Mark Fernald is pimping for the misleadingly named Granite State Fair Tax Coalition (GSFTC). This is a group of tax and spend liberals (their fellow travelers and useful idiots) who are trying get an income tax.
To sell you on this Utopian elixir of piss, GSFTC argues that New Hampshire’s property taxes favor the rich, and most recently have sent out a pile of nonsense with some misleading graphs, through Fernald’s email list to make the sale. But as usual it is spun upside down and backwards and ignores one very unassailable fact. New Hampshire has one of the lowest overall tax burdens in the nation because it relies on property taxes. And the rich are not paying less for their share of State government.
Government is a necessary (preferably limited) evil, laid out like a salad bar. There are all kinds of services your tax dollars pay for. Some of them are for “just in case kinds of things” like public safety. Then there are roads and schools and clerks and so on. And then there are unemployment, welfare, heating aid, and a host of social support services, and the cost of the bureaucracy itself.
By law these services are made available to everyone equally based on need so the folks most likely to consume government services are lower income residents. Statistically, the less you earn, the more of the salad bar you are likely to need or eat from and the more trips you are likley to make in a given year. But no matter what you earn, or where you live, or how well you live, you still only get one plate–and you pay for that plate in the form of taxes.
The GSFTC would like you to believe that the rich are paying less for that plate. To perpetrate this deception they use "taxes paid as a percentage of income" to make their case. Their argument is that the rich only pay about 2% of their income as taxes while the poorer folks pay over 8% (Roughly), and that this is unfair. But is that really the case? Are the rich paying less money for a trip to the New and Improved State Government Salad Bar or is GSFTC just playing class warfare games?
Using Fernald’s figures on percentages a person making $20,000.00 would be paying 8.3% of their income in taxes. So the annual cost for their NH state salad bar plate is $1,660.00 per year. Without even considering tax credits, rebates and so on for any income group, here’s the breakdown based on Fernald’s misleading percentages from the top of each of his income brackets, in terms of actual dollars.
And just for fun…
One plate, same set of available government services, and the rich bastard has to pay $30,340.00 more every single year for the pleasure. So in one respect, Fernald is right. It is unfair. Lower income folks get more for their dollar. But why stop there. Fernald is also cherry picking data to create a class war to benefit democrats and ignoring facts about New Hampshire that benefit lower income workers.
New Hampshire has an unemployment rate of 5.4% while adding jobs and labor force. (We are no longer improving because people gave up looking.) Find me a consensus of income and sales tax bearing states who can compete. Good luck. Looks like the evil property tax state is the best place to actually get a job so you might someday hope to own property or even become a rich bastard, as opposed to some other states we could talk about.
Did you know that while people in New Hampshire pay 60% more in property taxes than the national US average, we also pay 65% less than the national average for sales and excise taxes, and 92% less than the national average for income taxes. (Figures provided by the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy–a group started by a rich liberal with some connections to American Progress and the same source Fernald used to get his percentages argument–but then forgot this other stuff for some reason.).
You know who gets hit hardest by sales taxes, excise taxes and income taxes? Lower income people. Know why? Because those taxes and fees represent a significantly higher percentage of their annual income. Right Mark? A $2.00 widget is a larger percentage of income from someone who earns $20K compared to a millionaire. Same for milk, golf lessons, Frisbees, happy meals and everything else which is why Fernald’s argument is so stupid. But in the case of the widget, everyone gets the same two dollar widget, which by the way they are not required to buy no matter what democrats think about the commerce clause.
Rich bastards also tend to own more property. They own more businesses, and business property. They are more likely to invest large sums in or employ more people, and pay taxes on wages, social security, employment security, business property, and all the related services and utilities. Rich bastards create jobs and in reality, most of them are neither rich, nor are they bastards. But that doesn’t matter, because they still only get one plate to the taxpayer funded salad bar, and even if we ignore all the factors and stick to the property tax as a percentage of income method used by the GSFTC, the more you earn the more you are paying for the same product as a lower income person–a year of state government.