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Would you rather have a lower income tax and higher sales tax, or lower sales tax and higher income tax?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on May 17, 2013

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Photo of Nancy Burk

“If you don’t buy anything you’re better with higher sales tax.”

Photo of Kristen Vint

“Is lower for both an option? Probably higher sales tax.”

Photo of Justin Bright

“Higher sales tax. I could buy stuff outside of Kansas.”

Photo of Bo Dingus

“It doesn’t matter to me as long as they figure out how to fund programs like education.”

Comments

Steven Gaudreau 11 months ago

Special sales tax on fast food, soda and high corn fructose products (sin tax) and those taxes could subsidize health insurance premiums. Overweight individuals are the numer one reason we are in this health care mess.

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75x55 11 months ago

Everyone pays the same percentage - income or sales.

Everyone. No exception.

Then EVERYONE will have a legitimate interest in keeping FEDZILLA under control and subject to the will of the governed.

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bender 11 months ago

I grew up in a state that had a sales tax, but food and clothing were exempt (not restaurant food, just groceries). That made the sales tax less regressive as lower income people spend a higher percentage of their income on these basic necessities.

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eddieboy 11 months ago

If there was a law requiring workers to pay an income tax (and there isn't), it would clearly be unconstitutional. So, I'll have to go with the sales tax. BTW, there is a standing reward of $50,000 to ANYONE who can find a US Federal law which requires any worker to pay an income tax. It has been tested many times in court. No one has ever found a law which has been broken by non-taxpayers, but it takes a lot of money and a lot of guts to take on the IRS. The IRS is nothing but the enforcement arm of a protection racket. - Yeah, we know you don't have to pay us taxes but we will make your life hell if you don't pay us. If you find the law, LMK, and I will help you collect the reward. (But no one ever has). Oh, and if you think are income taxes help pay for the Federal gov't. services, you are 100% incorrect.

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Thinking_Out_Loud 11 months ago

The question assumes a false dichotomy, that those are the ONLY two options.From a policy standpoint, it's a nonsensical question.

3

yourworstnightmare 11 months ago

As a wealthy self-concerned member of upper middle class, I prefer a sales tax.

As a rational citizen concerned with equality, fairness, liberty, and society, I prefer an income tax.

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patkindle 11 months ago

you missed the deal where you live off of everyone else who is working it is called spread the wealth , get it from the rich robber barons,

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verity 11 months ago

This seems to me to not really be a relevant question as there are a number of very important things missing in this equation.

1 How much will sales tax have to be raised to make up for lost revenue from income taxes and still provide even the minimum of services? And if we exclude necessities like food, that will make the percentage for other things go even higher. At some point it WILL impact what people buy.

2 How does property tax figure into this? We already have extremely p high property taxes and local government has to get money some way. The choice is not just between income and sales tax.

3 Is this a bait and switch? Will individual income taxes ever go away for us peasants or will we just lose our deductions and have even higher taxes?

4 For those of you who intend to shop in a different state---if you live near the border that might be an economy, but for most it won't be, and that will mean other taxes will have to make up for what is lost that way.

We don't like paying taxes, but we do like our services.

We can't have one without the other.

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patkindle 11 months ago

if you live in your parents basement, and they buy the food, you should be in good shape either way

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Richard Payton 11 months ago

Tax exempt status is issued for many wealthy groups and individuals. Throw in offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands and we have a tax free option.

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none2 11 months ago

I think taxes should definitely be switched more to consumption. That being said, i think such a tax should be higher for those things that were not made in America. So I guess I would be more for an increase in sales tax than income tax.

I would agree that sales tax should be eliminated but ONLY for basic food products: produce, dairy, meats, maybe throw in spices and baking goods such as flower, spices, etc. However, someone who wants prepared food, or as a coffee addiction, or wants candy, chips, etc, can pay the tax like everybody else. They won't starve without their fix.

The question that wasn't asked but should have been is income versus property tax. I'd rather have sales tax higher than a higher income tax, but then I'd rather have higher income tax than property tax on homes and land. As for PERSONAL property tax such as on cars, I have no problem with it. To the best of my knowledge the only car assembly plant in this whole state is the Fairfax plant in KCK. I suppose one should throw in the Ford plant north of KCMO since while not in Kansas, it affects the region that we are a part of.

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Ron Holzwarth 11 months ago

Taxation should be based more heavily on consumption, i.e. sales tax, with some exceptions such as food to be prepared at home, which should not be taxed at all.

Income taxes should be lower, so that capital can be more easily accrued to further economic development.

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freeadvice 11 months ago

Freeze property taxes (unless raised by a local vote), remove sales tax from food. Then let the state decide.

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fmrl 11 months ago

I would rather have politicians that don't go back on their word. They have revealed themselves as hypocrites.

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Eybea Opiner 11 months ago

Eliminate the income tax and impose a national sales tax. Issue a rebate equal to the sales tax on the established poverty level so that no one pays tax if they are living at the poverty level. This policy would accomplish several things. First, each of us would see exactly what our federal government is costing us every time we made a purchase. That should put some additional accountability on the government. Second, we would began to realize taxes on the underground economy, which some estimates place as between 15-25 percent of GDP. Finally, everyone would pay their "fair" share.

Afraid the "rich" will quit spending and just park their money in investments? Don't worry, the rich will continue to spend, and the "sales" of stocks, bonds, and other investments would also carry a sales tax.

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jane_doe 11 months ago

Low sales tax because I'm a shopper. High income tax because I don't make a ton. And a sugar daddy to support my shoe habit.

Yah, I said that.

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50YearResident 11 months ago

Which of these two evils do you prefer? Neither. Sales tax always goes up and never goes down. That makes our state's businesses at a disadvantage for sales. Income taxes have a way to do the same as sales tax, always getting higher. However income taxes eventually can be brought down to a manageable level.

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chootspa 11 months ago

As demonstrated above, consumers are more likely to change their behavior to avoid sales tax than they are to change their behavior to avoid income tax.

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kernal 11 months ago

Higher income tax as long as that would include corporations and those with gross income over $250,000 per annum.

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Richard Heckler 11 months ago

The sales tax is looked upon as regressive BUT nobody can get away with NOT paying sales taxes like the 1% get away with not paying income taxes.

Can't send sales taxes to the Cayman Islands.

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ljreader 11 months ago

Lower government waste and spending , lower income tax and lower sales tax.

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