single item in our society to discourage its use or to exclude it from those whom can afford it the least.

The reason the governor asks more from homeowners is because we allow him to ask less of corporations. There is a minimum of services we expect in Wisconsin, it's why we're a great state and beloved among so many of its residents and visitors, and that's why a certain tax level is needed to maintain our standard of living.

The best way to ensure fairness in the tax burden is to make sure we have plenty of auditors in the Commerce Department doing their job. Secondly, we need to remove the many exemptions and tax breaks which allow corporations to avoid so much of their tax responsibility.

No comments: