Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Paul Richardson: Where is this road leading?- Part 4

(Paul Richardson's column, The Horse I Rode In On is published weekly in the Neosho Daily News, Seneca News-Dispatch and on the Turner Report.)

It is time to make the doughnuts and to have that early morning discussion about the dreaded “T” word. Yes, my friend, let’s talk about taxes.

Everything that we have access to on a corporate level, such as roads, police protection, fire protection, and all of the other “community” based advantages are funded by……taxes. 

In a republic such as ours there is no other revenue source. In a communist based society, the state would own certain business operations and take all of the funding generated by that business as revenue. 

Our government in this free society does not compete with the business or private sector. Funding for the government and the associated services is delivered by the citizen dependent upon their ability to pay. 

My accountant told me years ago, “Paying taxes is a good sign, that means you are making money.” He is right, that is exactly what it means and my ability to make purchases and pay taxes escalates as my income grows.

I am like everyone else in this matter, however. If a tax is listed on the ballot my first reaction is to respond with a solid no. 

After further examination that response is often challenged and is forced to change on occasion. 

Often that is a result of simply understanding what the tax is and how it affects me. Let’s take a look at the Use Tax that will be placed before the citizens of Neosho during the November election.

The Use Tax is not a new tax. It is and has been collected much like a sales tax by the State of Missouri and dispersed accordingly. However, the process is changing and unless city governments address this through an election process and develop their own Use Tax, those local governments will stop receiving funds that they are due. 

The Use Tax is applied to online purchases, just like a sales tax is paid when you go through the checkout lines at your local market. It is not an additional tax, you will either pay a Use Tax or a Sales Tax, but never both. This tax keeps a level playing field between online purchases and local brick and mortar stores. 

You will always have the freedom to choose between purchasing online or at a local storefront, but you while you may save on the cost of the item at one or the other, you will still submit the appropriate tax on the item. 

Under these conditions, state and local governments, but only if the local government has a Use Tax in place, will still receive the necessary funding for the continuation of services.

It boils down to this, if you are willing to pay the sales tax at the counter when you make a local purchase, but will let someone order an item online and not pay any tax that will be returned to the City of Neosho, that is your right and you are free to make that decision. 

The hard truth of the matter is that funding lost from this source will have to be made up from another source. That source may be an increase in property tax or the even the percentage of sales tax received by the local government on every other purchase.

The good wife and I live outside of the city limits but shop here and are happy to pay the necessary sales tax in order to do so. 

That is the way in our free society that we fund our government and the services that they provide. We don’t want the government to take control of businesses in order to raise revenue nor do we want to pay oppressive or unreasonable taxes. 

Some taxes are perfectly reasonable and necessary and in the case of the Use Tax for Neosho, is already being collected. This issue on the ballot is simply asking the citizens of Neosho to support the continuation of the tax that is currently being collected and to set in place the mechanisms to ensure that the State of Missouri will collect and then submit the funding to Neosho.

I will continue to try and decide what I want to be when I grow up, but in the meantime, the citizens of Neosho will have the opportunity to determine what it is that makes a good city manager and how it will best benefit them. They will also have the opportunity to ensure that the taxes charged, and the taxes paid is fair and equitable for every purchase no matter how it is made. 

Why should some businesses get an unfair advantage and some buyers get a free ride because of the way in which a purchase was made?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This man is such a disingenuous fool.

First of all, imposing another 2-3 % sales tax on Internet purchases is not a "USE" tax. To cities it is a windfall tax because they don't have to provide any city services for this tax. Up until recently the US Constitution prevented states from imposing tariffs on goods imported from another state. Over a year ago the US Supreme Court dissolved precident since the days of mail-order catalog in the late 1800s and said that states could impose an Internet sales tax ( an interstate tariff) on purchases of over $2000 per year per taxpayer. And yes, Amazon has certainly had it coming.

But thanks to the Hancock Amendments, in order to collect this windfall tax stupid city taxpayers need to vote to tax themselves so every year this measure comes up and so far has been defeated. City politicians and workers are relentless in demanding more tax dollars.

Living in town means 10-25% higher taxes because of more levels of government. If you live outside city limits your address will shield you from having to pay 2-3% more sales taxes, the most regressive taxes which weigh most heavily upon the poor who must spend more of their income on food and basic necessities.

This Paul Richardson, who lives outside Neosho, seems like one of these virtue-signallers who is encouraging Neosho residents to go ahead and jump. Don't jump, city voters. If Paul wants to give at the local stores an additional 2-3 percent have him leave a big tip at the local brick and mortar store and tell them that it is for the governor.

A decade or so ago Neosho residents failed to pass a one-cent sales tax and the police and firemen ranks were halved. Was it the end of the world? Of course not. Fewer tickets were written, the economy improved, and things went back to full police state botheration.

Not a "use" tax but a windfall profits tax on Internet purchases which will bear down most heavily on the poor who live in town. Such a deal.

I'd vote "NO" even if you are not yet poor because that 2-3 percent of what you got left after all the other taxes adds up to having nothing left.