To The Daily Sun,
I read, with interest, my friend Tom Dawson's letter proposing an income tax as the solution to our fiscal woes, including our high property taxes. I just want to list my personal experience dating way back, to around 1960, when I was a resident in Lisbon Falls, Maine. The state imposed a "small and temporary" income tax just to get the state over some temporary fiscal hurdle.
I can't find the actual figure now, but I believe that it was about 2 percent. The taxes on my first home, there, were average for the state and I don't believe that there was a sales tax at that time.
Now comes the current tax situation in Maine, and what would inevitably be in New Hampshire's future, with the introduction of his proposal. Their 2014 income tax rates are: no tax on the first $10,449, 6.5 percent on $10,450-$41,849, and 7.95 percent above $41,850. Maine also has a sales tax of 5.5 percent and a rooms and meals tax of 8 percent. They also have numerous excise taxes. For example: $2 per pack on cigarettes, 30 cents a gallon on gas, $5.79 a gallon on liquor, plus several more.
I don't recall any instant impact on my property taxes and soon left the state to follow my job with IBM. I did make a current comparison between Lisbon Falls and Laconia and found that their 2014 tax rate was $24.20 per $1,000 and ours was $22.40, not even a small reduction with both broad based taxes in force.
So, where does all the money go, as most any news report from Maine has the governor in hot water for trying to make the state live within its means. In my opinion, a good share goes to ever expanding state bureaucracy with bloated administrations and little actual benefit to the deserving public. There is never enough of other people's money to satisfy the politicians in power or the party that still believes that ever larger government is the answer and should be all things to all people. This is a great vote-getter as more and more people find that they don't really have to produce to be supported by that government. This can actually work for an unknown length of time, but at some point the tipping point is reached and it will all collapse.
Obviously, I don't have the answer to the many problems facing our state. I just wanted to point out how history shows that most of any additional money taken from the people will not be applied to the stated purposes. It will just be absorbed by those in power for mostly political purposes.
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