Paying fair share of taxes


My momma told me that fair is a place where pigs are judged. Apparently, they were not fat enough this year — “Appeals settled in tax tribunal filings,” Sept. 14 issue of The Daily News.

Property taxes pay for roads and services that are used by all contributors to the local economy. More importantly, they pay for the education of the people these businesses employ. Basing taxable values on comparable sales is a lame excuse for not contributing. One can always find a fire sale as basis for justification of a handout.

Who, then, pays? It falls on the homeowners, who gladly contribute to maintain the quality of life here. But is it fair to keep paying when those who have employees and consultants dedicated to seeking out ways to not pay continue to benefit? Homeowners don’t have the ability to depreciate their home’s value in order to reduce their income taxes — businesses do. Homeowners can’t leverage local government by threatening to leave–businesses can.

Some businesses such as Systems Control gave well-publicized amounts to charity last year. Thanks, but that isn’t quite the same as contributing to our kids’ education. I wonder if Wal–Mart will give anything if it gets its giveaway. The accountants and PR people in Arkansas are likely working on that cost-benefit analysis.

Here’s a thought: Instead of degrading our quality of life in a race to the bottom — like Kansas has — how about raising the taxes of businesses that are currently contributing less than their fair share?


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