Let's talk turkey on broad-based taxes

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Let's talk turkey on broad-based taxes

Postby andysinnh » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:24 pm

So I grew up, watching my dad read the Union Leader back in the wild William Loeb days, where not a day would go by without yet another editorial or political cartoon about the evil of "broad-based taxes". Etched in my mind is the cartoon of the big bag of money, smoking a cigar and holding a wad of cash, showing the evils of taking more money from NH residents. that was the same point in time that NH was leading the nation in lottery sales and state-run liquor sales - and the revenues were sometimes referred to as a "sin tax", where schools would get that funding, meaning that towns didn't have to cough up so much. Anyway, that was the 60's, and some pieces of that might not be completely accurate - but you get the idea.

In this day and age, lots of things have changed in NH - increased spending, education lawsuits, property tax fluctuations and tie-in at the state level, and the whole idea of "broad-based" taxes keeps circling around. And it got me to thinking about something I hear from time-to-time on the forum. Specifically - most people wouldn't be opposed for a tax based on "use", as long as there would be a corresponding reduction in existing taxes. In other words, find a tax that would hit everyone the same, based on the things they buy and the services they use, regardless of whether they're a homeowner, or what state they may be working in. I even think that I've heard our good friend Platy talking about this at some point (but I may be wrong).

So my question for debate - if NH were to instate a use-based tax that was equal for all residents, and then have a "law" created to cap local property taxes (or something similar) - what would folks think about that? I know that Rowland and others have shown that a new tax never removes the old one - but let's say that the state does it's homework and finds a way to really limit the other tax income - how would folks feel? We throw the concept of "broad-based taxes" around here a lot - but in some ways, there might be more equity in taxation should we create something more equitable while putting safeguards in place to control others, even at the local level.


Andy Schneider
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Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 12:04 am
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