BR&P wrote:So we should take more money from those who work harder, smarter or longer? That's not a fair way. The income tax should be a flat percentage - the same for all. Why punish productivity? You want more money, find a way to earn it.
Sigh. This is not the place to explain the entire theory of progressive taxation, but it is based in "marginal utilitiy of money". We already take more money from those who make more money: that's why we have income taxes, not head taxes. The next dollar is a lot more important and valuable to someone making $20,000/year than to someone making $1,000,000/year, and that's why, morally, it makes sense to charge a slightly higher rate to the latter person. Richer people also get more services from their government -- this is a fact; the court system and the SEC are sensible examples. Public airports catering to executive jets are a more extreme example.
In addition, it is documented empirically that progressive income tax gives people absolutely no disincentive to keep making money, at least until it reaches astronomical levels. In the 1950s under Republican President Eisenhower the top federal rate was *92%*, and the economy boomed, and the rich were pretty happy.
Finally (sigh), it's not about people who "work harder, smarter, or longer", really. That's a total, utter misconception. A lot people make a lot of money because they gamble better on the stock market. A bunch of CEOs make a lot of money because they appoint the boards which set their salaries, even if they drive their companies into bankruptcy (clear conflict of interest problem, and there's a clear regulatory solution involving more shareholder power over boards). Trust me. As someone with inherited money from a grandmother who never worked in her life and who picked stocks well, who follows corporate management news constantly out of personal self-interest, I know what I'm talking about here.
One part of the complex issue of declining industrial base in NY is that until quite recently, railroads were taxed at an incredibly higher rate than comparable industrial land. Let's take a long fill, leading to a bridge. It may have been there since 1889, but the taxation was calculated on today's replacement cost. Only within the past 10 years give or take has there been any relief of the burden
I know all of this. This has absolutely nothing to do with progressive income tax.
It has everything to do with lowering the property taxes. The property tax falls more heavily on people when land speculators are interested in their home. Is that reasonable? It taxes people for improving their homes -- a tax on investing money in useful things which benefit everyone. Is that helpful, economically?
Property taxes should be related to the number of services needed to be provided *to the property*: roads, water, sewer, police, fire -- only in NY, that's a small fraction of property taxes. Using them to fund schools, which have nothing to do with land, is just senseless. If you wanted a "fair" school tax you'd tax according to the number of kids people have, but that frankly wouldn't pay for the schools, and we don't really want other people's kids wandering around ignorant and causing trouble, so we figure everyone benefits from it and pay for it out of "general taxation".
Forcing those with higher incomes to pay the property taxes of those with less is theft, coercion, and punishment of success.
First of all, nobody is suggesting this. I am suggesting funding the schools out of income tax.
Second of all, stuff and nonsense. I know what theft, coercion, and punishment of success are, and the progressive income tax is none of the above. I'm sorry you've been so indoctrinated.