Archive for Saturday, October 27, 2007

Layers of taxes

A commissioner’s intangibles tax idea should be shot down before it even gets onto the runway.

October 27, 2007


Boog Highberger has promoted some questionable projects during his time on the Lawrence City Commission, but his latest "innovation" to help solve financial problems rates among the worst.

Looking for ways to bring more money into the Lawrence coffers, Highberger is suggesting an intangibles tax. He says he is not locked into such a venture but that it is worth considering because such a levy is imposed in other communities.

Forget it, commissioner! Some years back somebody tried to get approval of an intangibles tax and the local electorate was smart enough to vote it down. It's no more practical now than it was then. It has been suggested that an intangibles tax could be levied only on those who make more than $100,000 a year. That, we guess, is to make it more popular with "the people," most of whom don't come close to a six-figure income. But the intangibles gimmick is simply another layer of financial oppression that creates even more draining assaults on the public, whether the income level is $25,000 or $200,000.

Think about it. We pay taxes on our income to the federal government and the state. Then we pay sales taxes on even food and necessities. If somehow we are able to save and "invest" a few dollars, we have to pay state and federal taxes on those earnings. You buy a car, and you have to get license plates to operate it, not to mention the high taxes on gasoline.

These are just scratching the surface for taxpayers. At the least, most of us have to pay taxes at least four times before we can even consider saving or investment. So now Highberger and whoever his advisers might be say it might be worth taking a long, hard look at further taxes on the "intangibles," which are so terribly hard for most people to generate.

Before any public officials decide to "study" the intangibles tax situation, probably with the cost of some kind of "consultant," the public response should be a resounding "no."

It is difficult to believe that a city commissioner would favor this kind of divisive effort even though the city badly needs more funds. There clearly are better ways to get them than to impose an intangibles tax.


Richard Heckler 10 years, 7 months ago

In addition to taxing Compton and Fritzels let's begin taxing online sales with a city sales tax to prevent a genuine increase which would also place online sales on the same page as local business.

Mandie Eutsler 10 years, 7 months ago

so those people responsible enough to save money (i'm definitely not one of those) are going to have to pay for that? dg county taxes not to mention lawrence taxes, are among the highest in the state. where the h**l is all the money going. i have an idea, lets tax the university. or let's tax people who live here and don't consider it thier permanent address. i don't know where the money goes but someone better figure it out. maybe we can just tax the fritzels and comptons. they could take up some of the slack.

pinecreek 10 years, 7 months ago

The city doesn't need more money, it needs to effectively use what it already has and learn to live within a budget...just like the rest of us do on a daily basis.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 7 months ago

The purpose of this tax proposal is being completely distorted just to cloud the waters surrounding the whole debate about new taxes.

Highberger isn't saying that he supports this new tax. What he is saying is that if the rest of the commssion insists on raising taxes, this tax should be investigated as an alternative to raising sales or property taxes, which are extremely regressive taxes (which means they affect poor people more than they affect rich people.)

The JW editorial writers would do the community a greater service by analyzing the whole notion of tax increases, and how each particular type of tax increase would affect those who would be required to pay it, rather than cherry picking just one particular tax the might be imposed. And it's pretty clear that this commission intends to raise taxes in order to support the development schemes of their primary constituents.

Bud Stagg 10 years, 7 months ago

We don't need to raise taxes, we need to increase the tax base!

More people, more Jobs, more business=more taxes

Make it good to live in Lawrence again, work together don't rip each other apart because we have different views on things.

jayhawk2010 10 years, 7 months ago

If this happens, anybody with half a brain will move their money out of Lawrence. You put a tax on saving accounts, and for many, the net result is the money is not even keeping up with inflation. Those with stocks and mutual funds already are taxed before they put the money into such vehicles. They are again taxed after they sell. No way someone is going to let the city of Lawrence have 1 to 2 percent of their capital gains and dividends every year, especially if all they have to do is drive 15 to 20 minutes east or west and not have to pay this tax.
Thinking that only rich people have savings accounts and mutual funds is in my opinion being very short sided. Anyone who doesn't live paycheck to paycheck has to store their money somewhere, and as such receives interest on such money. This proposal would tax that money too.

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